Thirteen American-trained horses were announced as likely starters in six races on the $26 million Dubai World Cup card to be held March 26 at Meydan Racecourse.
All fields will be finalized at the declaration stage on March 21, and post positions will be drawn live on March 23.
A total of 13 countries are represented in the 96 likely starters for the Dubai World Cup races. The $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) will feature a stellar field, as 11 of the probable 14 starters are group/grade I winners.
Three-time champion Gio Ponti and Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) third-place finisher Fly Down are the two horses that will represent the United States in the World Cup. Six-year-old Gio Ponti will make his season debut for Christophe Clement. He finished fourth in this race a year ago when Gloria de Campeao took home the $6 million top prize. Nick Zito trainee Fly Down enters the World Cup off a fifth-place finish in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) last month at Gulfstream.
The U.S. will be represented by Bourbon Bay and Champ Pegasus in the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I). Those two took turns beating each other in their last two races, as Bourbon Bay defeated Champ Pegasus by 1 3/4 lengths in the Jan. 17 San Marcos (gr. IIT) and the order was reversed a month later in the San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT). Neil Drysdale trains Bourbon Bay, while Richard Mandella trains Champ Pegasus.
Victor's Cry is the only American-based horse in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I). The Eoin Harty trained son of Street Cry capped off his 2010 season with a win in the Citation Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park and was third in his 6-year-old debut on Feb. 5 in the Thunder Road Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita.
Kinsale King will defend his title in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) for Carl O’Callaghan. The 6-year-old gelding opened up his season with a win in a Feb. 17 allowance sprint on the Golden Gate Fields Tapeta, which is the same surface used at Meydan. He will be joined by Bob Baffert trainee Euroears.
The U.S. will have three hopes in both the $1 Million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) and $1 million Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-III). In the Mile, I Want Revenge will race for Rick Dutrow Jr., Make Music For Me goes for Alexis Barba, and English-bred Crowded House, who shipped from California to Dubai in February, will go for Ben Cecil.
The Sprint features the Dutrow trained Stradivinsky, Doug O’Neill trainee Quick Enough, and Mr Gruff for Ron Ellis.
Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) runner-up Sweet Ducky, who was recently purchased from George and Lori Hall by Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, will go in the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II). Previously trained by Kelly Breen, Sweet Ducky now races for South African trainer Herman Brown.