03/08/2007 12:00AM

Folk wires UAE Oaks


Folk cruised to a front-running victory over five outclassed rivals to win the listed $250,000 UAE Oaks at Nad Al Sheba on Thursday night. Never fully extended, the Quiet American filly was following a similarly handy score in the UAE 1000 Guineas three weeks ago in duplicating the feat of her half-sister Danuta, who pulled off the same double in 2003. She will now challenge Asiatic Boy, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas and Al Bastikiya, in the UAE Derby on March 31.

So easy was Folk's achievement, there was more drama before the race than during as Desert Fight flipped behind the gate, tossing her rider Ryan Moore to the ground. Her withdrawal caused a five-minute delay but Folk was unfazed, barely turning a hair as she drew away from runner-up Samba Reggae by five lengths, with Greetings another 5 3/4 lengths back in third. The time for the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track was 1:48.59,, breaking the stakes record of 1:49.61 set by Imperial Gesture in 2002.

Although Folk is trained in Dubai by Ismail Mohammed for Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, her rider, Kerrin McEvoy, reported directly to Sheikh Mohammed and his Godolphin assistant Simon Crisford after the race. On hand too was Tom Albertrani, the man who had trained Folk to her 10 1/4-length maiden score at Aqueduct last November, the implication being that Folk will either be returned to Albertrani to race in Darley's maroon-and-white colors, or switched to Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor for an eventual return to the United States.

* Jockey Fernando Jara finished a distant fourth in the UAE Oaks aboard Carillon. Jara traveled to Dubai at the request of Hamdan Al Maktoum and Kiaran McLaughlin in order to gain experience of Nad Al Sheba, where he will ride the favored Invasor in the World Cup on March 31.