07/01/2010 12:00AM

Burj Dubai looks likely to ship for next start


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Dino Condilenios isn't sure what he is going to do with Burj Dubai after he followed up his sensational debut with another impressive performance last week. Burj Dubai could be something special. He destroyed a field of maidens in his debut May 29 and then jumped up to face some of the best sprinters on the grounds in a $50,000 optional claimer last Sunday.

Condilenios was hoping to go the traditional route and looked for a conditional race for Burj Dubai's second start, but nothing would fill. With his hands tied, Condilenios decided to find out what the talented 4-year-old was made of.

"We know he can run, but I wasn't sure what to expect with him having to face such a tough group of horses in just his second start," Condilenios said. "What can I say? Like everyone else, I was pretty impressed with him."

What is scary about Burj Dubai is that he is still learning how to run. In both of his races, he broke flat-footed but it didn't take long before his jockey, Pedro Alvarado, had him sitting just off the lead. It looked like he was going to run over the top of stakes winners Seminole Brave and Woombroom Express going into the first turn, but Alvarado eased him to the outside where he easily moved by the pacesetters just past the three-eighths pole. Alvarado hand rode him the rest of the way.

"He came back a little tired this time," Condilenios said. "But he's bouncing around now and he came out of the race in excellent shape."

There is absolutely no chance that a conditional race for Burj Dubai will fill at Hastings, and Condilenios wasn't sure where he would make his next start.

Burj Dubai is bred to be a good one. His sire, Distorted Humor, is one of the top stallions in North America, and Burj Dubai is the first foal out of the A.P. Indy mare Alchemist. She won four races for earnings of $200,288. Alchemist posted her best Beyer Speed Figure going 1 1/4 miles on turf, and her only other foal is a 3-year-old full sister to Burj Dubai whose lone win came in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race on grass at Fair Grounds in February. He was originally purchased by Darley Stable for $1 million at Keeneland in 2007 and came to his current owners, Swift Thoroughbred Inc., as part of the yearly package of castoffs Darley sells to Swift.

With his strong pedigree, a mile should easily be within Burj Dubai's reach. It would be a lot to ask, but Condilenios has it in the back of his mind that Burj Dubai might be good enough to contend in the Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs on Aug. 22. Then again, one of the horses he overwhelmed last Sunday, Bank Emblem, got beat by only three lengths in last year's Mile.

"He ran off a bit in both of his races, so he still has a lot to learn before we do anything like that," Condilenios said. "I am certainly looking at a couple of races at Emerald for his next start, though. Mainly, I want to see how he handles the ship."

The races Condilenios is considering are the 6 1/2-furlong Governor's Handicap on July 11 and the 1 1/8-mile Mt. Rainer on Aug. 1. He also mentioned the S.W. Randall Plate at Hastings on July 18 as another possibility.

* The Grade 3 British Columbia Derby received another purse adjustment this week, this time in a positive direction. A few weeks ago, the derby was reduced from $200,000 to $100,000 as part of a series of purse cuts at Hastings. According to the B.C. Horse Racing Management Committee, which oversees purses in the province, the B.C. Lottery Corporation is kicking in $50,000 to bring the purse to $150,000. Last year, the derby was worth $275,000.

* Local 3-year-olds will start sorting themselves out when most of them stretch out for the first time this year in the 1 1/16-mile Chris Loseth a week from Sunday. The one to beat is Dyna Stroll, who won the $107,000 Ascot Graduation at the same distance as a 2-year-old. He surprised a lot of people, including his owners, Glen Todd and Patrick Kinsella, when he won the 6 1/2-furlong Jim Coleman Province on June 5.

Dyna Stroll's trainer, Troy Taylor, liked him going into the Jim Coleman Province and likes the way he is training heading into the Chris Loseth.

"He won going 3 1/2 furlongs, so I don't know why so many people thought he couldn't sprint," Taylor said. "He went into his last race in great shape and he's doing pretty good right now."