LA FORCE UPSETS HEAVILY FAVORED PARADISE WOODS AS SHE RALLIES FROM LAST TO TAKE GRADE II, $200,000 SANTA MARIA STAKES BY 1 ¼ LENGTHS UNDER VAN DYKE; TRAINED BY GALLAGHER, SHE GETS 1 1/16 MILES IN 1:45.91 ARCADIA, Calif. (June 1, 2019)–German-bred La Force sprung a major surprise on Saturday at Santa Anita, as she rallied from last to upset heavily favored Paradise Woods by 1 ¼ lengths in the Grade II, $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes under Drayden Van Dyke. Trained by Paddy Gallagher, La Force, a 5-year-old mare, got 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.91.With Paradise Woods taking a stutter-step at the break, the complexion of the race changed significantly, but although the fractions were modest, La Force was still able to mount an impressive rally from off the pace.“The filly was in a good spot,” said Gallagher. “The favorite stumbled at the start, I have to watch the replay, but we thought she would be on the lead, but it didn’t turn out that way and La Force put it together and we’re very happy. Chuck gave instructions to (Van Dyke) when we were in the paddock and that was it.”Last but on the move three furlongs from home, La Force rallied five-wide at the top of the stretch and held off Paradise Woods, who had waited while tucked inside around the far turn.Most recently second, beaten 10 ½ lengths by Paradise Woods in the Grade II Santa Margarita Stakes on April 27, La Force was the second choice among five fillies and mares three and up at 5-1 and paid $12.80, $2.40 and $2.10.“Mike (Smith) and Paradise Woods stumbling at the start really didn’t change anything for me,” said Van Dyke. “I had a great outside post and she tends to like being in the clear…It did help her a little, (Paradise Woods) stumbling, obviously, because it made the trip more difficult for her and only helped us. She’s just an honest trying filly, she’s very, very classy.“Like I said, she really brings it every time. It’s very rewarding getting this win with her. She ran second to Unique Bella so many times, so I really believe she deserves this.”Owned by Ward and Roberta Williford and Charles Winner (who is also Chairman of the CHRB), La Force, who is multiple Grade I stakes placed, got her first ever stakes win today and improved her overall mark to 25-3-8-4. With the winner’s share of $120,000, she increased her earnings to $550,800.Even though she stumbled leaving the gate and was therefore off the pace instead of on it, it appeared Smith was in the process of engineering an improbable come from behind win around the far turn aboard Paradise Woods.“I still thought I could win at the quarter pole, but by the time I got out, the winner kicked away from us and we couldn’t get ’em,” Smith said.The overwhelming 1-5 favorite, Paradise Woods finished 3 ½ lengths in front of Just a Smidge and paid $2.10 and $2.10.Ridden by Martin Garcia, Just a Smidge, who broke from the rail, carved out the early pace but was third best, finishing 3 ¾ lengths in front of Exuberance. Off at 13-1, Just a Smidge paid $2.80 to show.Fractions on the race were 24.21, 48.51, 1:13.32 and 1:39.15.
Faeez Fadhlillah, CEO and Co-Founder of the travel booking engine Tripfez, has been named the 2017 PATA Face of the Future.PATA CEO Dr Mario Hardy said, “I congratulate Faeez on winning the 2017 PATA Face of the Future award. The judges were very impressed with his clear commitment to the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region.”Faeez receives a complimentary round-trip air ticket and hotel accommodation to speak at the PATA Annual Summit 2017 on May 19, where he will share his thoughts on the opportunities and challenges for young tourism professionals. He will also be invited to join the 2017-2018 PATA Executive Board as a non-voting member and observer.“I feel humbled to have been recognised with the prestigious PATA Face of the Future award. This award is recognition for my Co-Founder Juergen Gallistl and the amazing team at Tripfez & Salam Standard who have put in tremendous effort in promoting the concept of inclusive travel focusing on the localisation of our travel products for Muslim travellers. Muslim travel is the fastest growing segment in travel and contributes more than $138 billion to the global GDP,” Faeez said.“Travel and tourism is one of the main pillars that contribute to positive peace as defined by Johan Galtung and one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly through the concept of inclusive travel as put forth by Tripfez & Salam Standard. I look forward to working together with PATA, National Tourism Organisations, associations, hotels and other travel industry stakeholders to further promote the concept of inclusive travel – with Muslim travel as an integral part and move towards culturally localised travel experiences,” he added.Faeez Fadhlillah is the CEO and Co-Founder of Tripfez, which is an innovative, state-of-the-art travel portal dedicated to the rise of global Muslim travellers. Faeez works very closely with various Destination Marketing Organisations to promote the concept of localisation of travel an inclusive travel experience. He graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours from the School of Engineering. read more