Dubai Sprint Sees American Favorites

Dubai Sprint Sees American Favorites
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Benny the Bull coasts home in the Sunshine Millions Sprint.
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A solid group from America heads a 15-horse field of sprinters entered for the March 29 Dubai Golden Shaheen - Sponsored by Gulf News (UAE-I).

The $2 million race, at about six furlongs, features some familiar names from the U.S., including Benny The Bull, Diabolical, and Idiot Proof.

Though there is no pari-mutuel wagering in Dubai, bettors in other parts of the world will probably have to choose between Benny the Bull and Diabolical to decide upon a favorite.

Diabolical, owned by Godolphin and trained by Saaed bin Suroor, has the advantage of having been in Dubai and having won over the racecourse. The 5-year-old Artax horse finished fourth in his first start in the desert but came back to easily win the Green Desert Mahad Al Shimaal (UAE-III) March 6. That effort should set Diabolical up perfectly for his run under Frankie Dettori, the two breaking from the five post.

Benny The Bull, a 5-year-old son of Lucky Lionel, will be making his first start in Dubai when regular rider Edgar Prado breaks him from the 10 post in the Golden Shaheen.

Owned by IEAH Stables and partners and trained by Rick Dutrow, Benny The Bull comes into the race off of two excellent efforts. Following a fourth-place finish in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), he rebounded to win the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes (gr. I) in his final start of 2007. In late January at Gulfstream Park, Benny The Bull was steadied on the backstretch of the Sunsine Millions Sprint Stakes but once free, was full of run and ridden out to win by 4 ½ lengths.

Idiot Proof, who ran second in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, has been out twice this year, with a second and third. Owned by Marty and Pam Wygod and trained by Clifford Sise, he will be ridden by David Flores. The son of Benchmark likes to be near the front and will be compromised by breaking from post 14.

One of those with a shot to upset the Americans is Narc, a South African-bred gelding by National Assembly. He has won his last three--and 10 of 15 lifetime--but has not raced since September. Owned by Anthony Maroun, Narc is now conditioned by Mike de Kock. He will break from the nine post position under John Murtagh.

Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), $2 million, 3-year-olds and up, about six furlongs, Nad al Sheba
1 - Cobalt Blue - Durcan
2 - Barbecue Eddie - Gryder
3 - Bushwacker - Talamo
4 - Mutamarres - Hills
5 - Diabolical - Dettori
6 - Esperamos - Gomez
7 - New Freedom - O'Shea
8 - Drift Ice - Shea
9 - Narc - Murtagh
10 - Benny The Bull - Prado
11 - Calrissian - Moore
12 - Sarissa - Lemaire
13 - Star Crowned - Kinane
14 - Idiot Proof - Flores
15 - Munaddam - Dwyer

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