Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ah, Dubai World Cup Day!

Ah, Dubai World Cup day! As the annual 13-hour-plus adventure unfolds at the TDN office, it brings back many memories of the inaugural event held on a Thursday at Nad al Sheba in 1996. I was just 18 months out of college at the time and working at Banker’s Trust, which was across the street from the World Trade Center. After telling my then-boss that I had a dentist appointment, I bolted from our building at 130 Liberty St. to the OTB over on John St. That establishment had a healthy crowd at 10 a.m. and, as happy as I was to see Cigar triumph over Soul of the Matter, I was even more thrilled that L’Carriere held on for third to complete my all-American trifecta.

There’s no Cigar entered in the races tonight, but there’s plenty of good stories. I do hope Buena Vista can win the World Cup for Japan and, in the process, become the richest racehorse of all time. And who doesn’t appreciate Gio Ponti?

Can the New Zealand-bred Beauty Flash bring home the Duty Free for Hong Kong? Is there any chance Kinsale King will double up in the Golden Shaheen? And will Rewilding follow in the hoofprints of his half-sister Dar Re Mi in the Sheema Classic? Stay tuned...

(update at 10:46 a.m.) What a race! There have been some thrilling stretch runs already, but the one in the UAE Derby was a beauty. Godolphin wound up taking another trophy in the race, this time with the first filly ever to triumph in Khawlah. Master of Hounds--my pick in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf--put up a brave fight on the rail, but he couldn't fend off the filly.

(update 11:57 a.m) Third time's the charm! Presvis went through the gaps, and the 7-year-old got up to defeat the classy South African mare River Jetez. Presvis was second in the 2009 Duty Free, Presvis was up the track last year, but showed real determination to get the trophy here. Kudos to trainer Luca Cumani!

(update 1:30 p.m.) Well done by Rewilding to take the Sheema Classic, but now a sandstorm is affecting the video on the TVs. is able to provide audio; hopefully this will get sorted out in the next 4 minutes...

(update 1:46 p.m.) Live coverage came back on just in time for the World Cup! After setting a glacial pace, Transcend did his best to hang on, only to find countrymate Victoire Pisa just a little bit too good for him. Bravo, Japan, for the one-two finish!

That's it from Dubai...and now, we can look forward to today's Kentucky Derby preps at Fair Grounds and Turfway ;-)

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