Dubai World Cup winner Moon Ballad on the way to America.

Dubai World Cup winner Moon Ballad on the way to America.

Trevor Jones

Moon Ballad Now Due to Arrive Early Saturday Morning

Godolphin's Moon Ballad, who had his flight canceled yesterday due to Hurricane Isabel, is now scheduled to depart tonight and should arrive in New York sometime after midnight, Godolphin's U.S. trainer Tom Albertrani said.

Moon Ballad will go directly to Aqueduct to quarantine, and Albertani said he hopes to have the son of Singspiel at Belmont by late Sunday or early Monday. Albertrani will oversee the colt's training the rest of the week as he prepares to face Mineshaft and Empire Maker in next Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I).

Moon Ballad, who won the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March by five lengths, has since run three times on turf, and although he finished fifth in his last two starts – the group I Sussex Stakes in England and Irish Champion Stakes – he was right in the thick of things at the finish. He was closing fast after losing ground in the Sussex and was beaten less than a length. And racing against the best horses in Europe, he was beaten only two lengths in the Irish Champion, behind High Chaparral, Falbrav, Islington, and Alamshar.

Moon Ballad also has won a group III race in Dubai on dirt, and was fourth in last year's UAE Derby (UAE-I) behind stablemate Essence of Dubai.