A mid-year clash of top-level handicap runners is in store Saturday at Churchill Downs as Congaree, third-place finisher in last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I) faces off against Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Street Cry in the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Even before he ran ninth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Tom Albertrani thought Essence of Dubai would be more suited to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). On Saturday, he will find out.
Godolphin Racing's Ibn Al Haitham breezed Wednesday morning at Belmont Park in preparation for a start in the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Based on pure chances, Aidan O'Brien has the best shot at winning the Vodafone Derby, with eight horses still eligible
Best of the Bests rebounded from a seventh-place finish in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) to upset Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Banks Hill in the Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I) on Sunday at Longchamp.
Moon Ballad, a 3-year-old chestnut son of Singspiel, earned his first stakes win in Wednesday's Dante Stakes (Eng-II) at York, England. Godolphin's Saeed bin Suroor trainee completed the extended 1 1/4 mile Epsom Derby (Eng-I) prep in 2:07.06 on good to firm ground.
Godolphin's Grandera made amends for a fifth-place finish in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) last month at Sha Tin with a win in the Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji Racecourse on Saturday.
The first start of the year for Godolphin's Dubai Destination has been pushed back again. The Champagne Stakes (Eng-II) winner is now unlikely to make next week's Dante Stakes at York following a workout at Newmarket Wednesday morning.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Giving credit to assistant trainers; changing the entry and graded stakes money rules; and a call to increase the Kentucky Derby purse.
Godolphin's German-bred Kazzia resisted a late challenge from 28-1 longshot Snowfire to win Sunday's Sagitta One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) by a neck at Newmarket.
Godolphin's 5-year-old Marienbard earned his first win since last May in Friday's Jockey Club Stakes (Eng-II) at Newmarket in England. Under Jamie Spencer, the son of Caerleon utilized a strong finishing kick to upset favored Millenary in the 1 1/2-mile race. Also at Newmarket Friday, Sheikh Ahmed al Maktoum's Tarfshi upset favored Spring Oak in the listed Dahlia Stakes.
Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) third-place finisher Spring Oak is entered in Friday's Directa Parseal Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket. Should she run, the daughter of Mark of Esteem will be making her 4-year-old debut and her first start for trainer Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin.
Godolphin Stables' Tempera, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2001, was euthanized the evening of April 28, said Tom Albertrani, assistant to trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
Jockey David Flores, who had been booked to ride Godolphin's Tempera in the Kentucky Oaks, will be riding for the powerful stable at Royal Ascot in June.
Godolphin's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Tempera missed training Saturday due to a fever, according to assistant trainer Tom Albertrani. Also Saturday, Ile De France was added to the likely field and Bella Bellucci worked seven furlongs.
Silent Honor has been withdrawn from the Sagitta One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) due to an entrapped epiglottis discovered after a Friday morning work at Al Quoz. With Silent Honor out, Godolphin has only Kazzia in the first classic race of the season for fillies.
David Flores will ride Essence of Dubai for the first time in the May 4 Kentucky Derby and also has the mount on Tempera in the May 3 Kentucky Oaks. Frankie Dettori will ride Imperial Gesture in the Oaks, but will be in England on Derby day to ride Naheef in the Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas.
Godolphin's Imperial Gesture upset stablemate Tempera in Saturday's Melbourne Racing Club UAE Oaks at Nad Al Sheba. The 3-year-old daughter of Langfuhr completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.61, 3 1/4 lengths ahead of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner.
This year's mass invasion of Godolphin-owned 2-year-olds is now complete, American-based trainer Eoin Harty said Thursday. A total of 52 juveniles are now in California, with roughly half currently stabled at Fairplex Park and the others still in quarantine at Hollywood Park.
Naheef, a recent winner of a Godolphin private trial race, was among nine horses added to the Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I) at the second entry stage. In other Derby news, Sir Michael Stoute-trained Right Approach may make his 3-year-old debut April 27 at Sandown Park in the cantorindex.com Classic Trial.
Essence of Dubai kept Godolphin in the Kentucky Derby mix with a half-length victory over Chilean-bred Total Impact in the UAE Derby (UAE-II) on Saturday at Nad Al Sheba.
Godolphin silks will soon sport the a "Fly Emirates" logo as part of a multi-million dollar sponsorship agreement.
