Irish-bred Moon Ballad, owned by the Godolphin racing stable and ridden by Frankie Dettori, won the Group III Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Challenge (Round II) at the United Arab Emirates' Nad Al Sheba Thursday.
California-bred Grey Memo romped to a 3 1/2-length win in the $1 million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) Saturday night at Nad Al Sheba, completing the distance in 1:36.69 on a fast track and under Gary Stevens.
Five horses will oppose a formidable four-horse entry sent out by Godolphin in Thursday's Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum Challenge -- Round Two (UAE-III) at Nad Al Sheba. Godolphin sends out Curule, China Visit, Best of the Bests, and State Shinto in the 1 1/8-mile dirt race.
Skoozi, a 6-year-old bred in New Zealand, overtook China Visit in deep stretch to post a nose victory over China Visit in the first round of the Maktoum Challenge (UAE-III) Thursday at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse. Royal Tryst, a U.S.-bred son of Kingmambo, finished third.
Godolphin Racing's China Visit will seek his second consecutive victory in the Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Challenge (UAE-III) at Nad Al Sheba Thursday night, with three stablemates among the challengers.
Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) winner Dixie Union was installed as the moderate 5-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Travers Stakes (gr. I) when post positions were drawn Thursday for the $1-million race.
Jeanne G. Vance's Postponed and Godolphin Racing's Curule each put in works over the fast main track at Saratoga Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's $1-million 1 1/4-mile Travers Stakes (gr. I).
The field for the Aug. 26 Travers Stakes (gr. I) continues to dwindle, with trainer Todd Pletcher reporting that Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) Graeme Hall has a hairline fracture of his left knee that will require the colt to be rested in his stall for 60-90 days.
The field is taking shape for the Aug. 26 Travers Stakes (gr. I), with two of this year's spring classic winners possible starters in the "Midsummer Derby." According to racing secretary Mike Lakow, Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Commendable is a confirmed Travers contender, with Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Red Bullet questionable.
Jockey John Velazquez was involved in a spill in the fifth race at Saratoga Saturday, injuring his left shoulder, and was taken to Saratoga Hospital for X-Rays.
Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Graeme Hall upset favored Unshaded and five other 3-year-olds, winning the $400,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) by 1 3/4 lengths Saturday at Saratoga.
A field of seven 3-year-olds will go to post for the $400,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) Saturday at Saratoga, including Godolphin Racing's Curule.
Godolphin's Curule will make his next start in a Belmont Park allowance race Friday.
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