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Dubai: Barbecue Eddie wins first round of Maktoum Challenge at Meydan
By Marcus Hersh
Round 1 of the Al Maktoum Challenge, the featured race on opening night of the Dubai Winter Carnival at Meydan, hardly was the first go-round for Barbecue Eddie.
The 9-year-old veteran began his career at Hollywood Park in June 2007 and was making the 36th start of his career Thursday. His 16th race at Meydan produced Barbecue Eddie’s first group stakes victory, a fairly comfortable 1 1/2-length victory over Out of Bounds in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge.
Fulbright and Rutland Player finished in a dead heat for third. The winning time was 1:37.64 for 1,600 meters.
Barbecue Eddie got a great stalking trip under jockey Dane O’Neill, racing in fourth as favored Out of Bounds came through on the inside to lead over Rutland Boy. Barbecue Eddie made his move just as the leaders straightened away for home, overhauling Out of Bounds in the final furlong and convincingly holding the lead. Dubai-based trainer Doug Watson trains the winner for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum.
A Maryland-bred by Stormy Atlantic, Barbecue Eddie made his first eight starts in California before traveling to Dubai for the 2008 Golden Shaheen at Nad Al Sheba, where he finished fourth. After four more starts later that year, Barbecue Eddie was shipped to Dubai and has remained there ever since, a reliable participant in Meydan races between six furlongs and one mile each winter.
Barbecue Eddie won early in the 2010-12 Winter Carnival meets, too, but Thursday’s Group 2 was the biggest victory of his career, coming on the heels of Meydan wins in November and December.
Out of Bounds, making his first start since January, when he resided in the California-based string of trainer Eoin Harty, set a pressured pace in the 1,600-meter Al Maktoum Challenge, shrugging off the other pace players and staying on decently for second.
The filly Lily’s Angel remained unbeaten on synthetic surfaces with a sharp win in a seven-furlong handicap that began the evening’s Thoroughbred races, but the star of the undercard was Sharestan, who scored a four-length victory in a 1,800-meter turf allowance race. Godolphin’s lightly raced 5-year-old son of Shamardal tracked two pacesetters before drawing clear with a powerful run a quarter-mile from the finish.
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