01/07/2013 5:16PM

Aqueduct: Benzel to winter in Dubai

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Michael Burns
Maritimer finished 11th in the UAE Derby last year and will try to earn a spot in the Dubai World Cup this year.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Seth Benzel was scheduled to leave New York on Tuesday for Dubai, where he will prepare a handful of horses for the Dubai Racing Carnival, culminating in what he hopes will be several runners on the rich Dubai World Cup card on March 30.

Benzel said he will have five runners in Dubai, including include Maritimer, August Rush and Mikhail Glinka. The majority of the horses are owned by Ramzan Kadyrov, the controversial president of Chechnya who has failed to get licensed in several U.S. jurisdictions – including New York. Maritimer, who ran 11th in last year’s UAE Derby, breezed four furlongs in 48.87 seconds Saturday morning over the Belmont training track. Maritimer was scheduled to leave for Dubai on Tuesday to participate in one or two races at Meydan to try and become eligible for the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

Benzel, who has never been to Dubai, is looking forward to the opportunity to broaden his horizons.

“It’s a great opportunity to have a small amount of horses and hopefully have some success in a short period of time and at the same time develop some international connections,” Benzel said.

Benzel said he plans to return to the U.S. in the spring when he will have train for other clients, such as Eugene Melnyk.