01/20/2009 1:00AM

Barbecue Eddie now in home territory


Barbecue Eddie will make his first start wearing the blue and white colors of Hamdan al-Maktoum at Nad Al Sheba on Thursday when he renews rivalry with Star Crowned in the Group 3, $200,000 Al Shindagha Sprint.

Star Crowned finished third, a length in front of Barbecue Eddie - who was then trained by Brian Koriner - in last year's Dubai Golden Shaheen over the Al Shindagha course and distance. Barbecue Eddie next finished eighth in the Bing Crosby Handicap and third in the Pat O'Brien Handicap on Del Mar's synthetic surface. Since then he has been purchased by Sheikh Hamdan and turned over to Doug Watson. Richard Hills has the ride aboard Barbecue Eddie, a 5-year-old son of Stormy Atlantic who set the pace in the Golden Shaheen last March before fading to finish fourth.

Star Crowned has recently won a five-furlong allowance and finished third in a one-mile allowance, both on the Nad Al Sheba dirt. Trained by Rashed Bouresly, he will be ridden by Michael Kinane.

Watson will also give a leg up to Fernando Jara on Force Freeze, the winner of a recent six-furlong handicap in Dubai who was an allowance winner at Oaklawn and Lone Star last year. More dangerous is Big City Man. The 3 3/4-length winner of a six-furlong allowance at Nad Al Sheba on Jan. 8, he was a handy winner in his previous two starts in ungraded sprint stakes at Calder. Salaam Dubai, second in the Al Shindagha race last year and third in the 2007 Golden Shaheen, is a threat to finish in the first three.

The nine-race, $1,115,000 card is highlighted by the reappearance of last year's Dubai Duty Free winner, Jay Peg, in a 7 1/2-furlong turf handicap. A South African-bred trained by Herman Brown, he will be making his first start since May 18, when he won the Group 1 Singapore International Airlines Cup.