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2004 Dubai World Cup Final Entries

Date: 03/24/2004

Results and photos

The richest day of racing in the world takes place this Saturday, with the ninth running of the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Nad al Sheba racecourse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In its short history the World Cup has seen some of the best equine talent of the era, no doubt attracted by the whopping $6 million purse of which $3.6 million goes to the winner. A rich undercard of Group 1 stakes races makes for an almost Breeders' Cup-like atmosphere, with horses shipping from around the world to race under the lights in the desert.

Pleasantly Perfect winning the 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic over Medaglia d'Oro.

The main event usually draws a talented contingent of horses from the USA, and this year is no exception with the top two finishers of last year's Breeders' Cup Classic shipping in for a shot at the big prize. Champion Pleasantly Perfect and runner-up, the multiple Grade 1 winner Medaglia d'Oro, and Santa Anita Handicap winner Domestic Dispute highlight an all-star lineup that will compete over 2000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) over the main track. Also in the field are Japan Cup Dirt winner Fleetstreet Dancer and representing the locals, Victory Moon from the powerful Godolphin Racing operation.

Medaglia d'Oro drew post 11 while his main rival Pleasantly Perfect drew post 7. Edmund Gann, owner of Medaglia d'Oro said "I would have liked to have been in the middle, but he likes to get in position early and Jerry (Bailey) will get him there. Bobby Frankel has been here before and Jerry has won it four times, so we've got a great team. We wouldn't be here if we didn't think we had a chance." Exercise rider Jose Cuevas, who frequently handles horses shipping in to race for Frankel who has stayed in the United States, said "It doesn't really matter because no one has the speed he has."

Richard Mandella trainer of Pleasantly Perfect.

Richard Mandella, trainer of Pleasantly Perfect, said "I hope seven is a lucky number. I expect him to settle off the pace and make a run the last three furlongs. I'm just looking for good racing luck. The way the track is set up here, I don't think post position makes a lot of difference. I think racing luck plays a bigger role."

Patrick Gallagher, trainer of Domestic Dispute, who drew the inside post said "Well, it's the shortest way around, isn't it? You'd like to be a little more outside, but you've got to take the luck of the draw and make the best of it. We've got a horse who looks like he has a chance."

Cajun Beat winning the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
The world's top sprinters go in the $2 million Golden Shaheen, a 1200-meter (6 furlong) dash down a straightaway. Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Cajun Beat is the likely favorite here, and he will take on fellow American-based horses Alke, Tsigane, and Tour of the Cat, while the locals are represented by State City.

There are two turf events on the card, both Group 1 for a $2 million purse. The Duty Free is run at the odd distance of 1777 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) due to the configuration of Nad al Sheba's infield turf course. Neil Drysdale brings in Sarafan from America to take on Bright Sky, Paolini, and Refuse to Bend. The Sheema Classic is the marathon event of the evening, at the classic distance of 2400 meters (1 1/2 miles) . The lone American in this event is Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap winner Hard Buck, trained by Ken McPeek, and he takes on a mostly European contingent featuring two Andre Fabre-trained entrants, Polish Summer and Martaline.

There are two Group 2 events on the card, starting off the festivities. The UAE Derby is a $2 million event at 1800 meters (1 1/8 miles) on the main track, shortened a furlong from previous years. Unlike Derbies held elsewhere, this one does allow four-year-olds bred in the Southern Hemisphere to enter against North American three-year-olds. One such four-year-old is Neil Drysdale trainee From The Sky, an Argentine-bred and the lone American-based horse entered. The Godolphin Mile has a $1 million purse and is run over 1600 meters on the main track (about 1 mile), and sees Bob Baffert's entrant During take on Doug O'Neil trainee Excessivepleasure.

Finally, purebred Arabians compete in the Kahayla Classic for a $250,000 purse, making it the richest race in the world for the breed. A field consisting mostly of locally trained entrants is expected in this 2000-meter (1 1/4 mile) event over the main track.

Moon Ballad winner of the 2003 Dubai World Cup.
Wagering on the World Cup card is available across North America at almost all of the usual outlets. Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans is the American host and the races can be seen on both TVG and HRTV. Not every track or OTB will have every race, but all will have the World Cup which goes to post at 12:20pm ET, just before most of the eastern tracks begin their live cards on Saturday. Check locally to see which races will be made available to you. Then come out to your local track or OTB and watch the best horses in the world compete in the world's richest race, then stay to bet on your favorite track. Ironically, fans at Nad al Sheba are not allowed to wager on the races, but the rest of the world will be!

Following is the field for the Dubai World Cup, in post-position order, with jockeys, trainers, and country of Representation. All starters carry 128 pounds. You can view the program pages with saddle cloth numbers and links to summary past performances (click the horse's name) for all the races on the card here. Please note that saddle cloth number and post position numbers are not the same. DRF past performances for the World Cup card are here. Free past performances for the entire Dubai World Cup card are available from host track the Fair Grounds here.

Admire DonJapanAndoMatsuda
DinyeperGreat BritainKaratasKasar
Domestic DisputeUSAStevemsGallagher
10 Fleetstreet DancerUSACourtO'Neill
Grand HombreUSADettoribin Suroor
King's BoyGermanyKinaneBarton
11 Medaglia d'OroUSABaileyFrankel
Pleasantly PerfectUSASolisMandella
Regent BluffJapanYoshidaOkubo
10 Silent DealJapanTakeIkee
11 12 State ShintoUSADurcanal Kurdi
12 Victory MoonSouth AfricaMarwingde Kock

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