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Posted 2022-02-26 19:33:29  
Pinehurst Rules for Baffert in Saudi Derby

This year’s renewal of the US $1,500,000 The Saudi Derby presented by Al Rajhi Bank featured a multi-continental challenge dominated by American speed in the shape of the fast-breaking Pinehurst (USA).

An inaugural riding experience for USA-based Frenchman Flavien Prat turned into a resounding success when timing it to perfection on the Bob Baffert trainee. Prat continued a remarkable streak for French jockeys on the night.

The Japanese contingent tried their best to make it another major win, highlighted by a deep-closing second-place effort from the Koshiro Take-trained Sekifu (JPN), who was gaining on Pinehurst with every stride under Cristian Demuro to pass the line half a length adrift.

Unbeaten Consigliere (JPN) was part of the early pace before taking a breather and coming back with renewed vigour, guided by man-of-the-moment Christophe Lemaire for trainer Yukio Inagaki in third.

The locally-trained Alnaader (KSA) held up the Saudi Arabian honour with a strong fourth under Abdullah Alawfi.

An imposing son of Twirling Candy, Pinehurst was able to hold off the cavalry by half a length, posting a final time of 1:38.12 for the 1600m. Gaining his first victory as a three-year-old, the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity winner sported the Starlight Racing colours, and is owned in partnership with SF Racing LLC and Madaket Stables.

Quotes:

Bob Baffert, trainer, Pinehurst, 1st: "That was exciting. I thought that would be a great spot for him. Taking him and Country Grammer over there all that way and for him to run well, I’m very proud of him and happy for my team.

"It’s exciting to win after coming up short a couple of times over there. I hate when they show that 100m line on the screen because I’ve lost so much money in that last 100m at that track the past two years, but we got it done today. I think I carried him the last 100m. 

Image Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia/De Falice 

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