Aurora, CO – In a race for the ages, Sand Victor and Paddys Day left their spectators breathless in a mighty duel for the majority of the stretch run in Saturday’s $48,700 HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Stakes(G2) at Los Alamitos Racetrack in Orange County, California. The race was also the third and final leg of the Arabian Triple Jewel, a three-race annual series akin to Thoroughbred’s ‘Triple Crown.’ The highest scoring horse of the series takes away a lucrative $150,000 bonus, in addition to purse earnings.
Sand Victor had taken a hearty lead coming out the final turn with an 1/8 of a mile to go. But Paddys Day dug in and caught him quickly. The two pulled away from the field in a colossal fashion as they fought head to head for the duration of the stretch. Paddys Day just simply couldn’t hold on in the final seconds, and Sand Victor won by a neck. The pair were nearly twelve lengths ahead of 3rd place finisher Twice Rich.
“We have a great horse,” said trainer Terri Eaton. “And I thank my owners so much for this opportunity. They’re such great people.”
The four-year-old Sand Victor (Burning Sand x Vague De Gemme) was the only horse in the field to have ever beaten the nearly unstoppable Paddys Day. Sand Victor was ridden by Hugo Herrera, trained by Terri Eaton, and owned and bred by Betty and Joe Gillis.
“With this race, we have finished a wonderful racing season [for Sheikh Mansoor Festival races] in the United States for 2016,” said Lara Sawaya, executive director of the Sheikh Mansoor Festival and host of the Arabian Triple Jewel series. “We are now headed to the capital of the world for Arabian horse racing, Abu Dhabi, for the world’s richest Arabian race, the EUR 1.2 million Jewel Crown.”
The 2016 Triple Jewel title remained in the hands of Paddys Day based on points. This was a near replica of last year’s scenario, where Paddys Day lost this final leg by a head, but still took the Triple Jewel. He went on to be named 2015 Darley Horse of the Year.
United States Invitees Announced for the World’s Richest Arabian Race
As the 2016 Triple Jewel winner, Paddys Day received a guaranteed invite to the HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, the world’s richest Arabian race offering an unprecedented EUR 1,200,000 purse, slated for November 13 in Abu Dhabi.
Invitations were also extended to two additional U.S.-based horses: Sand Victor, for his performances throughout the Triple Jewel series, and Thess Is Awesome after his win in the $100,000 Darley Stakes at Santa Anita Park last April.
All three horses and their connections will be receiving all-expense-paid trips to the star-studded event in November.
Arabian Jockey Club Offers Behind-The-Scenes and Post Race Coverage on Facebook
Get finish line views of the race and behind-the-scenes access with key leaders, trainers, jockeys and horses! The Arabian Jockey Club streamed LIVE from Los Alamitos on Saturday. All coverage is now posted on the Arabian Jockey Club Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/theajclub).