Updated on 04/03/2012 3:57PM

Dubai World Cup: Godolphin exacta high point on an emotional night of racing

Andrew Watkins
Monterosso coasts to the wire in the Dubai World Cup as his jockey Mickael Barzalona shows off for the crowd.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - On a night of mixed emotions at Meydan, Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Racing celebrated a return to prominence on its biggest stage, running one-two in the $10 million Dubai World Cup with Monterosso defeating Capponi by three lengths.

However, the victory came on a night when two horses died - including one of Godolphin’s - after management made a questionable decision to re-run the $1 million Gold Cup after having to scrap it when Godolphin’s Fox Hunt suffered a fatal injury during the earlier scheduled running.

“That’s racing,” Simon Crisford, the racing manager for Godolphin, said while the crowd saluted Sheikh Mohammed in the winner’s circle. “There’s highs and lows always.”

Monterosso’s victory was Godolphin’s sixth victory in the World Cup, but first since Elocutionist won it in 2006. Monterosso finished third in it last year, and only made one start since. Crisford said the horse got the rest of 2011 off after developing colic shortly after the World Cup.

In his one start this year, Monterosso finished fourth behind Capponi in Round 3 of the Maktoum Challenge.

“The whole idea was to get him here tonight,” Crisford said. “He needed his prep run, ran well, needed it, improved a ton from that race. Came here fresh and well and he was the best horse on the night.”

 Under Mickael Barzalona, Monterosso raced close up to a modest pace established by last year’s World Cup runner-up Transcend. Monterosso was three wide, just inside of Game On Dude, who was maneuvered to a four-wide and up close position by Chantal Sutherland after breaking slowly.

 Coming to the top of the stretch, Monterosso made a move to the leaders, which included his stablemate Capponi, who had taken over from Transcend after six furlongs in 1:13.60.

 Monterosso made the lead inside the eighth pole. With about 40 yards to run, Barzalona stood up in the irons, waving to the crowd with his right hand while holding the reins with his left. Still, the horse won by a comfortable three lengths. He covered the 1 1/4 miles over the Tapeta surface in 2:02.67. Monterosso, trained by Mahmoud Al Zarooni, returned $73.60 in U.S. pools.

It was a half-length back to Planteur in third, who finished one-half length in front of So You Think.

American hopefuls Royal Delta and Game On Dude finished ninth and 12th, respectively, in the 13-horse field. Silver Pond was scratched in the morning due to lameness.

Bill Mott, the trainer of Royal Delta said jockey Jose Lezcano told him that “around the second turn it’s like she started not getting a hold of the racetrack. She just started swimming on it a little bit.”

Bob Baffert, the trainer of Game on Dude, said his horse got tired after breaking slowly and having to be used a little to get position. For Baffert, it capped a disappointing night - The Factor finished sixth in the Golden Shaheen - in a week that began with him suffering a heart attack.

“The only good thing is I came out of it alive,” Baffert said. “I’m living.”

Unfortunately, there are two less horses living than when the day began.