The connections of Medaglia d'Oro were downhearted Wednesday after the gallant 5-year-old received an unfavorable draw for Saturday's $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
As expected, the names of Pleasantly Perfect and Medaglia d'Oro were the standouts among the 12 declarations for the world's richest horse race, Saturday night's 10-furlong Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) on the Nad Al Sheba dirt. Meanwhile, From The Sky, a group 1 winner in his native Argentina, was a surprise absentee among the UAE Derby declarations.
Even though he did little but gallop around the Nad al Sheba dirt track on Monday morning, Pleasantly Perfect put on a show for a throng including owner Gerald Ford and trainer Richard Mandella, as he prepared for his run in the $6,000,000 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), sponsored by Emirates Airline.
Fourteen of the United States' best older horses have departed on flights from Los Angeles and Florida for the world's richest racing meeting later this month, the Dubai Racing Club confirmed Saturday.
Pleasantly Perfect, scheduled to leave Saturday for the $6 million Dubai World Cup March 27, worked seven furlongs in company Thursday at Santa Anita in 1:25 3/5 under Alex Solis.
Pleasantly Perfect, scratched from Saturday's Santa Anita Handicap due to a fever, "is doing good," trainer Richard Mandella reported Sunday morning.
One day after Team Victory I's Hard Buck posted his first grade I victory in the U. S., trainer Ken McPeek said the Brazilian-bred colt would make his next start on the World Cup card March 27 at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse.
Favorite Admire Don, returning to the track for the first time since his near miss of the Nov. 29 Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I), powered to a half-length win of the February Stakes (Jpn-I) Feb. 22.
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford revealed that Grand Hombre is its most likely representative in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), the exciting climax of the Dubai International Racing Carnival at Nad Al Sheba on March 27.
With Medaglia d'Oro's brilliant victory in the Donn Handicap (gr. I), it looks as if the next stop is Nad al Sheba Race Course and the juicy $6 million pot that awaits him in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). But this won't be the colt's first trip to the desert.
Pleasantly Perfect, Funny Cide, Congaree, Medaglia d'Oro, and some top Kentucky Derby (gr. I) candidates are among the U.S.-based horses who have been invited to compete in one of the seven stakes races at Nad al Sheba on March 27, Dubai World Cup Day, when more than $15,000,000 will be offered in purses.
HorseRacing TV (HRTV) will provide live coverage of the 10-date Dubai International Racing Carnival from Nad al Sheba Race Course in Dubai.
Eclipse Award finalist Congaree, gearing up for his first start as a 6-year-old, worked six furlongs in 1:12 3/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Saturday morning.
Fair Grounds International Ventures has been appointed as the North American agent for the Dubai International Racing Carnival.
The Dubai World Cup Committee announced on Tuesday that the Boeing Company will be an official supporter of the 2004 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
The March 27 Dubai World Cup, worth $6 million, has attracted 84 nominations, including Pleasantly Perfect, Medaglia d'Oro, Funny Cide, and Congaree.
Godolphin's Moon Ballad, who scored a brilliant victory in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) earlier in the year, is heading to Belmont Park for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) on Sept. 27.
Nayef, one of four horses owned by the Maktoum family competing in Wednesday's Prince of Wales's Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot, came away the winner by 2 1/2 lengths. The 2-1 favorite Moon Ballad, who races in Godolphin's blue silks, finished ninth in the field of 10.
Les Benton, chairman of the Dubai World Cup and chief executive of the Emirates Racing Association, submitted his resignation last week and will leave for Australia in mid-June.
The four-race simulcast from Dubai's Nad Al Sheba Racecourse on Saturday, which included the $6 million Dubai World Cup, was down by 8.6 percent from last year.
American horses drew a blank at the $15.2 million Dubai World Cup races at Nad Al Sheba, but two of the winners on a stirring night's racing are due to switch to training in the United States.
Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor appears to have all options covered for the way Saturday's Group I Dubai World Cup will be run. Now it is a question of whether Moon Ballad and Grandera have what it takes to secure the stable their fourth win in the race.
The heat is on in Dubai. It can be felt not just from the baking sun that beats through the hazy skyline, but among the trainers who have produced the strongest ever numerical raiding party for Saturday's $15.2 million World Cup meeting.
Xtra Heat has been ruled out of Saturday's $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen after she was found cast in her stall. She was taken to the Dubai Equine Hospital for examination, but was declared unable to run.
Only hours after landing in Dubai at 2:30 a.m. local time, Todd Pletcher was at Nad Al Sheba racetrack to watch his World Cup hope Harlan's Holiday work under the lights.
