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HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival enables historic debut for Arabian horse racing in Monmouth Park

Once again the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival will be creating history and this time it will be on the historic Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, New Jersey on Monday, September 4 which is also Labor Day and a public holiday here in the US.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival’s US$50,000 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Diamond Jewel (G1) and the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race are part of Monday’s race meeting and they make a historic debut for Purebred Arabian racing at Monmouth Park- the venue’s annual marquee event being the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational (G1) serving as a key race in determining Horse of the Year awards for Thoroughbreds.
The Festival, which has penetrated many top racing venues around the globe with the introduction of its Purebred Arabian races, will add Monmouth Park to that list and that too on a Labor Day holiday which will enable thousands of racing fans here to catch a glimpse of the racing abilities of Arabian horses.
And making it an even more exciting day is the field for the third and final leg of the 2017 Triple Jewel as the $50,000 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Diamond Jewel (G1) has attracted some of the best Arabians racing in the US including Paddys Day, a 6-year-old son of Burning Sand out of the Virgule Al Maury mare Ak Loretta.
Placed in 28 of his 32 career starts with 21 wins Paddys Day comes out of the Grade 1 Delaware Classic Handicap at Delaware Park on August 19 where he finished strong on the rail, but fell a half-length short behind Easter Man.
Owned by Quarter Moon Ranch LLC and trained by Scott Powell, Paddys Day will get five points for racing on Monday and that will fetch the champion its third consecutive Triple Jewel which includes a US $ 150,000 bonus for earning the highest points after three Sheikh Zayed Cup races in US in 2017.
Though Easter Man is not in the fray, Paddys Day will renew its rivalry with the Teri Eaton-trained Sand Victor- the latter having garnered 12 points (7 for his second place in Pleasanton and 5 for his 5th place in Houston). Paddys Day has 16 points having won both the legs and just needs the 5 points for participation which will seal a third Sheikh Zayed Cup US Triple Crown.
“He came out of the last race super,” said trainer Scott Powell. “It doesn’t matter to him how far or short he goes, he’s a very patient horse and runs his race. I don’t think many other horses are putting in the miles that he has in his career and he continues to get better and better as he gets older. It’s been a fun ride for us.”
Paddys Day has worked twice since his run two weeks ago. The latest was a four furlong breeze in :53 over a fast main track at Delaware Park on Sept. 1. Keiber Coa, who has been aboard for a Grade 1 win, will get the mount on Monday.
The only other graded stakes winner in the Grade 1 event is Sand Victor and in his two Grade 2 wins he got the better of Paddys Day. The last time these two met, Paddys Day got his revenge with a two and a quarter length win in the Grade 1 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Arabian Cup at Oak Tree Pleasanton.
Ivory Shores under Kevin Mendez, Quick And Rich under Carlos Hernandez, RB Sand Castle under Angel Serpa, Candy Land Man under Wallynette odriguez and Thess Is Awesome under Christopher DeCarlo complete the field in the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan al Nahyan Cup (Grade I) $50,000 Diamond Jewel.
In the US$ 20,000 H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship race which will be run prior to the Sheikh Zayed Cup, Apprentice jockeys from around the globe will make a bid to win and qualify for the November 10 final in Abu Dhabi.
Germany’s Esther Weissmeier on Jimdandy Totherehessq, Ireland’s Stephen Cummins on Miss Paradise, Norway’s Silja Storen on Burn Notice MC, Puerto Rico’s Heriberto Fuentesen on Risky Red, Sweden’s Ulrika Holmquist on Butch Cassidy LZP, UK’s Paddy Pilley on Mystical MHF, American Laura Werner on Lil Dude AA and Valenzuela Moncada on Kao Maloan SWA start in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship, which hasn't been run in the USA since 2015.
Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) and General Manager of Wathba Stallions was excited over the debut of Arabian horse racing in Monmouth Park.
“This is another red letter day, a milestone event, for the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival. A record crowd is expected and what better way for the Purebred Arabian horses to showcase their racing skills,” she said.
“Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone, who is an ambassador of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival will be on-hand for an autograph/meet-and-greet session at Monmouth Park,” Ms. Sawaya said.
“It’s been years since I’ve been back to Monmouth,” said Krone, who retired from the saddle in 2004.
“It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been and it’s where I established my career. I can’t wait to be back at Monmouth and to see so many familiar faces that meant so much to me. It will be a great homecoming.”
That homecoming has been nearly 20 years in the making as Krone rode her last race in Oceanport in 1999.
Leading rider at Monmouth from 1987-1989, Krone went on to national stardom, becoming the first female jockey to pilot a Triple Crown race winner (1993 Belmont Stakes atop Colonial Affair) and to capture a Breeders’ Cup race (2003 Juvenile Fillies with Halfbridled). She was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2000, the only female rider to receive the sport’s highest honor.
“Julie Krone embodies everything that is good about horse racing. We are proud to have her as the Festival’s Ambassador,” said Ms. Sawaya.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE's General Women's Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.
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