The date is set and the 14-horse field has been selected for The President of the UAE Cup, a Grade 1 Stake race for Arabian horses. The 1-1/16 mile race for 4-year-olds and up is on the race card Stephen Foster Day at the historic Churchill Downs track in Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby. The Arabian race is slated for Saturday evening, June 15th and will feature an impressive $100,000 purse. The President of the UAE race series is the original, premier racing series for Purebred Arabians throughout the world.
One of the race’s early favorites is undoubtedly Valiant Boy SBFAR, a five-year-old grey stallion, owned by Guy Neivens and trained by Ron Martino, 2012 Darley Trainer of the Year. A son of Darweesh out of Thumbprint, the French-bred and raced Valiant Boy SBFAR, won four of his last five starts in the United States, including the 2012 Gr 2 Bob Magness Memorial Arabian Derby and the 2012 Gr 3 Texas Arabian Derby. His last race was just a little over a week ago on May 27th at Delaware Park. He won it by two lengths, facing four of the horses he will start with in the UAE Cup. Valiant Boy SBFAR was the 2012 Darley Horse of the Year.
“He is a no-nonsense horse that likes to train,” says trainer Ron Martino. “He’s been very reliable in his races so far.”
“He’s a Classic horse,” says Rigbie Farm’s Sharon Clark. “He’s quiet and kind and doesn’t have many issues. It’s difficult to pick out a special race for him from those in 2012. Honestly, all of his races were good.”
One horse that could be some competition for the favorite is Smoke House, a four-year-old grey gelding, owned and bred by Paul and Kathy Smoke and trained by Randy Nunley. Smoke House pressured Valiant Boy in the stretch at Delaware Park to place second in the May 27th race. Last October he won the Gr 3 Delaware Park Arabian Juvenile Championship Stakes and was subsequently named 2012 Darley Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding in March. Smoke House doesn’t have many races under his belt, but he’s big and strong and very, very game.
Founded in 1874, Churchill Downs fabled twin spires are synonymous with horse racing’s finest traditions. The Arabian breed, forefather of Man O War, Secretariat and Sea Biscuit, will be running its second race historically at this fabled facility. Stephen Foster Day features several major Thoroughbred stakes races, culminating in the Gr 1 Stephen Foster Handicap, the second richest Thoroughbred race at Churchill Downs after the Kentucky Derby. This year the races will be held on Saturday evening, adding prestige, glamour and a lot of dress-up to the festivities. It’s a not-to-missed occasion for Arabian horse devotees. Come in person and join the fun, or watch the race LIVE on Arabian Horse Global at www.arabianhorseglobal.com.