10/13/2003 12:00AM

Darley retires two stars to Japan


Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's Darley organization announced Monday that its 2003 Dubai World Cup winner, Moon Ballad, and Group 1 winner Grandera have been retired to Yushun Company's farm in Japan.

Moon Ballad, 4, is by Singspiel out of the Group 2-winning Shaadi mare Velvet Moon. In addition to his World Cup victory, he also won the Group 2 Dante and Group 3 Select Stakes in England and a United Arab Emirates Grade 3 race, the Maktoum Challenge-Round 2. He also was third in the Epsom Derby last year. He retires with a record of 12-4-3-1 and $4,262,640 in purses.

Grandera, a 5-year-old son of Grand Lodge and Bordighera, was a European champion last year after victories in the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes in England and Irish Champion Stakes in Ireland. He also won the Singapore Airline International Stakes at Kranji in Singapore last season. He retires with a record of 17-5-4-1 and $1,666,042 in earnings.