Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. is hoping that history repeats itself when it comes to Dubai World Cup night.
Dutrow sent his first two runners to Dubai in 2008 and both won, with eventual champion sprinter Benny the Bull capturing the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) and Diamond Stripes prevailing in the $1 million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II).
This year, he is planning to ship Stradivinsky to Dubai for the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-II) and is waiting anxiously for an invitation for I Want Revenge to compete in the $10 million World Cup (UAE-I).
“We’ve been invited for I Want Revenge to go in the Godolphin Mile, but I just really hope we get a chance to go for the World Cup. I really like what’s going on with him now; I’m really happy with him,” Dutrow said Feb. 25.
Dutrow has carefully brought I Want Revenge back from a career-threatening ankle injury that forced his scratch on the morning of the 2009 Kentucky Derby (gr. I)), for which he was favored after an impressive win in the Wood Memorial (gr. I). In his first start in more than five months, I Want Revenge stalked the early pace then vied for the lead in the stretch run of the Feb. 5 Donn Handicap (gr. I) before weakening and finishing fourth.
“He just ran like a horse we desperately needed to put a race into,” Dutrow said at the time. “We’ve put a lot of work in trying to get him to races and keep him there; I think he’ll be ready to run a huge one next time, and I’d like for it to be in Dubai.”
Dutrow said he will have I Want Revenge ready for the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) on March 12. “But if they call us up (with an invitation to the World Cup) and we’re on the way to the paddock, we’ll scratch and go to Dubai.”
A 5-year-old son of Stephen Got Even owned by IEAH Stables and partners, I Want Revenge came out of the Donn well and breezed a half-mile in :49.20 at Gulfstream on Feb. 20. He has won three of 11 career starts and placed seven times while bankrolling $901,000.
Dutrow said he also is pleased with the condition of Stradivinsky, an 8-year-old Stravinsky gelding he claimed for $50,000 last May for Michael Dubb, Jack Mandato and Bethlehem Stables. Stradivinsky has raced four times since then, earning $183,500 while winning the Jaipur Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont in July and the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes in his most recent effort on Jan. 23.
Stradivinsky broke poorly in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT) and finished 13th, seven lengths behind winner Chamberlain Bridge, who also is going to Dubai for the Al Quoz Sprint. However, Stradivinsky had battled gamely with Chamberlain Bridge in the Turf Monster Handicap at Philadelphia Park last September and finished just about a half-length behind him while third that day.
“He’s getting older, but he’s still good. And that’s his game—five-eighths on the grass,” Dutrow said of Stradivinsky and the Al Quoz Sprint distance of 1,000 meters (about five furlongs).
“We’re certainly willing to go there and find out,” he added when asked if Stradivinsky can compete with international turf sprinters.
Stradivinsky has won 14 of 35 career starts and has placed eight times while earning $572,337.