Gentildonna's tuneup for the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) next month was foiled in the starting gate as the jittery star mare was sapped before the Kyoto Kinen (Jpn-II) began Feb. 16.
The Yushun Horse Club's Japan-based star Espoir City arrived at Churchill Downs Oct. 19 for a run in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I)), settling in his stall in the quarantine barn early in the morning.
Heavy favorite Espoir City, Japan's champion dirt horse last year, got his 2010 campaign off to a great start by easily winning the US$2.2 million February Stakes, the first grade I race of the season Feb. 21 at Tokyo.
Favored Espoir City became the 10th champion of the Japan Cup Dirt Dec. 6 at Hanshin Racecourse, going wire-to-wire from the rail post to finish 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Silk Mobius for his first group I victory.
Following her half-mile workout March 23, two-time champion Indian Blessing walked the quarantine barn area Tuesday morning in preparation for the $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), Sponsored by Gulf News, Saturday night at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai.
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