06/01/2010 11:00PM

Burj Dubai may be 'something special'


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Burj Dubai looked like he was worth the $1 million Darley Stables paid for him at Keeneland in 2007 when he scorched a field of maidens in his debut at Hastings last Saturday.

Trained by Dino Condilenios, Burj Dubai was part of a package of Darley castoffs purchased by local owners Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. last winter. With Pedro Alvarado aboard Saturday, Burj Dubai cruised to an eight-length win over Bred Royal. He didn't break sharply, but when Alvarado asked him to move between horses going past the finish line the first time, he immediately responded and took control of the 6 1/2-furlong race. That appeared to be the only time Alvarado asked him to run. The final time was 1:16.10 over a track rated sloppy.

"I have been on a lot of nice horses in my career, but I think he's something special," Alvarado said.

Burj Dubai earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure, the second-highest figure this year at Hastings. His stablemate Teide earned a 99 when he just missed equaling the track record for 6 1/2 furlongs in the George Royal on May 8. Teide figures to be heavily favored in the $50,000 John Longden this Sunday.

"I knew he was going fast, but he was doing it very easily," Alvarado said. "I did ask him a little in the stretch just to make sure he learned something. But, really, he couldn't have done it any easier."

Condilenios said he was pleased with the performance but pointed to Daymaker, whom he trains, as a reason to be cautiously optimistic.

"How many times have you seen a horse run like that first time out and then never come close to repeating the same kind of race?" Condilenios said. "Look at Daymaker. She ran a terrific race in her first start but she never earned a Beyer Speed Figure that came close. She's been a nice horse for us, but it looked like she was going to be a lot better than she turned out."

Daymaker posted a 75 Beyer Speed Figure in her win over maiden special weight company in 2008. Her next best figure since then is 71, which she has earned three times.

Burj Dubai was a hard horse to control when he arrived at Hastings, and even after he was gelded he wasn't a prince. Condilenios said he was concerned Burj Dubai would wash out and be a bit unruly in the paddock and post parade Saturday. He couldn't have looked better when he arrived in the paddock, and he didn't seem to bat an eye on post parade.

"That was a bit of a relief," Condilenios said. "I think we have turned the corner with him. I was also worried that he might be come a bit unglued after his first race, but so far it looks like he handled the whole ordeal perfectly."

Condilenios said he wasn't sure when Burj Dubai would make his next start, but he will probably be heavily favored when he does. He was well thought of going into his debut and paid $3.10 for the win.

Spaghetti Mouse finally wins

Spaghetti Mouse went over the $900,000 mark with his win in a $50,000 optional race Sunday. An 8-year-old, he scored his first win since the S. W. Randall Plate on Sept. 1, 2008.

Spaghetti Mouse won four straight stakes in 2008 but went 0 for 6 last year, including three losses to Teide. He has been a hard horse to ride throughout his career, but he was well behaved when he was ridden by Chad Hoverson for the first time Sunday.

"I was surprised how manageable he was," Hoverson said. "He was very relaxed, and I was pretty impressed with him."

Trainer Terry Dubois gave credit to exercise rider Tavis York for Spaghetti Mouse's new attitude.

"He really gets along with Tavis, and it really showed on Sunday," Dubois said.

Dubois said the main goal for Spaghetti Mouse is the $75,000 B.C. Cup Classic on Aug. 2.

Blinkers could spark Charterhill

Trainer Craig MacPherson said he is expecting a strong performance from Charterhill in the seventh race Friday, a 6 1/2-furlong allowance. Charterhill will run with blinkers for the first time, and he had them on when he worked a bullet five-furlongs in 58.80 seconds May 22.

"He's been all over the track in all of his races, so I was hoping the blinkers would help keep him focus," MacPherson said. "They seemed to do the trick, because when he worked he did it all by himself."

Charterhill has started five times, and the only time he finished worse than third was in the one-mile Alberta Premiers Futurity at Northlands Park last September. He won a maiden special weight race in his first start this year and finished a distant third to Silly Fella in a $50,000 optional race on May 8. Silly Fella figures to be one of the favorites in the $50,000 Jim Coleman Province on Saturday.