Darley's Dubai Escapade dances in Ballerina GI
Dubai Escapade easily dominated her competition in Saratoga's $250,000 Ballerina GI on Sunday going 7 furlongs against six rivals under jockey Edgar Prado. The 4-year-old bay broke sharply and immediately assumed the lead. She was never threatened throughout and drew off to win by 8 1/2 lengths under no pressure.
"She is a brilliantly fast filly," said trainer Eoin Harty. "She showed the true class today that we always knew she had."
Owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Darley Stable, the Awesome Again filly was bred in Kentucky by Needham Betz Thoroughbreds & James Blackburn and was purchased at the 2004 Barretts March 2-Year-Old in Training Sale for $2 million. She is out of the Saratoga Six mare Sassy Pants and is a half sister to Madcap Escapade.
Sheikh Mohammed was watching the race live from Morocco and was pleased with his filly, saying that she capped off a fantastic weekend for him. In addition to the Ballerina GI, races won by the Sheikh's horses included the Travers GI with Bernardini who easily won by 7 1/2 lengths, the King's Bishop GI with Henny Hughes who won by 5 1/4 lengths, the Bernard Baruch Hcp GII with Ashkal Way, an allowance race on Friday with UAE Derby winner Discreet Cat who easily trounced the field by 11 lengths, and a Maiden Special Weight with 2-year-old first time starter Incriminate. Darley Stable also finished second in the Personal Ensign GI with Balleto.
Sheikh Mohammed divides his horses among several trainers and all saw great success this weekend. Bernardini and Balleto are trained by Tom Albertrani, Henny Hughes is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Discreet Cat and Ashkal Way are trained by Saeed bin Suroor, and Dubai Escapade and Incriminate are trained by Eoin Harty.
Sheikh Mohammed's son Sheikh Rashid, who races Henny Hughes under Zabeel Racing International, was on hand at Saratoga for the banner weekend along with Darley CEO Jimmy Bell, Darley racing manager John Ferguson, and Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford.