Updated on 09/15/2011 12:34PM

Give 'Dubai' edge vs. Hero's Tribute

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NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Hero's Tribute tops E Dubai in the Peter Pan. The rematch is Sunday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - With Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury, Hero's Tribute is left to carry the torch for trainer John Ward's 3-year-old division.

Hero's Tribute's summer campaign begins Sunday at Belmont Park in the $150,000 Dwyer Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile, Grade 2 race that features a rematch between Hero's Tribute and E Dubai, the one-two finishers of the May 26 Peter Pan Stakes here.

Griffinite, I Love Silver, Regal Shivers, and Windsor Castle were also entered.

In the Peter Pan, Hero's Tribute wore blinkers for the first time and they helped put him in the game early. He and E Dubai dueled over a sloppy track through sensational fractions of 22.55 seconds, 44.87, 1:08.59 and 1:33.75 before Hero's Tribute - who was also equipped with a bar shoe - pulled away in the final eighth.

In that race, Hero's Tribute raced outside of E Dubai and carried six fewer pounds. Also, E Dubai was running back just 15 days after a lifetime-best performance, winning a second-level allowance race by 12 1/2 lengths.

This time, there are several factors that may play in E Dubai's favor.

First, E Dubai drew post 3, which puts him outside of Hero's Tribute, who drew the rail. Second, the two will carry equal weight of 121 pounds. Third, the track should be fast, and it certainly seemed that Hero's Tribute handled the slop better than E Dubai in the Peter Pan.

Finally, Ward said he is treating the Dwyer with Hero's Tribute much in the same way he used the Wood Memorial for Monarchos - as a prep. Ward is eyeing the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 5 - and a possible meeting with Preakness and Belmont winner Point Given - for Hero's Tribute.

"I don't want to leave this horse's best race on the racetrack," said Ward, who will remove the bar shoe from Hero's Tribute on Saturday.

If Godolphin Racing Inc. wants to compete in races like the Jim Dandy, Haskell, or Travers with confidence, E Dubai must prove that he belongs. Tom Albertrani, the assistant to trainer Godolphin's Saeed bin Suroor, believes E Dubai is coming into the Dwyer better than he did the Peter Pan.

"We got more time between races and he looks a little better to me than he did going into the last one," Albertrani said.

Of the remaining four entrants, Griffinite and I Love Silver appear to be the ones with an upset chance. Griffinite was beaten only six lengths in the Preakness. I Love Silver comes off a decent second-place finish in a good allowance after a non-effort in the Peter Pan.