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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dubai and Beyond...

Handicapping the Dubai races, for me, is a crapshoot. Frankly, I know very little about racing in Japan, India or South America, so take these selections with a grain of salt (okay, a heaping plateful of, a Dead Sea full of salt):

$1 million (G2) Godolphin Mile: Spring at Last, Killybegs, Boston Lodge
$2 million (G2) UAE Derby: Folk, Asiatic Boy, Eu Tambem
$2 million (G1) Dubai Golden Shaheen: Friendly Island, Thor’s Echo, National Colour
$5 million (G1) Dubai Sheema Classic: Obridado, Quijano, Sir Percy
$5 milion (G1) Dubai Duty Free: English Channel, Seihali, Admire Moon
$6 million (G1) Dubai World Cup: Premium Tap, Invasor, Forty Licks

Discreet Cat and Invasor…urgh! I’m a sucker for the “underdog”, although Premium Tap hardly qualifies as that. I am most curious to see if the filly Folk can live up to her hype

In other races on Saturday, Jambalaya and Hotstufanthensome are the class of the Pan American Handicap, but I think Dynatonia will step up and make her daddy (Dynaformer) proud.

In the Skip Away, all the talk is about Todd Pletcher’s A.P. Arrow’s chance to win his first stakes race, but I like Dry Martini and Political Force to challenge him. Dry Martini has had some great workouts lately, including a :59.2 for 5 furlongs on March 23. I like Political Force’s connections (Allen Jerkens/Javier Castellano) and look for him to come out stronger at after a month off with good workouts. Shhhh…my dark horse favorite would be Palladio. Being an architectural historian, how could I not love a horse named Palladio?

Finally, the big one…the Florida Derby. I see this as a four-way race, between Scat Daddy, Stormello, Adore the Gold and Notional. If the pace is fast, particularly with Stormello and Adore the Gold up at the lead from the get-go, I see this as a race where Notional closes late for the win. If the pace is slower, then it’s a toss up between Stormello (who I really love) and Adore the Gold (who I have a gut feeling may pull this one out).