02/26/2002 1:00AM

Essence of Dubai starting year

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Essence of Dubai, among 17 horses nominated to the Triple Crown by Godolphin Racing, is entered in Thursday's UAE 2000 Guineas at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai.

Essence of Dubai, a $2.3 million Keeneland yearling, makes his first start of the year in the Guineas. In his last race, he finished 12th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Before the Juvenile, Essence of Dubai won two races in California, the Grade 2 Norfolk and a maiden race, while under the care of trainer Eoin Harty. The colt is now trained by Godolphin's head trainer, Saeed bin Suroor. Frankie Dettori has the mount.

Also on Thursday at Nad Al Sheba, Street Cry makes his seasonal debut for Godolphin in the Maktoum Challenge Round 3, a 1 1/4-mile prep for the $6 million World Cup on March 23. Street Cry, who won the UAE 2000 Guineas last year, was sidelined with an ankle injury while preparing for the Kentucky Derby. After seven months away from the races, he finished second in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct on Oct. 31.