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Fujairah Seeks Her Niche in Saturday’s 100k Martha Washington

Aug 5, 2020
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Stakes-placed on turf and dirt, going long and short, Three Rivers Stable Inc.’s Fujairah will try to find her niche in Saturday’s $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Trainer Carlos David’s versatile daughter of Ghostzapper will seek a long-overdue stakes victory in the mile turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies that will co-headline Saturday’s program with the $100,000 Not Surprising, a mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds.

“Hopefully, she can get the job done,” David said. “She’s training great. She’s doing really good.”

After winning a tough five-furlong optional claiming allowance on turf at Gulfstream June 19, Fujairah’s search for stakes credentials stretched to Monmouth Park for the July 11 Blue Sparkler. Scheduled for five-furlongs on turf, the stakes for 3-year-old fillies was transferred to a fast main track, over which Fujairah finished a never-threatening second behind Shippy.

“Unfortunately, when you send a horse that far, you’re kind of forced to run. It wasn’t really the plan to run her off the turf, but we didn’t want to leave there empty-handed,” David said. “She was able to pick up second-place, so that was really good.

After a troubled career debut on dirt, Fujairah broke her maiden impressively by four lengths in her second start July 28, 2019 at Gulfstream while trying turf for the first time. The Kentucky-bred filly followed up her 7 ½-furlong debut victory with a second-place finish in the 7 ½-furlong Sharp Susan Stakes. Impressed with her first two starts on turf, David sent Fujairah to Keeneland for the Jessamine (G2), in which she bobbled at the start and rushed into contention before fading badly.

“When I sent her to Keeneland, that was a little ambitious, going a mile and a sixteenth on a soft turf,” David said. “I’m looking forward to seeing if she can get the distance, maybe it will come with age. She’s not easy to ride. She’s not the kind of filly you can put just any rider on. She’s one of those fillies that at the three-eighths pole you have to start riding her. She’s very heavy and she will not go unless you really ask her.”

Following a tiring seventh-place finish in the mile Wait A While on the Nov. 30 opening-day program of the 2019-2020 Championship Meet, the decision was made to try Fujairah on dirt, and she ran well enough to place in a stake and come within a neck of becoming graded stakes-placed in a fourth-place finish in the Forward Gal (G2). However, after a pair of poor efforts, one on dirt and one on turf, Fujairah was given a two-month freshening.

“We had her going pretty good on turf, but the owner and I agreed that we wanted to give her a shot on the dirt. She ended up running good and placed in a stake,” David said. “We had to take a step back after the two bad races at the end of the year. She needed a break. Every horse needs a break once in a while.”

A fresh Fujairah came back better than ever to win her return and finish second in the Blue Sparkler, prompting inquiries from farms interested in purchasing the daughter of Ghostzapper, who is out of a Dynaformer mare. Fujairah has the opportunity to see her broodmare stock soar with a win in the Martha Washington.

Santiago Gonzalez, who rode Fujairah to victory two starts back the only time he has ridden her, has the call.

“I think Santiago fits her,” David said. “Horses here that go five-eighths do well going a mile. Hopefully, we get the turf and she places herself forwardly.”

BHMFR LLC’s Tournesol and DP Racing LLC, Mrs. Paul Shanahan and Mrs. M. V. Magnier’s Yesterdayoncemore, who finished a neck apart in the July 12 Portofino Bay last time out, are scheduled to clash again in the Martha Washington.

Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Tournesol surged late to catch Patrick Biancone-trained Yesterdayoncemore at the wire in the 1 1/16-mile Portofino Bay. Tournesol was coming off a late-closing victory in an optional claiming starter allowance. The lightly raced daughter of Karakontie has won three of five career starts.

Yesterdayoncemore, an Irish Import who won the Del Mar Juvenile Filly Turf in her U.S. debut last September, has shown steady improvement since being transferred to Biancone four starts ago. The daughter of No Nay Never came off a four-month layoff to finish second in a June 29 optional claiming allowance prior to her narrow loss to Tournesol in the Portofino Bay.

Edgard Zayas has the return mount on Tournesol, while Luca Panici will be back aboard Yesterdayoncemore.

Rolling Meadows Farm’s Blue Mistress, who finished third behind Tournesol and Yesterdayoncemore in the Portofino Bay; Arindel’s Onyx, who defeated Fujairah in last year’s Sharp Susan but is winless in four starts this year; Averill Racing’s R Calli Kim, who is scheduled to make her stakes debut after winning the first two starts of her career; Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and David Simon’s Bankruptonthebeach, who is slated to make her turf debut after finishing third in the Azalea last time out; and Gary Barber’s Lucky Polly, who finished fourth in the Herecomesthebride (G3) two starts back; round out the main body of the field.

Drawing Away Stable’s Don’t Get Khozy and e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ Sound Machine are main-track-only entrants.

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