The subdued effect that war with Iraq is having on the $15.2 million Dubai World Cup meeting was evident at the official draw for the big race.
John Velazquez, who piloted Harlan's Holiday to victory in the Donn Handicap (gr.1) at Gulfstream Park last month, has decided to fly to Dubai to ride the four-year-old colt in Saturday's Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
In his first serious tour of Nad al Sheba racecourse, Blue Burner worked six furlongs on Monday morning under exercise rider Amin Azar, getting the distance in 1:14 while preparing for Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1).
Harlan's Holiday and Nayef, two of the leading contenders for Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup, had important works at Nad Al Sheba on Saturday and Sunday.
Television Games Network will present live coverage of the Dubai World Cup program March 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST.
Jeff Mullins, who trains Captain Squire and Lusty Latin, both already are in Dubai for the March 29 World Cup card, plans to leave for Dubai on Sunday, he said from Santa Anita on Thursday.
HorseRacing TV will air live coverage of the $6-million Dubai World Cup March 29. The coverage will include three other stakes on the program from the United Arab Emirates.
The U.S. will field a team of 13 horses at the Dubai World Cup meeting on Saturday, March 29. All the intended runners, including Harlan's Holiday and Blue Burner in the World Cup, have now arrived in Dubai. All but Xtra Heat, who shipped in a week early, landed in Dubai late on Sunday March 16.
Trainer Bobby Frankel says Strub Stakes winner Medaglia d'Oro won't be traveling to the Middle East for the $6 million Dubai World Cup, but the pending war in that region was not the main reason.
The threats of terrorism and a possible war between the U.S. and Iraq have resulted in fewer journalists planning to attend the Dubai World Cup on March 29 at Nad al Sheba Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates.
California-based trainer Jeff Mullins says he will not alter plans to participate in the March 29 Dubai World Cup card at Nad al Sheba racecourse in the United Arab Emirates despite a travel warning issued by the State Department to U.S. citizens currently in or traveling to that country.
While organizers insist that the $6-million Dubai World Cup and other graded races at Nad al Sheba Racecourse will be held March 29 despite the possibility of a war between the U. S. and Iraq, the number of American horses that will participate in the program continues to decline.
With claims in recent days that the $6 million Dubai World Cup will be cancelled or postponed due to the impending war in Iraq, World Cup Committee chairman Les Benton has assured that the race will be held as scheduled.
The Godolphin Racing team, trainer Saeed bin Suroor and jockey Frankie Dettori dominated the inaugural "Super Saturday" at Nad Al Sheba, capturing four of the preview races for the Mar. 29 Dubai World Cup card. But Team Valor, WinStar Farm and Sunmark Partners' Ipi Tombe was the day's most impressive winner.
Organizers of the Dubai World Cup are confident that the threat of conflict in the Gulf region will not affect the upcoming lucrative race meeting.
The Dubai World Cup will no longer be part of the World Series Racing Championship, officials for the fledgling 14-race series announced.
William S. Farish, the owner of Lane's End Farm and U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, says the possibility of a military conflict between the United States and Iraq brings into question the status of the $6-million Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates on March 29.
Godolphin's Sulamani and Grandera head a list of outstanding runners entered for Dubai's inaugural Super Saturday at Nad Al Sheba, the preview for the Dubai World Cup meeting held three weeks later. Sulamani and Grandera are both entered in third round of the Al Maktoum Challenge (UAE-II) and are also entered in the two turf programs on the card.
On March 29 Arlington Park will serve North and South America as the simulcast host for the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest race and the first of the 14-part International World Series Racing Championship.
Bobby Frankel confirmed Sunday morning that Strub Stakes winner Medaglia d'Oro will run in Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I).
Moon Ballad's brilliant performance to win Thursday's group III second round of the Maktoum Challenge set Godolphin on course to secure their fourth Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) on March 29.
Milwaukee Brew is set to defend his title for owner Frank Stronach and trainer Bobby Frankel in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) on March 1, but with war drums in the Middle East beating loudly, Frankel could add Strub Stakes (gr. II) winner Medaglia d'Oro to the Big 'Cap mix.
According to trainer Jeff Mullins, Captain Squire is still being pointed to run on the March 29 Dubai World Cup despite the threat of war in the Middle East.
Jockey Jerry Bailey, visiting Santa Anita this weekend, won Sunday's $250,000 San Antonio Stakes with Congaree after capturing Saturday's $400,000 Strub aboard Medaglia d'Oro as well.
Congaree, looking to establish himself as the class of national handicap picture, trounced a solid field in Saturday's $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
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