03/31/2007 12:00AM

Americans one-two in Golden Shaheen


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - American horses, as has so often been the case, dominated the Grade 1, $2 million Golden Shaheen at Nad Al Sheba, with Kelly's Landing holding off Friendly Island to win the six-furlong straight-course sprint by a half-length. Salaam Dubai finished third, followed by two more Americans, Harvard Avenue and the pacesetting Bishop Court Hill.

Kelly's Landing, bred and owned by Summerplace Farm, is the first horse trainer Eddie Kenneally ever has started in Dubai, and jockey Frankie Dettori won the Golden Shaheen for the first time. He did so by skimming the rail - the best part of the Nad Al Sheba track during sprint races all winter long - taking the lead from Bishop Court Hill in the final furlong, then holding off Friendly Island, who broke a step slow, raced in mid-pack, and staged a steady late rally. Kelly's Landing paid $20.80 in the U.S. and combined with friendly Island for a $72.80 exacta.

Kelly's Landing's form has been in and out, and he was 10th last fall in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, but Kenneally believed the Golden Shaheen would suit Kelly's Landing, who is unusually large.

"He's a very big horse, but he's very coordinated," Kenneally said. "I thought he'd like the straightaway. I thought he'd improve."

Friendly Island, jockey Garrett Gomez said, "wasn't really reaching out for me," but still came close to giving Todd Pletcher his first Dubai win. Thor's Echo, the BC Sprint champion, turned in his second disappointing performance since being privately purchased and sent to Dubai, finishing a non-threatening sixth.