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Saturday, March 31, 2007


These statistics on the entrants sum up this morning’s DUBAI WORLD CUP card, which will be simulcast everywhere and shown on Canada’s HPI network:

4 BREEDERS’ CUP WINNERS – Red Rocks, Thor’s Echo,, Miesque’s Approval, Invasor
$21 million in purses
80+ horses entered

If the $6 million WORLD CUP really is just a showdown between INVASOR and the unbeaten speed demon DISCREET CAT, they let’s have at it, but so many think there are upsetters in PREMIUM TAP and trainer Ian Jory is really talking up a storm with FORTY LICKS, the Argentine-South African who has won 9 of 13.
Meanwhile, anyone who saw Invasor’s win in the Donn is going to be hard-pressed to look elsewhere. That truly was a theatrical score since his young rider Fernando Jara insisted on staying on the rail with the champ and got lucky when his horse overcame a bad stumble in traffic on the turn to win anyway.

PICK – INVASOR, post time 1:30 EST

The Woodbine grandstand will be filling up during the Dubai card as its 51st season of racing begins at 1:10 today.
Other DUBAI races:

GODOLPHIN MILE (9:40 a.m.) 16 horses entered including Americna-based DIXIE MEISTER (Holzmeister), winner of the Grade 2 San Pasqual in Jan. and Canadian Paul Reddam’s aptly-named SPRING AT LAST (Silver Deputy), winner of the Strub last month.
That pair are strong contenders but with no Lasix or Bute and the long trip, let’s take MERLERAULT who has 2 wins in 4 starts on Polytrack in France.

UAE DERBY – 10:15

ASIATIC BOY – too good for these.
The filly FOLK (Quiet American) was visually stunning when she won the UAE OAKS earlier this month, now she tackles the boys. Godolphin has had a horrible meeting in Dubai this spring but the filly looks good and so does its EU TAMBEM, who looks like the real deal.


Straightaway sprint has been dominated by Americans and TERRIFIC CHALLENGE, who last year at this time was racing at Woodbine for trainer Mike Doyle, comes off a nice win in the Dubai prep for this race. The other Americans look off form to me except for FRIENDLY ISLAND, who had a dream trip in his 2007 comeback.
Toss in Polytrack specialist AREYOUTALKINTOME.


Last year’s Canadian International winner COLLIER HILL has been scratched from this race.
Breeders’ Cup Turf winner RED ROCKS (owned by Canadian Paul Reddam) is a likely one but how interesting will it be to watch QUIJANO, the German dude who has won 10 consecutive races? The mare HONEY RYDER was edged by Canada’s JAMBALAYA in her last start.


LAVA MAN will win me over with a good run since I have been a fan, but not as convinvced as others when they start throwing around John Henry’s name too. No Lasix, no Bute and is he as good on the grass as dirt? ENGLISH CHANNEL set a course record in his 2007 comeback at Gulfstream without looking like he tried really hard. Indian’s superhorse MYSTICAL looked good winning the prep for this race.

By the time the desert dust settles, Woodbine’s second race will be underway…Come out early to Woodbine for the Dubai card, catch my seminar at 11 a.m. with my special guest, READE BAKER.


Canadian-bred JAMBALAYA, who scored a significant win for this country when he won the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Breeders’ Cup Handicap last month, meets 11 others in the 12 furlong Pan American ‘Cap Saturday at Gulfstream.
The Langfuhr – Muskrat Suzie, Vice Regent 5-year-old is the highest Beyer Figure horse in the race off his last race but don’t let that say he’s a lock. Todd Pletcher trainee RAMAZUTTI is sure to bounce back as a lightly raced 5-year-old who declined a bit when beaten 6 lengths by the Canadian dude in the GP Breeders’ Cup.
For my breeding story on Jambalaya, check out tomorrow’s DRF…

Hall of Fame trainer ROGER ATTFIELD has geared up PELLEGRINO, who provided the trainer with his 300th career stakes win last fall at Woodbine, is in the field and remember, this older guy won his 2006 debut in the Grade 3 Elkhorn at Keeneland last spring.
Nine-year-old REVVED UP, from the Christophe Clement barn is also in the field and he was 5th, beaten 3 lengths by Jambalaya in the same race.
Attfield also sends out Canadian champion PALLADIO on the big Gulfstream card in the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes (race 10). Palladio has raced just twice since November 2005, once last spring and then a comeback race on grass last month at Gulfstream. The return to the dirt should help Palladio (a Kentucky-bred by Lycius) but there are some serious bears in the field including A.P. Arrow, who was beaten just 2 lengths by INVASOR in the Donn Handicap last month.
Canadian-bred WELCOME AGAIN, who ran so well with that 103 Beyer Figure in his season debut and then fizzled in a stake at Fair Grounds, is also in the field and will be long odds.


Stronach Stables and trainer Brian Lynch send out two of its Queen’s Plate eligibles at Gulfstream Saturday on the sparkling Florida Derby card.
GHETTO SUPERSTAR (Touch Gold – Punchbowl, Two Punch) makes his debut in race 3 at 7 furlongs with Javiar Castellano aboard.
Lynch has said that he thinks the colt has lots of ability. The bad news for those who may want to bet is that the colt is coupled with Kentucky-bred HOLY ROCK (Awesome Again) who is working quickly for Richard Dutrow Jr.
In race 5, MOUNTAIN WOLF (El Prado-Lucky Marty, Fortunate Prospect) makes his 3rd career start in a 9 furlong maiden race. Castellano also rides this colt, who veered out into the stretch in his latest on grass when he felt the sting of the whip for the first time.
At Woodbine on opening day, ASCOT DANCER is an Ontario-sired, Plate eligible with a chance to win the 7th race for co-owner/trainer Robert Tiller.


The geriatric set highlight what is otherwise a weak card for the 2nd day of racing at Woodbine for 2007 Sunday. The race may be for $12,500 claiming but don’t tell some of these guys that – many of them are fan favourites.
Two 9-year-olds – VERY PROFESSIONAL and RELAUNCH STAR – square off against a pair of 8-year-olds, the physically striking COOL SELECTION (whose dam Dream Smartly won Outstanding Broodmare at the Sovereign Awards last year) and the speedy LAKEFIELD.
Favoured in the 5 furlong dash, race 7 on the card of 10 dashes, is 7-year-old MIDDLE BAY.
Woodbine regulars may remember Peter Chiodo’s old runner GRILLHOUSE, who made his way through various stables and is now racing at Aqueduct for $7,500 claiming (today). The Metfield gelding is 10-years-old and check out his racing record: 22 wins in 69 starts with 17 other 2nds and 3rds and earnings of $611,502. The gelding is won four times in 2006.


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