Sweetnorthernsaint, last year’s Kentucky Derby (gr. I) favorite and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) runner-up, may travel to the Dubai at the end of this month for the $1 million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) on March 31.
The 4-year-old son of Sweetsouthernsaintbreezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 handily at Laurel Park under the watchful eye of trainer Michael Trombetta, then posed for photos that will be included with his shipping papers should his connections decide to send him halfway around the world for the one-mile event.
Maryland Jockey Club racing official Denver Beckner took the photos and is preparing the paperwork for Mersant International, an export company that handles the shipping of horses to Dubai.
“We are looking at it, but I’ll know more in the next few days,” said Trombetta after he saddled a horse in the paddock for Thursday’s third race. “There is a whole barrage of things you have to do, lots of blood tests, and they’re sending me some kind of insecticide that they require you to spray on the horse for two weeks prior to getting there. I don’t know all of the details except that they are mailing it to me so I can start doing it. It’s up in the air, but we’re going to look at it. It’s the $1 million dollar Godolphin Mile. We were invited to both races (the Mile and the World Cup), but the mile is the one we are looking at.”
Sweetnorthernsaint has started twice this year. He finished third in the Hal’s Hope (gr. III) and fifth in the Sunshine Millions Classic, both at Gulfstream Park, before returning to Maryland in February.