When he left California in early January to spend the winter in Dubai, trainer Eoin Harty hinted he might split his stable when he returned in April. He confirmed that on Thursday.
Harty will ship 60 juveniles for Sheikh Mohammed's far-flung Godolphin operation to Southern California in April, but sometime in May, will send many of the youngsters to either Arlington Park in Chicago or Belmont Park in New York.
A decision on which track will be made in the next week, Harty said.
Half the 2-year-olds will be on a flight leaving Dubai April 11; the other 30 will leave on April 16.
Last year was the first time Godolphin had 2-year-olds in the United States. Harty, a former assistant to Bob Baffert, brought 32 juveniles to California. He had 67 starters and seven winners. In the group was Street Cry, who missed by a head in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) and a neck in the Norfolk (gr. II), then ran a good third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
All of the juveniles returned to Dubai and will be trained by Saaed bin Suroor, with Harty bringing a new crop of 2-year-olds. The program was established because of Sheikh Mohammed's desire to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Street Cry (Machiavellian -- Helen Street, by Troy) runs in Saturday's UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup Day. A good performance would put him squarely in the Kentucky Derby picture.
"They will all go to California initially, and I will sort them out from there," Harty said. "About 30 days after they arrive, I will decide which ones to ship east."
Those that ship east will be with Harty's assistant, David Duggan.
"I had 32 in California last year and I was limited on where I could run," Harty said, explaining the decision. "The 2-year-old program in California limits you. You're still looking at five and a half furlongs in August. There is usually only one straight maiden race a week and you can only run two. If the race is overfilled, you can only run one.
"With only 2-year-olds, and obviously maidens, you're restricted. I'll have the same number in California as last year, but having a stable elsewhere will give us more options."
While Harty said he will try to evaluate the stock and keep the best horses with him in California, he added, "that's not to say they might not switch back and forth a bit."