Edited Press Release
Most of the crowd on Thursday of Desert Circuit 3, presented by U.S. Bank, thought Conor Swail (IRL) was going to come home with a one-two finish in the $32,000 Oz Inc. 1.50m Speed. But Ali Ramsay (CAN) had something to say about that. With Swail in the top two positions before the midway drag break, Ramsay observed, made a plan, and executed, taking the win with Bonita VH Keizershof Z, a horse she’s been with for nearly seven years.
The course, set by Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR) was winding and lengthy, but quite a few pairs conquered it at high speeds. Swail set the time to beat at 63.85 seconds with Casturano as second in the order, then followed up with Theo 160 a few rounds later, slotting into second with a time of 64.11 seconds. As more pairs tried to catch the time, it became apparent just how quick Swail was. But Ramsay has a secret weapon with her petite mare.
“When we walked the first line I walked a bit bold in 12 [strides],” Ramsay explained of her start to the speed course. “I watched Conor do 11, but I thought 12 was a good step for me, and I thought I could turn back tight. Then I did seven in the rollback which I didn’t see anyone else do.”
Ultimately, Ramsay and the 13 year-old Zangersheide mare (Bustique x For Pleasure) came up in 63.64 seconds, improving upon Swail’s better time and taking over the lead. No one could top her time, handing her the win and putting Swail’s two mounts in second and third.
Over the years, Ramsay and Bonita have conquered big tracks all across North America. They’ve jumped CSI5* grand prixs, they’ve competed on teams together, and Ramsay knows the mare like the back of her hand.