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Full Flat heads to the winner's circle after the Samba Saudi Derby.

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2020 Samba Saudi Derby Results

Date: 02/29/2020

The $800,000 Samba Saudi Derby over 1600 meters (1 mile) on the main track at King Abdulaziz is the only age-restricted race on Saudi Cup night, open to 3-year-olds only. Bella Fever was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 13 off her win in the Meydan Classic Trial in Dubai. In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Billy Batts, 2nd in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) before winning the Baffle Stakes at Santa Anita, and 4-1 third choice Down on Da Bayou, winner of the UAE Oaks (G3).

Full Flat leads in the stretch run of the Samba Saudi Derby

Jockey Luis Saez sent Rajee Allah to the lead down the back while pressed by Down On Da Bayou and stalked by Full Flat. Turning for home, jockey Yutaka Take sent Full Flat to the lead. Mishriff, slow out of the gate, put in a good rally under David Egan but Full Flat cruised the rest of the way to win by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:37.91. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to late-running Final Song third, while favorite Bella Fever checked in last, eased in the lane by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.

Results Chart for the race from Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia which includes a link to the video replay. Results for US wagering:

6th RACE King Abdulaziz - Samba Saudi Derby 5 Full Flat 31.00 14.40 9.40 8 Mishriff 28.80 14.60 12 Final Song 5.60 Running time - 1:37.91 $1.00 EXACTA 5-8 450.50 $1.00 TRIFECTA 5-8-12 1,970.20 $1.00 SUPERFECTA 5-8-12-10 57,274.70

Left: Full Flat in the winner's enclosure. Winning trainer Mideyuki Mori said, "My horse startled the horse next to him when he was bucking before the start and his bridle came off, but thanks to the very smart groom, he held the horse's leg and nothing happened. He jumped well from the gate. I thought the UAE Oaks winner would take a lead but she didn't, so he sat just behind the leader.  As it has been such a long time since my last win overseas, I am so pleased now.  We will do our best in the next start up for the UAE Derby."

Right: The trophy presentation for the Samba Saudi Derby.

Left: Full Flat in the walking ring. Winning jockey Yutaka Take said, "He was really in good form and went to the race a fit horse.  Last year he went to America for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and ran well, so I am pleased to make the most of what he had learnt there.  This is one of the best races in the world, and all the top horsemen and horses have come to compete, so I really wanted to win. It is a great pleasure to have him win the race.  We are heading to the UAE Derby next, and then if everything goes well as planned, the Kentucky Derby must be one of our options later on."

Right: Full Flat heads back to the barn in his winner's blanket.

Left: Second place finisher Mishriff in the walking ring. Jockey David Egan said, "He stayed on really well, we just ran out of real estate. He jumped a bit slow but luckily we had a wide draw and we were able to make up ground. He stayed on all the way to the line and he'll be a fun horse for next year. He's got a real knee action and I think the ground really suits him here, it's a lovely surface."

Right: Third place finisher Final Song in the walking ring. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said, "She ran well but didn't stay at a mile (1600m). I think she is better at five (1000m) to seven furlongs (1400m)."

Last place finisher and beaten favorite Bella Fever in the walking ring. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "She was really nervous. She jumps and she almost flipped. She was really nervous behind the gate. After that, she was there, perfect, but then I don't know why. She just couldn't find herself here."

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