August 22, 2020 - Del Mar, Race 1, Msw, USD $55,000, 5 1/2F, .0000

Princess Noor, F, 2, 2018 by Not This Time

1st Dam: Sheza Smoke Show (GSW, $150,644), by Wilko
2nd Dam: Avery Hall, by A. P Jet
3rd Dam: Royal Form, by Dynaformer

Owner: Zedan Racing Stables Inc.
Breeder: International Equities Holding, Inc. (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert

Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.'s Princess Noor (Not This Time), who topped the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training at $1.35 million off of a blazingly fast :20 1/5 breeze, ran to the hype and her price tag Saturday at Del Mar to be named a 'TDN Rising Star' and become her fast-starting freshman sire (by Giant's Causeway)'s seventh individual winner. The $135,000 KEESEP yearling had fired a couple of bullet breezes from the gate in her preparations for trainer Bob Baffert (including a best-of-seven 1:12.20 July 31 in which her company was never in the same area code {XBTV video}), and was pounded down to 3-5 favoritism with her chief market rival stablemate Flash Magic (Pioneerof the Nile). Showing off her ample speed to blast from the gate and immediately clear off, Princess Noor zipped along through a :22.39 quarter and :46.05 half. Victor Espinoza never asked her to run as she cruised under the line 2 1/2 lengths to the good of Flash Magic, stopping the clock in 1:04.03.

"We knew that she was a special horse from the sales all the way into training," owner Amr Zedan told the TDN after watching the race from Saudi Arabia, where it was after midnight. "Obviously, Bob has done a great job in getting her ready. We came into the race humble, but focused and hoping she would show the best she could do and would come out of it sound. I would like to thank Gary Young, my racing manager, for all he's done for us."

When asked if there was any added pressure with the winner being named after his wife, Jordan's Princess HRH Noor Bint Asem, Zedan said, "There was a lot of anxiety, but she did what we hoped and prayed she would do and she showed some ability. I don't know yet what Bob's plans are, as you know he's the boss when it comes to everything with the horse at the moment. We will follow his lead and hope for the best. We will take it a race at a time and hopefully we will get to the big races soon."

Young, who said the GI Del Mar Debutante S. in 15 days; GI Frizette S. at Belmont or GI Chandelier S. at Santa Anita would all be under consideration for Princess Noor's next start, added, "There was a race earlier in the meet at three-quarters that we entered her in and it didn't go, so we had to work her. Her work after that was good, but it wasn't what we expected for her. Bob liked her so much that he basically said he wanted to work her again to make sure. And that last work out of the gate was jaw-dropping (5f, 1:00 flat, 12/95 on Aug. 15). We ran her here and she ran to her workouts. Her workouts were just unbelievable. The way she was at the sale and the money we paid for her and the way she trained for this race, anything less than an authoritative victory would have been disappointing. But I think we definitely got that authoritative victory today. I actually for the first time in my career, I took my stopwatch out there to gallop her out after the race. She galloped out three-quarters in 1:10.22 and she pulled up seven furlongs in 1:26.34. When they start galloping out six furlongs in 1:10.22 after the wire, that's pretty good."

Young, a renowned private clocker, was celebrating his first victory from as many starters as Zedan's racing manager.

"It can only go down from here," he quipped. "When you start out like that you can only go down. We put the bar awful high today. It's like the guy who hits a grand slam home run in his first at bat to get his team into the playoffs."

The winner's dam Sheza Smoke Show (Wilko) took the 2014 GIII Senorita S. as a sophomore on the Santa Anita lawn. She was purchased by Ousama Aboughazale's International Equities Holding, Inc. for $185,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale while carrying Princess Noor. Sheza Smoke Show produced a colt by Aboughazale's Protonico in 2019 and a Tapwrit filly in 2020. She was bred back to Protonico this breeding season.

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