Quick Sand AA's Santa Anita victory adds to Gillis' success
A weekend to remember for Joe and Betty Gillis was crowned at Santa Anita on Saturday when Quick Sand AA came with a late drive to beat the Gillis' other hope Easter Man in the Grade 1 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Stakes.
The pair, trained by Jernesto Torrez, had last been seen dead-heating for first in the Sheikh Zayed Stakes at Sam Houston racetrack early last month and the two picked back up where they left off – duelling for top honours as the field entered the home straight.
Widest of all was Quick Sand AA and he was delivered with a perfectly timed ride by Sasha Risenhoover to swoop late and land the spoils by a neck.
It capped off a memorable couple of days for the Gillis, who had earlier been named the recipients of three prizes at Friday's Darley Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood – breeder of the year, best breeder and three-year-old filly for Sweet Honey AA.
They were unable to attend the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre and the raceday at Santa Anita due to unforeseen circumstances but there were plenty of friends on hand to toast their success.
Risenhoover said: "I was confident as I liked my horse going in. When we broke out of the gates, the way the race played out I just sat off and held him up.
"When I asked him for his life he gave it to me. I'm new to riding Arabian horses, it's very different and I love it."
On winning a purebred Arabian race on Santa Anita Derby day on Saturday, she added: "To be able to win here at the great race place and win my first Grade 1 is great. I love this racetrack."
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