New York Central, racing in the colors of Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz, got up in the final strides to win the premiere edition of the $1,500,000 Saudia Cup Sprint by a head under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.
The 5-year-old Tapit colt caught the Japanese-based Matera Sky, who had run away to what seemed to be an insurmountable lead at the top of the stretch. The 1200 meters on the King Abdulaziz dirt track was timed in 1:11.68
Matera Sky broke fastest of all in the field of 13 and had a lead of about five lengths as they turned for home while New York Central was near the back of the pack in the middle of the track mounting a furious rally in the final 400m for the one-length victory, scoring one for the host country on its biggest night of racing.
Now trained by Sami Al Harabi and based in the Middle East, New York Central was last under tack for Steve Asmussen and owned by owned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International, and SF Racing. He is also the winner of the Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3) at Pimlico. The Saudia Sprint Cup boosted New York Central’s bankroll to $1,235,310.
Tapit stands at Gainesway for $200,000.