Pinehurst Takes Them Gate To Wire In Saudi Derby

Pinehurst | Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia

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The Saudi Derby had been won by horses based in Japan in each of its first two runnings and the island nation swept the first three races on Saturday's Saudi Cup undercard. Given a positive ride by Flavien Prat over a racing surface that seemed kind to front-runners, Pinehurst (Twirling Candy) had his full battling qualities on display and withstood a late charge from Sekifu (Jpn) (Henny Hughes) to register a half-length success in the $1.5-million test, upgraded to Group 3 level for the first time in 2022.

Off to a good start from a wide gate, last year's GI Del Mar Futurity hero found his way to the front after the opening 400 meters, as the locally trained I Am Magic (Ire) (Magician {Ire}) tried to keep pace inside, with Cattleya S. hero Consigliere (Jpn) (Drefong) close in tow. Maintaining a slender advantage on the turn as I Am Magic retreated, Pinehurst was narrowly in front turning for home as Sovereign Prince (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) chimed in three out, kept finding into the final eighth of a mile under a vigourous ride and boxed on gamely as Sekifu pulled back the winning margin to a half-length. Consigliere was rather one-paced in third, while the previously unbeaten Alnaader (KSA) (Teletext) fought on bravely to be a creditable fourth.

“I'm very proud of him and happy for my team,” winning trainer Bob Baffert said from afar. “It's exciting to win after coming up short a couple of times over there. I hate when they show that 100-meter line on the screen because I've lost so much money in that last 100 meters at that track the past two years, but we got it done today.”

Baffert suggested that Pinehurst, who was exiting a runner-up effort in the seven-furlong GII San Vicente S. Jan. 29. would run next in the G2 UAE Derby at Meydan Mar. 26 over a more-demanding 1900-meter journey around two turns.

Pedigree Notes:

One of his sire's seven top-level winners and 14 graded winners, Pinehurst hails from a talented and deep Sabine Stable family.

His dam, acquired by breeder Fred Hertrich III for $95,000 at Keeneland January in 2015, is a daughter of Sabine's dual stakes-winning Win's Fair Lady, whose Grade III-winning daughter First Passage (Giant's Causeway) produced GIII Molly Pitcher S. heroine Berned (Bernardini). The colt's third dam, the Grade III winner Win Crafty Lady, not only bred MGSW & GISP Graeme Hall (Dehere), but also $1.65-million Fasig-Tipton Calder grad and future GISW Harmony Lodge (Hennessy), whose Grade III-winning son Stratford Hill (A.P. Indy) coincidentally stands stud in Saudi Arabia.

Giant Win is the dam of a 2-year-old colt by Cairo Prince, a yearling colt by Liam's Map and is due to Twirling Candy this term.

 

Saturday, King Abdulaziz (Riyadh), Saudi Arabia
SAUDI DERBY CUP PRESENTED BY AL RAJHI-G3, $1,500,000, King Abdulaziz, 2-26, NH/SH3yo, 1600m, 1:38.12, ft.
1–PINEHURST, 121, c, 3, by Twirling Candy
1st Dam: Giant Win, by Giant's Causeway
2nd Dam: Win's Fair Lady, by Dehere
3rd Dam: Win Crafty Lady, by Crafty Prospector
($180,000 Wlg '19 KEENOV; $385,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Robert E Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay A Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC, Donovan, Catherine, Golconda Stable, Siena Farm LLC; B-Fred W Hertrich III & John D Fielding (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-Flavien Prat; $900,000. Lifetime Record: GISW-US, 5-3-1-0, $1,212,000. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Sekifu (Jpn), 121, c, 3, Henny Hughes–Siyabona, by Kingmambo. 1ST BLACK-TYPE, 1ST GROUP BLACK-TYPE. O-Akira Nakatsuji; B-Bamboo Stud; T-Koshiro Take; J-Cristian Demuro; $300,000.
3–Consigliere (Jpn), 121, c, 3, Drefong–Tasha's Star, by Harlan's Holiday. 1ST BLACK-TYPE, 1ST GROUP BLACK-TYPE. O-Kazumi Yoshida; B-Northern Farm; T-Yukio Inagaki; J-Christophe Lemaire; $150,000.
Margins: HF, 3/4, 1.
Also Ran: Alnaader (KSA), Sovereign Prince (GB), Kiefer (Brz), The Wizard of Eye (Ire), Island Falcon (Ire), I Am Magic (Ire), Perfect Love (Arg), Almuthanna, Jacinda (GB), Noble Truth (Fr), Oscula (Ire). Click for the Racing Post chart.  Click for the free Equineline.com catalog-style pedigree.

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