Multiple Maryland G3 Winner Switzerland Takes G1 Golden Shaheen

March 27, 2022

Switzerland, 8-year-old upset winner of Saturday’s $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1), is a familiar name to Maryland racing fans.

Then trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen for Woodford Racing, Switzerland made his stakes debut in the 2018 Maryland Sprint (G3) on the undercard of the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1) at historic Pimlico Race Course. Ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., the son of champion sprinter Speightstown extended his win streak to four races with a 3 ½-length triumph over favored Long Haul Bay.

After finishing fifth in the A.G. Vanderbilt (G1) at Saratoga to end the streak, Switzerland rebounded with a popular, front-running 2 ¾-length victory over Laki in the prestigious Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) at Laurel Park. Maryland-based Feargal Lynch was in the irons.

Switzerland ran twice more in 2018, finishing off the board in stakes at Churchill Downs and Fair Grounds before being sold and exported to Dubai, where he has been based since 2019. Saturday’s win was just his third start since finishing seventh in last year’s Golden Shaheen.

Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables’ Grade 3 winner Wondrwherecraigis, based at Laurel with trainer Brittany Russell, finished 10th of 14 horses in the Golden Shaheen. The 5-year-old gelding had finished first in each of his previous five races, but was disqualified to second in the 2021 De Francis. He won the Bold Ruler (G3) last fall at Belmont Park and Jan. 29 Fire Plug at Laurel before heading to Dubai.

Maryland Jockey Club Press Release

Photo: Meydan Racecourse/Dubai Racing Club

@jonathanstettin Thank you. This is a truly beautiful tribute to a racing legend. Good to hear the true story of what happened that day.

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