03/06/2012 1:24PM

Dubai World Cup preps have American factors

Barbara D. Livingston
Regally Ready, with Corey Nakatani aboard, wins the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

Led by Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Regally Ready, and a stakes winner formerly trained by Nick Zito, Fly Down, there are strong American influences on Saturday’s program of seven stakes at Meydan racecourse in Dubai.

The program, worth $1.775 million, features prep races for the seven-figure stakes on the Dubai World Cup card on March 31.

Regally Ready, trained by Steve Asmussen, will start in the $175,000 Meydan Sprint over five furlongs on turf, a prep for the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint on March 31.

Regally Ready was third in the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 8, his only start since the BC Sprint last November.

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The richest race of the program is the $400,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3, a prep to the $10 million Dubai World Cup run over 1 1/4 miles on the Tapeta synthetic track.

Fly Down, a 5-year-old stakes winner in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, was 13th in the 2011 Dubai World Cup. When trained by Zito in the United States, Fly Down won the Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park in 2010 and was second in that year’s Belmont Stakes and third behind Blame and Zenyatta in the BC Classic at Churchill Downs.

The Maktoum Challenge also features Richard’s Kid, the winner of the 2010 Pacific Classic at Del Mar; the 2011 Royal Ascot winner, Monterosso; and Mendip, the winner of the second round of the Maktoum Challenge last month.

Presvis, the winner of the $5 million Dubai Duty Free in 2011, is the leading contender in the $300,000 Jebel Hatta over 1 1/8 miles on turf, a prep for this year’s Duty Free.

Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Racing starts the four-time Group 1 winner Campanologist in the $250,000 City of Gold Stakes over 1 1/2 miles on turf. The race leads to the $5 million Sheema Classic on March 31.

In other stakes, Gitano Hernando, the winner of the 2009 Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita, starts in the $200,000 Burj Nahaar over a mile on Tapeta, which could lead to the $1 million Godophin Mile.

Hitchens, a stakes winner earlier this year in Dubai, leads a modest field in the $200,000 Mahab Al Shimaal over six furlongs on Tapeta. The Mahab Al Shimaal is a prep for the $2 million Golden Shaheen Sprint on March 31.

Kinglet, the winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas last month, can win his second consecutive stakes in the $250,000 Al Bastikiya Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on Tapeta, a prep for the $2 million UAE Derby.