Updated on 09/16/2011 6:57AM

14 U.S. horses going to Dubai


Fourteen horses from the United States have accepted invitations from the Emirates Racing Association to run on the seven-race, $15.25 million Dubai World Cup card at Nad Al Sheba on March 23, but only one of them, Western Pride, is entered in the big race.

Runner-up by a neck to Milwaukee Brew in last Sunday's Santa Anita Handicap, the James Chapman-trained Western Pride is expected to run into a formidable Godolphin home team in the 1 1/4-mile World Cup. Sakhee, Street Cry, and State Shinto, as well as the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned Nayev will all line up. Two strong Japanese candidates, To the Victory, second in last year's World Cup, and Agnes Digital, are also aiming for the $3.6 million first prize.

It could be the smallest contingent in the seven-year history of the race. The United States had three runners in each of the first four World Cups, five in 2000 and two last year. American-trained horses have won the Cup three times: Cigar (1996), Silver Charm (1998), and Captain Steve (2001).

Breeders' Cup Mile winner Val Royal and Del Mar Show, winner of five of his last six starts, will go in the $2 million Dubai Duty Free at about 1 1/8 miles on turf. The competition will be led by defending French champion Jim and Tonic and Divine Task, winner of the Group 3 Jebel Hatta over the Duty Free course and distance last Saturday.

The Dubai Golden Shaheen, a straight six-furlong event worth $2 million that has been won by Big Jag and Caller One the last two years, has attracted five American entries. Caller One will defend his title but will face a stern challenge from last year's runner-up, Men's Exclusive, in addition to Xtra Heat, Echo Eddie, and Bonapaw in a race the Americans are expected to dominate.

Blade Prospector, Grey Memo, and Peeping Tom are the American representatives in the $1 million Godolphin Mile on dirt, but there are no American horses in the 1 1/2-mile $2 million Dubai Sheema Classic, in which Sagacity, third in the Arc de Triomphe, is the leading European candidate.

Godolphin's team for the $2 million UAE Derby, which will be run this year at 1 1/4 miles, has not yet been named, but it is expected to include the first two finishers from the UAE 2000 Guineas, Essence of Dubai and Firebreak. Laura de Seroux is sending her recent Chilean import, Total Impact, a Group 1 winner in his native land who was second in his U.S. debut at Santa Anita on Feb. 24.

Two Americans, Smoak and Triple Five, have also been selected to go in the $250,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic, a 1 1/4-mile Group 1 contest for Arabians.