04/02/2012 1:42PM

Dubai World Cup: U.S. runners head home to regroup

Andrew Watkins
Giant Ryan had the best result of the U.S.-based participants on World Cup day, finishing fifth in the Golden Shaheen.

After a fruitless overseas journey to Dubai, the six American-based Thoroughbreds who competed on Dubai World Cup day at Meydan were expected to arrive in New York on Wednesday. Following a brief quarantine period at Belmont Park, those horses will return to their different bases as their connections plot out their next moves.

From Dubai, trainer Bob Baffert reported that Game On Dude, 12th in the $10 million World Cup, and The Factor, sixth in the $2 million Golden Shaheen, were okay. Baffert said he had no immediate plans for either one “till we see how much the trip took out of them,” Baffert wrote in an e-mail.

Baffert said both horses would likely get a few weeks off before he considers their summer schedule.

“They were really tired that night after the race, but look fine now,” Baffert wrote Monday. “Just wasn’t their day.”

Baffert, who had a heart attack on March 27 and was hospitalized for four days, was given clearance by doctors to fly back to the United States on Monday night, one day earlier than originally scheduled.

From Florida, trainer Bill Mott said by phone that Royal Delta would probably remain in New York upon clearing quarantine but not do much for at least 30 days. Mott said he was disappointed with Royal Delta’s ninth-place finish in the World Cup.

“I know she’s better than that, she went into the race better than that,” Mott said. “She had a tight trip, it wasn’t a horrible trip. She backed out of there a little bit, come out of the spot she was in, took a couple of good shots from each side. She was kind of wanting to come on a little bit there in the stretch.”

Giant Ryan had the best finish of the U.S. Thoroughbred contingent, finishing fifth in the Golden Shaheen, a nose ahead of The Factor. Owner Shivananda Parbhoo said jockey Willie Martinez told him the horse was not prepared for the break and was compromised by a slow start. He eventually wound up dueling with Rocket Man for the early lead before giving way late.

“Ryan was moving his head to the left and to the right, [Martinez] was trying to get him settled down,” Parbhoo said. “He said wait and they opened the door.”

Andrew Watkins
Winners of the eight stakes on the 2012 Dubai World Cup program. The World Cup trophy awaits the winner of the $10 million race.

Parbhoo said Giant Ryan would return to Calder and point for the $400,000 Smile Sprint Handicap – a race he won last year – on July 7 with likely one race beforehand. Parbhoo was headed to Saratoga on Monday, where the New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association was to host its annual awards dinner. Giant Ryan was considered a front-runner for New York-bred sprinter of the year as well as a candidate for New York-bred Horse of the Year.

Graham Motion said Lucky Chappy, beaten nine lengths when finishing seventh in the $2 million UAE Derby, would return to him at Fair Hill by the end of the week and would likely be pointed to a summer turf campaign.

“We’re going to be looking at the middle-to-longer distance grass races for the summer,” said Motion, who reiterated his stance that Lucky Chappy was compromised by a slow early pace in the UAE Derby. “He went from running up into a half-mile in 46 [seconds] at Golden Gate to almost a half in 51 the other night. “It really hurt his chances.”

Regally Ready, who finished 14th in the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint after finishing 13th in the Meydan Sprint three weeks earlier, will likely join trainer Steve Asmussen’s Churchill barn after he gets out of quarantine.

Meanwhile, Dubai World Cup first- and second-place finishers Monterosso and Capponi came out of the race in good order, according to Simon Crisford, racing manager for Godolphin, which owns both horses.

In an e-mail to Daily Racing Form , Crisford said that there are no definitive plans for either horse, but the Singapore Cup on May 20 is “a possibility” for one or both horses. Crisford also opened the door for a possible start in the United States later in the year.

“If they are doing well later in the year, the key American races will also come under consideration,” Crisford wrote.

Crisford also confirmed that Grand Vent was euthanized after shattering a hind pastern during the running of the Dubai Gold Cup. That brings to a total of three horses that died – including two Godolphin-owned runners – in the Gold Cup. Godolphin also lost Fox Hunt, who broke down in the early stages of the originally scheduled Gold Cup. The other riders were ordered to pull their horses up and the race was declared a no-contest.

After consultation with the vets and connections of the horses, however,it was later decided the Gold Cup would be re-run following the World Cup. In the second running of the Gold Cup, both Bronze Cannon, owned by Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, and Grand Vent suffered fatal injuries.