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Quirky Runner Private Zone To Keep Good Friends Together In Dubai

Denis Savard has sipped from the US National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup, and he’s been enshrined in that sport’s Hall-of-Fame, but a win with Private Zone in Saturday’s Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News, would carry special meaning.

“This is special because of Rene,” Savard said referring to Rene Douglas, the successful former jockey whose career was cut shut when paralysed in a 2009 spill at Arlington Park near Chicago. “I’ve been pretty fortunate to have a lot of nice things happen in my life.

“He’s been through a lot and he’s the one who brought us all together,” Savard added of the ownership group that is known as Good Friends Stable. “It would be very special to see him in the winner’s circle. The group we have together is all friends. I remember with Golden Moka (a horse Douglas picked out for the group who went on to win the Prince of Wales – the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown – at Fort Erie), we were all screaming and cheering. Hopefully we can have that feeling again.

“For him to have picked two horses of this calibre for our group is amazing,” he continued. “These horses have taken us everywhere. We have seen the world because of him.”

“We’re all in this for Rene,” added Hilton Gordon, a Chicago-based doctor who specialises in internal medicine. “That’s how we got started and that’s how we’re going to finish. We’re for anything that does good to help Rene.”

“I look at it from a different standpoint,” interjected Joseph Casciato, a former judge as well as a former member of the Illinois Racing Board. “A win here would be a little bit of justice for Rene – for racing to give back something to Rene; to help his mind. To tell the truth, racing hasn’t done much for Rene (since his injury.)”