Michele MacDonald

Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 6

Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 6

Horse of the Year Curlin seems to have it all, and his racing record more than backs up that assessment. But what is he like to be around every day? What kind of an individual is this sculpted specimen with the fiery red hair?

Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 5

Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 5

No American knows more about the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) from personal experience than Jim Cornes. The Dubai Racing Club official and former assistant to four-time Dubai champion trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has witnessed all but one of the previous 12 runnings of the world's richest race and will be there Saturday to see if Curlin can join the elite group of winners.

Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 4

Morning Line Goes to Dubai:  Day 4

As racing fans and participants from around the world gathered at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse on Thursday for "Breakfast with the Stars," there was one name that seemed to be on everyone's lips: Curlin. People from Australia to Europe to South America to Asia all wanted to see the American Horse of the Year with their own eyes, to gauge how good he might really be before he races for the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) on Saturday.

Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 3

Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 3

American Horse of the Year Curlin was standing in the wash rack in his barn in the quarantine area of Nad Al Sheba Racecourse when the unmistakable sound of an explosion split the air. "We were lucky he was in the wash rack because we could have had a problem if I was walking him," assistant trainer Scott Blasi said of the startling noise.

Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 2

Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 2

A day after his last workout for the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Curlin was ready to do more, said Scott Blasi, who has spent the last month tending only to Curlin, satisfying the colt's every need and keeping him focused on the task that lies ahead.

Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 1

Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 1

The connections of Horse of the Year Curlin are determined to give the prepossessing chestnut a chance to create his own legend in racing. His quest for such glory begins this year in Dubai, where he will try to win the world's richest race, the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), as a leap toward shattering Cigar's career earnings record of $9,999,815. Michele MacDonald -- who is covering her 10th consecutive Dubai World Cup -- shares the most intimate moments of this Middle Eastern sojourn, focusing on the people closest to Curlin and the exceptional colt himself, as well as offering a magic carpet ride through the land of Dubai.

Massive Drama Takes UAE Derby Route

Massive Drama Takes UAE Derby Route

Zayat Stables' Massive Drama, third in two graded stakes in California this year, will detour off the traditional Triple Crown trail to take on a tough group of older Southern Hemisphere-breds in the $2-million UAE Derby (UAE-II) on the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) program.

Curlin Settles in at Nad Al Sheba

Curlin Settles in at Nad Al Sheba

Horse of the Year Curlin arrived in Dubai the evening of Feb. 17 with "pep in his step," in the words of assistant trainer Scott Blasi, and seems eager to begin an assault on Cigar's all-time earnings record with two starts at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse topped by the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29.

Curlin's Workout Planned

Curlin's Workout Planned

Describing the condition of probable Horse of the Year Curlin as "perfect," trainer Steve Asmussen has tentatively set Sunday for the colt's first timed workout since winning the Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I).

Darley Japan Loses JRA License

Darley Japan Loses JRA License

Nearly four months to the day after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Darley Japan operation earned a rare license to compete on the exclusive Japan Racing Association circuit, the privilege was lost at the end of November.

Premium Tap Wins Again in Saudi Arabia

Premium Tap Wins Again in Saudi Arabia

Making his second start in Saudi Arabia since a game runner-up effort to Invasor in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Premium Tap crushed 16 rivals Nov. 2 in the 2,000-meter Ministry of Culture and Information Cup at Al Janadriah racecourse, winning by seven lengths in 2:01.66.

New Buyers Help Japanese Select Sale

A squadron of bold new buyers in the middle market lifted up the Japan Racing Horse Association select sale, keeping the foal portion nearly on pace with last year's scorching record results even though there were fewer players competing for the most expensive horses.

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