$20,000 H.H. Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Arabian Cup to Be Contested On Saturday, April 9 at Sam Houston Race Park

(Houston, Texas - Thursday, April 7, 2011) - Sam Houston Race Park will host a prestigious Arabian stakes on Saturday, the $20,000 H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Arabian Cup on April 9 as part of the Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival.

The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is the founder of the United Arab Emirates. He established special stables in Abu Dhabi, designed to raise and care for horses at an early stage and allow for the preservation of the unique Arabian horse breed. He encouraged increased ownership of Arabian horses, and thus improved both their breeding and their capabilities.

In 2009, the H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan's Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival was initiated to showcase pure-bred Arabian race horses. The 2011 global racing series begins on Saturday evening at Sam Houston Race Park with nine dates at racetracks in the United States, France, Holland, Germany and Poland. The festival culminates with the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Prestige Cup at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on November 6, 2011.

A field of eight Arabians will run in the one-mile stakes. Florida horseman Bill Waldron will ship in Grilla, a five-year-old Arabian he bred and owns. His impressive 2010 results included three consecutive stakes at Delaware Park and Keeneland. Top Arabian rider, William Hollick will pilot Grilla from post position four. TM Fred Texas will attempt his second stakes win this year at Sam Houston for owner Sam Vasquez. The four-year-old colt won the Texas Six Shooter on March 4 and has a lifetime record of five wins from six starts. His regular jockey Jose Figure retains the mount.

"We are honored to have a race of this magnitude run at Sam Houston Race Park," said Eric Johnston, vice president of racing. "An excellent field of Arabians will compete in the first race in this international racing festival."

Racing fans will have an opportunity to register for an all-expense paid trip for two to Abu Dhabi to enjoy the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition. Entry forms will be available from 5:30 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. and the winner will be drawn following the $20,000 H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Arabian Cup, which will run as the fourth race on the card with an estimated post time of 8:18 p.m. The race will be televised live in Abu Dhabi.

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