03/24/2004 12:00AM

For favorites, beat goes on

Horses train Wednesday at Nad Al Sheba in the shadow of Dubai. Frankie Dettori will ride Grand Hombre in the $6 million Dubai World Cup.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - After traveling without incident to the other side of the world and appearing to train well in recent days, Pleasantly Perfect and Medaglia d'Oro, the first two finishers in the Breeders' Cup Classic last October, drew favorable post positions Wednesday for Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba racecourse.

Medaglia d'Oro, the winner of the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 7, drew post 11 in the 12-horse field. He is expected to show speed under jockey Jerry Bailey and can stalk the pace or lead from that post.

Pleasantly Perfect, who has won three consecutive stakes, the most recent of which was the San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita on Jan. 31, drew post 7, which should work for his closing style.

The race has two other American-owned and -trained horses - Domestic Dispute, who starts from post 1, and Fleetstreet Dancer, who starts from post 10.

The post position draw was conducted at a beachfront hotel approximately 10 miles from Nad Al Sheba.

The draw was conducted in two stages. After a random draw determined the order of selection, the horses' representatives walked to the side of a stage where two rows of Arab-style coffee pots were aligned. Each representative chose a pot, and when the lid was lifted, a number that represented a post position was revealed.

Victory Moon, a multiple stakes winner here and a possible threat to the Americans, drew the first post, No. 9.

Medaglia d'Oro was the first American horse to have his post drawn, and the sixth overall. Owner Ed Gann chose the pot that revealed post 11.

"We can be the stalker now," said Jose Cuevas, Medaglia d'Oro's exercise rider. "He's coming into the race very good. He was pulling me this morning."

Domestic Dispute was the seventh to have his post selected. Trainer Paddy Gallagher wanted to draw a post in the middle of the field for the 2004 Strub Stakes winner, who will be ridden by Gary Stevens, but instead got the rail.

"It's the shortest way around," Gallagher said of drawing the rail. "He can pop out and Gary can get him to relax. Hopefully, a few will go on."

Fleetstreet Dancer, third to Pleasantly Perfect in the San Antonio, had his post drawn ninth and will start from post 10. The winner of the Japan Cup Dirt in November, Fleetstreet Dancer can race on or near the lead.

Pleasantly Perfect's connections were the last to choose a post, leaving him in 7.

"I think that's about as good as we could have hoped for," said owner Gerald Ford.

The amount of pace in the race remains uncertain. Medaglia d'Oro is a danger from the front or as a stalker. He might be able to track two longshots who have shown speed: Dinyeper, a multiple stakes winner from Turkey, and Silent Deal, who is from Japan.

Grand Hombre, the winner of the Pennsylvania Derby, showed speed when he won allowances races at Monmouth Park last year. He was subsequently acquired by the Maktoum family's Godolphin Stable, but has not started since finishing second in the Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park last October.

"He's never a flashy worker at home, and I'm waiting to be surprised at the racecourse on Saturday," said jockey Frankie Dettori. "What he's done is very basic. They don't come any better than Medaglia d'Oro and Pleasantly Perfect. It will be very tough."

Grand Hombre worked three furlongs under Dettori at Godolphin's Al Quoz training center Wednesday.

"Whatever he runs on Saturday night, we have some ambitious plans for him in North America throughout the summer," said Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager.

Victory Moon, a 5-year-old South African-bred, has won four stakes on this track, including the top local prep on March 6. The draw suits Victory Moon, according to trainer Michael de Kock.

"I prefer a wide draw for him," he said. "He's a big-striding horse. If you get a low draw and you get in amongst them and they go a slow pace, he wants to get all over them, and he doesn't enjoy it. I'd rather be on the outside, two or three wide, and using his action."