Diana & Sanford
Saratoga Opening Day
Yellow Ribbon Hcp.
Trainer Todd Pletcher watches his horses work on Thursday morning
On Thursday morning, no more timed works were held as most World Cup day entrants simply went out for maintenance jogs over the main and dirt tracks at Nad al Sheba racecourse in Dubai. The day was marked by freaky weather, as the Dubai area actually experienced some rain. It is worth noting that the second Dubai World Cup, in 1997, had to be run at a later date than originally scheduled when unusually heavy rains washed out the track and made it unsafe to run on.
Post positions have been drawn and are available along with free past performances here.
World Cup entrant Premium Tap went out for a maintenance gallop under exercise rider Jorge Munoz. Trainer John Kimmel said, "He really wanted to do a little more than he was doing. I'm pleased with him. You're not going to get any excuses from my camp."
Trainer Ian Jory sent his World Cup entrant Forty Licks out for a gallop on Thursday morning. He finished fourth to Premium Tap in the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Cup in Saudi Arabia last time out.
Top U.S. trainer Todd Pletcher arrived in Dubai on Wednesday night and brought his charges out to the Nad al Sheba main track for the first time on Thursday morning. One of Todd Pletcher's two entries in the Sheema Classic, Host, went out for some easy work. Pletcher said of all of his horses, "Everybody looks well and we had nice gallops this morning."
Todd Pletcher trainee Honey Ryder takes on males again in the Sheema Classic, after finishing a close second in the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup (G1).
English Channel, another of the Pletcher crew, comes into Saturday's Duty Free off a track-record performance at Gulfstream over the same distance and surface.
Pletcher's Golden Shaheen entrant Friendly Island comes into the race off a 2 1/2 length victory in the Palos Verdes Handicap (G2) at Santa Anita.
Sheema Classic entrant and Breeders' Cup Turf winner Red Rocks for owner J. Paul Reddam. Trainer Brian Meehan expressed confidence when he said, "He's well and is giving me the same vibes that he did before the Breeders' Cup."
Sheema Classic entrant Sir Percy went out for a gallop under the watchful eyes of owners Anthony and Victoria Pakenham. Victoria Pakenham said of her horse's chances, "It's difficult to know. All has gone well with Sir Percy's preparation coming into this race, which wasn't the case last year. He's relaxed here, let's hope not too relaxed. I think a lot will depend on how he copes with the preliminaries, which you can't really prepare him for. He was taking rather more interest in what was going on off track today rather than concentrating on what he was doing. All I know is that I'll be extremely nervous on Saturday, but we're hoping for a good show."
German hope Quijano goes in the Sheema Classic for trainer Peter Schiergen and was out for some light work on Thursday. He won the Dubai City of Gold (G3) in his last start, which is the major local prep for the Sheema Classic.
Duty Free entrant Stormy River finished a close fourth in the Prix de la Foret (G1) at Longchamp in his last start.
Duty Free entrant Flashy Wings was out on Thursday morning for a canter. The 4-year-old filly finished a close third against males in the Matron Stakes (G1) in her last start back in September, and stretches out to 9 furlongs for the first time on Saturday.
Australian hope in the Duty Free, Pompeii Ruler, was out for a gallop this morning. He won the Australian Cup (G1) by 1 1/4 lengths in his last start.
French-trained Golden Shaheen entrant Marchand d'Or was out for a maintenance gallop for trainer Freddy Head. He won the Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1) at Deauville in August and will make his first start on dirt on Saturday.
Godolphin Mile entrant Gold For Sale will be in tough on Saturday, coming into the race off a distant 10th place finish in the Burj Nahaar (G3), the local prep for the Mile.
Godolphin Mile entrant Parole Board went out for a maintenance gallop for trainer Satish Seemar. He is based in Dubai all year and comes into the race off a 2 race winning streak, in the Jebel Ali Mile and the UAE Founder's Trophy.
Doug O'Neill's Godolphin Mile entrant Spring At Last was out on the main track for a canter. He is co-owned by J. Paul Reddam and WinStar Farm and will have Garrett Gomez aboard on Saturday.
UAE Derby entrant and Saudi Arabian-bred Adil comes into the Derby off a 3 race win streak including the King Abdulaziz Cup (G1) at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh.
UAE Derby entrant Traffic Guard galloped on the main track for trainer Stan Moore. He was a distant second in the UAE 2000 Guineas, the major local prep for this event.
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