Just a couple of hours after Sakhee turned in his final blowout for the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), his jockey, Frankie Dettori, helped the son of Bahri draw post 7 for Saturday night's main event.
A total of 135 horses remain engaged after the first forfeit stage for the 2002 Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I) at Epsom Downs on June 8.
A luxury trip for two to the 2003 Dubai World Cup and $150,000 cash are the top prize in Godolphin's 2002 Seven Stars Competition, a free-to-enter on-line racing contest. The competition began accepting entries Friday and continues through March 22 at www.godolphin.com.
With Godolphin sending out six of the eight starters, Thursday's UAE 2,000 Guineas at Nad al Sheba was won by Norfolk Stakes winner Essence of Dubai, who scored by a nose over another Godolphin colt, the English-bred Firebreak.
Godolphin Racing's Street Cry rolled to an 8 1/2-length triumph over State Shinto (by Pleasant Colony) in Thursday's third round of the Maktoum Challenge (UAE-II) at Nad al Sheba Racecourse. Royal Tryst, a U.S.-bred son of Kingmambo, finished third.
Godolphin's Bad As I Wanna Be will start from post one when he takes on 11 other horses in the Mahab Al Shimaal on Saturday at Nad Al Sheba.
Godolphin's Street Cry returns from a four-month break to run in the third round of the Maktoum Challenge Thursday night at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) runner-up Imperial Gesture romped to a nine-length win over Godolphin stablemate Seba in the Moonshell Mile at Nad Al Sheba Sunday. A Godolphin horse also won the next race on Sunday night's Nad Al Sheba card, when Narrative earned his third straight win in the Dubai City of Gold (UAE-III).
Sakhee won a 1 1/4-mile conditions race by nine lengths at Nad Al Sheba Sunday.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) runner-up Imperial Gesture will face four rivals including stablemate Seba in Sunday's Moonshell Mile at Dubai's Nad Al Sheba Racecourse. Frankie Dettori will ride Imperial Gesture in the dirt track test for 3-year-old fillies.
It's only fitting that Tempera is the first horse to represent trainer Eoin G. Harty with an Eclipse Award. The daughter of A.P. Indy gave Harty his first career stakes win on Aug. 4, 2001, when she romped to a nine-length victory in the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar.
Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) runner-up Sakhee will make his 5-year-old debut Thursday at Nad al Sheba in a 1 1/4-mile race on the dirt track.
Eion Harty, who handles Godolphin Racing's California division in the U.S., got off to a good start in United Arab Emirates when the first two horses he sent out at Nad al Sheba Racecourse finished first and second in maiden company Thursday night.
For the second straight year Godolphin's Best of the Bests won the Maktoum Challenge Round II (UAE-III) at Nad Al Sheba Thursday night, but the stable is uncertain he'll go on to participate in the prestigious Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) as he did last year.
Five days after American-based 3-year-olds went seven furlongs in the Hutcheson and San Vicente Stakes, those based in Dubai will attempt the same distance in a prep for the UAE Two Thousand Guineas at Nad Al Sheeba Thursday. As Godolphin sends out three horses, the race may have some impact on the American Triple Crown scene.
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's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) runner-up Sakhee heads a list of 56 horses nominated to the Maktoum Challenge Series, a three-race series of races which also serves as prep races for the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
In the week leading up to the Hong Kong International Races, the buzz during morning track works at the Sha Tin Racecourse was that Japan would have a very good day on Sunday. No kidding. Four races were run. Three times, the Japanese national anthem followed the winning ceremony, capped by the victory of Agnes Digital in the HK$18 million Hong Kong Cup.
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner Sakhee was voted the Hermes Award as Horse of the Tear in flat racing by readers of the Paris-Turf.
When the Cartier Awards were handed out in London Wednesday night, the big winners were Coolmore Stud, Godolphin Racing, and the Magniers.
- By Peter Tonkes
Godolphin won its first Australian race at Flemington on Nov. 10 as Hatha Anna narrowly defeated the local stayers in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Aust-II) over 2,500 meters. The initial success came after Godolphin had for the second time supplied the runner-up in the Melbourne Cup (Aust-I) when Give the Slip was run down by Ethereal.
Kutub and Hatha Anna gave Godolphin two stakes wins Saturday, with the former winning the New Zealand Bloodstock Singapore Gold Cup in Singapore and the latter annexing the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Aus-II) at Flemington in Australia.
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