Michele MacDonald

  • Curlin on the track at Dubai.

    Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 6

    Horse of the Year Curlin seems to have it all, and his racing record more than backs up that assessment. But what is he like to be around every day? What kind of an individual is this sculpted specimen with the fiery red hair?

  • Jim Cornes prepares for another Dubai World Cup.

    Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 5

    No American knows more about the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) from personal experience than Jim Cornes. The Dubai Racing Club official and former assistant to four-time Dubai champion trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has witnessed all but one of the previous 12 runnings of the world's richest race and will be there Saturday to see if Curlin can join the elite group of winners.

  • A. P. Arrow prepares for the Dubai World Cup.

    Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 4

    As racing fans and participants from around the world gathered at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse on Thursday for "Breakfast with the Stars," there was one name that seemed to be on everyone's lips: Curlin. People from Australia to Europe to South America to Asia all wanted to see the American Horse of the Year with their own eyes, to gauge how good he might really be before he races for the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) on Saturday.

  • A powerful explosion in Dubai darkened the early morning sky.

    Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 3

    American Horse of the Year Curlin was standing in the wash rack in his barn in the quarantine area of Nad Al Sheba Racecourse when the unmistakable sound of an explosion split the air. "We were lucky he was in the wash rack because we could have had a problem if I was walking him," assistant trainer Scott Blasi said of the startling noise.

  • Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 2

    A day after his last workout for the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Curlin was ready to do more, said Scott Blasi, who has spent the last month tending only to Curlin, satisfying the colt's every need and keeping him focused on the task that lies ahead.

  • Curlin prepares for the Dubai World Cup.

    Morning Line Goes to Dubai: Day 1

    The connections of Horse of the Year Curlin are determined to give the prepossessing chestnut a chance to create his own legend in racing. His quest for such glory begins this year in Dubai, where he will try to win the world's richest race, the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), as a leap toward shattering Cigar's career earnings record of $9,999,815. Michele MacDonald -- who is covering her 10th consecutive Dubai World Cup -- shares the most intimate moments of this Middle Eastern sojourn, focusing on the people closest to Curlin and the exceptional colt himself, as well as offering a magic carpet ride through the land of Dubai.

  • Spring At Last will run next in the Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 5.<br><a target="blank" href="http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fprovider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D3479965%26ref%3Dstory">Order This Photo</a>

    Carter, Not Dubai, for Spring At Last

    Connections of Spring At Last, a convincing winner of the Feb. 2 Donn Handicap (gr. I), have decided to bypass the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29 and aim instead for the $300,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 5.

  • Zayat Stable's Massive Drama will ship to Dubai for the March 29 UAE Derby (UAE-II).<br><a target="blank" href="http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fprovider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D2844014%26ref%3Dstory">Order This Photo</a>

    Massive Drama Takes UAE Derby Route

    Zayat Stables' Massive Drama, third in two graded stakes in California this year, will detour off the traditional Triple Crown trail to take on a tough group of older Southern Hemisphere-breds in the $2-million UAE Derby (UAE-II) on the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) program.

  • Curlin, shown working out at Fair Grounds, has arrived in Dubai Feb. 17 and will be quarantined for 48 hours before resuming training Feb. 20.

    Curlin Settles in at Nad Al Sheba

    Horse of the Year Curlin arrived in Dubai the evening of Feb. 17 with "pep in his step," in the words of assistant trainer Scott Blasi, and seems eager to begin an assault on Cigar's all-time earnings record with two starts at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse topped by the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29.

  • Joe Louis Flattens Premium Tap

    Argentine classic winner Joe Louis surged past a tiring Premium Tap and won Saudi Arabia's most prestigious race, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup, for Prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer on Feb. 15 at Al Janadriah racecourse.

  • War Emblem

    War Emblem Showing Promise

    Hope continues to spring in abundance, if perhaps not eternally, at the Shadai Stallion Station in Japan that War Emblem will overcome his mysterious disdain for breeding.

  • Curlin will make his first two starts of 2008 in Dubai.

    Curlin Going to Dubai World Cup

    Horse of the Year Curlin is being pointed to the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29 at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse to make his first start of 2008, majority owner Jess Jackson said.

  • Curlin may have his first workout of 2008 this weekend at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.<br><a target="blank" href="http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fprovider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D1051556%26ref%3Dstory">Order This Photo</a>

    Curlin's Workout Planned

    Describing the condition of probable Horse of the Year Curlin as "perfect," trainer Steve Asmussen has tentatively set Sunday for the colt's first timed workout since winning the Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I).

  • Darley's Admire Moon won the now unlicensed stable's first prestigious JRA race when capturing the Nov. 25 Japan Cup (Jpn-I).

    Darley Japan Loses JRA License

    Nearly four months to the day after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Darley Japan operation earned a rare license to compete on the exclusive Japan Racing Association circuit, the privilege was lost at the end of November.

  • Gun Salute Aimed for Sheema Classic

    A partnership assembled by bloodstock agent Ben McElroy has purchased grade I winner Gun Salute and intends to send the 5-year-old son of Military to compete in the 2008 Dubai International Racing Carnival.

  • California-based Awesome Gem is now being prepped for the Dubai World Cup (gr.I) next March.

    Dubai World Cup a Target for Awesome Gem

    West Point Thoroughbreds has decided to point grade II winner Awesome Gem, who finished third in this year's Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), toward next year's $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE- I).

  • Premium Tap

    Premium Tap Wins Again in Saudi Arabia

    Making his second start in Saudi Arabia since a game runner-up effort to Invasor in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Premium Tap crushed 16 rivals Nov. 2 in the 2,000-meter Ministry of Culture and Information Cup at Al Janadriah racecourse, winning by seven lengths in 2:01.66.

  • Invasor<br><a target="blank" href="http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fprovider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D624172%26ref%3Dstory">Order This Photo</a>

    Sheikh Takes Firm Stance by Limiting Books

    Taking a strong stand against what he sees as troubling trends in the breeding industry, Sheikh Hamdan has decided to limit the first-year books of both his Horse of the Year Invasor and classic winner Jazil to 85 mares each.

  • New Buyers Help Japanese Select Sale

    A squadron of bold new buyers in the middle market lifted up the Japan Racing Horse Association select sale, keeping the foal portion nearly on pace with last year's scorching record results even though there were fewer players competing for the most expensive horses.

  • Weaning half brother to multiple group I winner Admire Moon sold for a session-topping 300 million yen at the JRHA select sale on Tuesday.

    Kondo's Spree Highlights JRHA Foal Session

    Firing bids like a machine gun, Riichi Kondo continued his aggressive buying spree at the Japan Racing Horse Association select sale on Tuesday, grabbing another half brother to his multiple group I winner Admire Moon for a session-topping 300 million yen ($2,631,578).

  • War Emblem may return to U.S.

    War Emblem Has Another Fruitless Season at Stud

    After five frustrating years of trying to coax dual American classic winner War Emblem into performing regular breeding duties, Shadai Stallion Station officials may be reaching the limit of their patience with the horse they purchased for about $17 million as a stallion prospect.

  • Deep Impact Ready for Stallion Duty in Japan

    Great expectations are hovering over Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact as he prepares for his first season at stud, with Shadai Stallion Station officials hoping he will help ignite global interest in Japanese-bred horses.