As part of the agreement for mutual sponsorship between QREC and Breeders’ Cup, the ongoing partnership between the two organisations has entered its third year. Under the agreement, QREC is associated with a Breeders’ Cup race run at one of the top racecourses in the USA in November every year while Breeders’ Cup is the sponsor of the Gr 3 Dukhan Sprint, for 3-year-olds and older, which is run over 6 furlongs in the finale of the annual HH The Amir Sword Festival in February. Following the success of the QREC-sponsored Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes in 2017 and 2018, this year QREC is the sponsor of the Grade 2 Qatar Twilight Derby. The 1m 1f race for 3-year-olds was run at Santa Anita, California on Saturday, 2 November 2019. The General Consul of Qatar in Los Angeles, His Excellency Mr Khalid Bin Yousif Khalifa Al Sada was present and crowned the winners.
This year, the Qatar Twilight Derby went to the horse with the widest draw of the field in gate 13, MO FORZA. The three-year-old colt of UNCLE MO was bred by Barry and Diane Abrams’ Bardy Farm and is owned by them in partnership with Og Boss. He is trained by US trainer Peter Miller. Quickly away, he was able to come across the field and settled in behind the leader in second position on the rail in an evenly paced race. Coming into the short home straight of Santa Anita, he came up to join the leader and flew home to secure his first Stakes win on the world stage in this Group 2 contest. He was ridden by Joel Rosario. The Richard Baltas-trained SUCCEEDANDSURPASS was 1.75 lengths behind the winner in second under John R Velazquez. The other Richard Baltas’s ward, NEPTUNE’S STORM was third under Ricardo Santana.
Trainer Peter Miller commented after the race, “I just told Joel to get a position. There were one or two speeds, just sit behind the speed. The pace was a little slower than I thought, but he was loaded the whole way. The horse was throwing his head, but then Joel got him to settle.”
QREC attaches great importance to such international partnerships in line with QREC’s vision to promote Qatar as a horse racing hub and a leader worldwide. Such partnerships are essential in fostering Qatar’s international presence while supporting Qatar’s illustrious heritage, culture and traditions.