03/28/2010 11:00PM

Kinsale King takes Golden Shaheen

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Andrew Watkins
Musir gives trainer Michael De Kock his fifth UAE Derby win.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Don't mess with American sprinters, especially in Dubai.

Kinsale King, who battled foot problems last summer, became the ninth American based horse since 2000 to win the $2 million Golden Shaheen at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday.

Kinsale King was the only American-trained runner in the field of 10, and gave owner Patrick Sheehy and trainer Carl O'Callaghan their most lucrative career wins.

The race unfolded exactly as the California-based O'Callaghan predicted earlier in the week. Jockey Garrett Gomez kept Kinsale King behind the Japanese star Laurel Guerreiro for the first quarter-mile, engaged the leader on the turn, and took the lead in early stretch before holding off Rocket Man to win by a half-length. Kinsale King ran about six furlongs, or 1,200 meters, in 1:10.89. He paid 411.40 in the U.S.

As impressive as Kinsale King was holding off the challengers, Gomez was worried going to post. He thought Kinsale King was behaving too quietly, especially for a sprinter.

"He was so laid back," Gomez said. "I tried to wake him up. It was about 50 yards into the race before I got him going."

Kinsale King joined O'Callaghan's stable last summer, and was troubled by quarter cracks at the time. He has not lost since, winning four races, including the Grade 3 Vernon Underwood Stakes and Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap in Southern California. Kinsale King, a 5-year-old gelding by Yankee Victor, has won 5 of 8 starts and $1,407,080.

Godolphin Mile: Godolphin trainer off to good start

Wednesday, Godolphin Racing announced that Mahmood Al Zarooni, a former assistant to main trainer Saeed bin Suroor, was being given a small stable of horses to train in England this year.

Saturday, Al Zarooni went to the winner's circle with his first starter, Calming Influence in the $1 million Godolphin Mile.

Ridden by Ahmed Ajtebi, Calming Influence won by a length over the locally-based Green Coast, who closed well through the stretch. Skysurfers, also owned by Godolphin, finished third in the field of 14.

Calming Influence was always near the front. Ajtebi stalked pacesetter Le Drakkar for the first five furlongs before engaging the leader at the head of Meydan's 5 1/16-mile stretch.

Calming Influence led by about two lengths at the eighth pole. He finished about one mile, or 1,600 meters over the Tapeta synthetic surface, in 1:36.57 and paid $29 in U.S. betting pools.

A 5-year-old Irish-bred horse by King's Best, Calming Influence has won 5 of 15 starts and $850,602.

Al Quoz: Hong Kong runner wins al Quoz turf sprint

Joy and Fun, a Hong Kong-based turf sprinter who had struggled in group stakes on that circuit, ended a seven-race losing streak with a victory in the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint, the evening's first Thoroughbred race.

California Flag, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita last November, set the pace for the first five furlongs and finished third, beaten a length.

Joy and Fun ran about six furlongs, or 1,200 meters, in 1:09.80, finishing three-quarters of a length in front of Fravashi, an Australian-bred who lost two starts at a mile in Dubai earlier this year.

Jockey Brett Doyle gave Joy and Fun an ideal trip, rating the 6-year-old gelding about a length behind California Flag for the first half-mile. Joy and Fun drew closer to the leader in the final sixteenth before taking the lead.

California Flag lost second in the final strides. "He had a perfect trip," jockey Joe Talamo said. "He did everything that we wanted. He just got outrun in the last part."

The Group 3 Al Quoz Sprint was California Flag's first start since a fifth-place finish in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint in December, a layoff that trainer Brian Koriner mentioned after the race. "Maybe it would have helped if he had a race," Koriner said. "He just got beat."

Joy and Fun, trained by Derek Cruz, has won 4 of 24 starts and $1,462,435. He paid $38.40 in the United States.