Thursday, October 07, 2010

Trade-off brings first Arabian race to Keeneland - Full Article

By Marty McGee

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The genesis of the first Arabian race in Keeneland history stems from conversations that track officials had last winter in Abu Dhabi, the capital and government seat of the United Arab Emirates.

“We’re always looking to extend our sales reach, and there has been increasing interest in Thoroughbreds in that part of the world,” said Rogers Beasley, director of racing at Keeneland. “Basically in exchange for their sponsorship of one of our Grade 1 races,” referring to the $400,000 First Lady, “we agreed to stage an Arabian race, with them putting up all the purse money. We believe it’s a worthwhile thing to do.”

The result is the $50,000 President of the UAE Cup, part of a worldwide series of Abu Dhabi-sponsored races for Arabians, a breed far better known for endurance than speed. The 1 1/4-mile Polytrack event is carded as the third race Saturday, with the 4-year-old filly Sand Witchh, unbeaten in nine career starts, likely to be the heavy favorite in a field of 10...

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