02/18/2014 1:51PM

Dubai: Certify, Flotilla meet again in Balanchine

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Barbara D. Livingston
Flotilla, winner of the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita, is one of six starters in Thursday's $200,000 Balanchine Stakes at Meydan Racecourse.

European Group 1 winners Certify and Flotilla meet for the second time this winter in Thursday’s $200,000 Balanchine Stakes at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, one of two $200,000 races on a six-race program.

Flotilla won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita in 2012 and the Group 1 French 1000 Guineas at Longchamp last May. She was fourth behind Certify in the Group 2 Cape Verdi Stakes at Meydan on Jan. 30.

The Cape Verdi Stakes was the first start for Certify since a win in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in September 2012. She was barred from racing for six months in 2013 after testing positive for steroids before the start of the British turf flat racing season last spring.

Unbeaten in five starts, Certify is owned by Godolphin Racing and trained by Charlie Appleby. She was trained by Mahmood al Zarooni at the time of the steroid positive. Al Zarooni is currently serving an eight-year suspension.

Certify and Flotilla are part of a field of six in the Balanchine Stakes, run over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

The $200,000 Dubai Millennium Stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf drew a field of 13, including Dastarhon, who was second in the 2013 French 2000 Guineas; the multiple stakes-winning filly Tasaday; the Meydan stakes winner Mujaarib; and the German import Empoli.

Tasaday, owned by Godolphin and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, was ninth behind Mujaarib in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya Stakes on Jan. 30. Tasaday won two group stakes at Deauville in France last summer.

Empoli was second in the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Bayern in Munich last August. The Dubai Millennium Stakes will be his first start in the Middle East for trainer Peter Schiergen.