There was some speculation that T M Fred Texas would hit Baltimore with a bit of jet lag, or maybe some fatigue from his travels throughout the Middle East. If he was tired, he certainly hid it well. They saddled him for the race out on the Pimlico track at the entrance to the saddling paddock he was so full of himself. Trainer Ron Martino in an interview before the race called him “the Iron Horse” and the moniker just might stick. Even so, the winner of the Grade 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic the end of March at Meydan still had his work cut out for him on Preakness Day in the $75,000 President of the UAE Grade 1 Stake Race.
A strong field of ten included Bill Waldron’s entry Grilla, gunning for victory over his rival T M Fred Texas. Grilla led the pack out of the gate and didn’t get caught by the fast moving T M Fred Texas until he was a furlong and a half from the wire. For most of the race the four grey Arabians, Ovour The Top, So Big Is Better, Grilla and T M Fred Texas jockeyed for position in the front of the pack with the chestnut mare Dixies Valentine adding color to the group until the stretch. At the finish it was T M Fred Texas by 2 and ¾ lengths, Grilla and a very fast closing Rich Frynchman third. So Big Is Better ran a solid race and finished fourth, followed by Ovour The Top, Spin Doctor, Dixies Valentine, Status Symbol, Born To Boogie MC , and French Fry.
The jockey on T M Fred Texas had not had any experience with Arabian horses. When asked in the winner’s circle what instructions trainer Ron Martino had given him prior to the race, jockey Abel Castellano Jr said, “He was very confident about the horse and he told me just to ride my race and that … ‘He’s a nice horse and he’s going to take you to the wire first.’”
When asked about the race en route to the Winner’s Circle, owner Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani proudly noted that the horse had won the Dubai Kahayla Classic against the best in the World and that he (Sheikh Joaan) was not nervous during the President of the UAE Cup Pimlico race because … “it was a ‘canter’ for ‘Texas.’ Sheik Joaan also owns the third place horse Rich Frynchman and made the announcement later in the afternoon that he planned to take both horses back to France and race them in the prestigious Qatar World Cup race following L’Arc de Prix de Triomphe in October at Longchamps.
Bred by Todd Moak, T M Fred Texas now has 12 wins out of 16 lifetime races and is providing some great attention and media for the American Arabian race horse internationally. T M Fred Texas won the President of the UAE Cup in 2011 at Churchill Downs over Dixies Valentine and Grilla won the 2010 edition of the race at Keeneland.
The President of the UAE Cup Grade 1 Stake for Arabians runs at famous tracks all over the world. This year the venue choice in America was Pimlico Race Track on Preakness Day. The UAE has selected their most beloved Purebred Arabian horse to be their Ambassador for their culture and their heritage. It’s a wonderful gift to everyone who loves Arabian horses.