Jerry Crawford of Donegal Racing likes to aim high, and he has a big target in his sights for 2013.
"Our goal is to send Dullahan and O'Prado Again to the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) as an entry," said Crawford while attending the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky select yearling sale July 10 in Lexington. "You've got to dream big, right? And by the way, those two horses are pretty good on the Polytrack (a synthetic surface) the last I checked."
Meydan, the track where the World Cup is run, has a Tapeta synthetic surface.
Dullahan captured the Toyota Bluegrass Stakes (gr. I) this year and the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) last year at Keeneland. This past May, the 3-year-old son of Even the Score finished third in the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I), and was seventh in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in June. Dullahan is scheduled to run next in the Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) July 29 at Monmouth Park.
"We're in a no-lose position," said Crawford of Dullahan's Haskell prospects. "Nobody thinks that anybody can beat Bodemeister at a mile and an eighth unless it would be Union Rags (who has been sidelined by an injury). The track surface (at Monmouth) is more like Churchill Downs than it was at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes afternoon."
Crawford believes Dullahan has a shot to earn an Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old colt.
"The fact is, we've won two grade Is and I'll Have Another has won three," Crawford said. "I'm excited about taking Dullhan there (to Monmouth) and giving him another chance of being 3-year-old of the year."
Even though Dullahan's added-money wins have come on Polytrack and he has shown a liking for grass, Crawford believes the chestnut colt handles the dirt just fine.
"He finished third in the Kentucky Derby; I think that would answer the question for some people," Crawford said. "His best numbers (speed figures) are on dirt. But you know, that's how it goes. You get sort of a reputation and then that's the way people see it. But our decision to go to the Haskell is made easier because we have (Gotham Stakes, gr. III, third finisher) Finnegans Wake to send to the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT, July 21). We have huge confidence in him."
Dullahan's trainer, Dale Romans, said if Dullahan doesn't run well in the Haskell, "we can back up and go in the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT, Aug. 18)."
O'Prado Again (by El Prado) won the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) last year and was a winner over Polytrack at Keeneland. But an injury sent the 3-year-old colt to the sidelines.
"He is back in training coming off a condylar fracture," Crawford said. "He looks spectacular. He looks the best of the three (horses), to be honest."