03/26/2012 12:51PM

Maritimer gets into UAE Derby

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Michael Burns
Maritimer, winning last fall's Coronation Futurity at Woodbine, will make his first start for trainer Herman Brown in the UAE Derby.

Trainer Herman Brown had to sweat it out until entry day, but his recently acquired 3-year-old, Maritimer, drew into Saturday night’s $2 million UAE Derby.

A dual stakes winner in Canada as a 2-year-old, Maritimer only drew into the race when Boby Di Job , a horse rated higher than Maritimer, did not enter the race. The UAE Derby drew 17 entrants, but only 14 will be permitted to start.

Maritimer is a finalist for the Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion 2-year-old, an honor that will be announced on April 5. At 2, Maritimer won 3 of 6 starts, including the Coronation Futurity and Display Stakes, both on Woodbine’s synthetic surface. He was then owned by his breeder, Howard Walton, and trained by Sid Attard.

In January, Maritimer was purchased privately by Ramzan Kadyrov, the controversial president of Chechnya. After spending 30 days in quarantine in Florida, he shipped to trainer Herman Brown’s Dubai stable in late February.

“He’s a lovely looking horse,” Brown said Monday morning as the Maritimer completed his training over the Tapeta surface. “He’s a big, rangy horse and I’m impressed how he was Canadian champion 2-year-old [finalist]. If you look at him, he’s got to be a better horse as a 3-year-old or 4-year-old. If you look at him, he’s still got a bit of a ways to go.”

Brown will have several runners on Saturday’s World Cup card, including Mikhail Glinka and Bronze Cannon in the $1 million Gold Cup; August Rush in the $1 million Al Quoz; Dux Scholar in the $1 million Godolphin Mile, and Green Destiny in the $5 million Duty Free.

“Mikhail Glinka in the Gold Cup and Maritimer are our best chances,” Brown said.

Though Mikhail Glinka won a prep for the Sheema Classic, Brown elected to run him in the Gold Cup because the 2-mile distance might suit him better as well as the lesser company.

Brown is running Green Destiny in the Duty Free on turf after the horse finished last in the Maktoum Challenge on Tapeta.

“We tried him on the Tapeta and he hated it,” Brown said. “We’re drawing a line through it and putting him back on the turf.”

War Artist back for Al Quoz

To hear locals talk, the first significant rain of the season fell here Sunday night and early Monday morning. Robert Plersch, the owner of War Artist, hopes it’s the last.

War Artist will be taking a third crack at the $1 million Al Quoz, a five-furlong turf sprint here on Saturday night. Plersch said his 9-year-old Australian-bred gelding needs firm turf.

Last year, War Artist came within a head of beating J J the Jet Plane in this race. Two years ago, War Artist finished fourth, beaten just 2 1/2 lengths.

War Artist, trained by Michael de Kock, has run just once this year, that a seventh-place finish – beaten only four lengths – in the Meydan Sprint. It was his first start since last October. War Artist only went 1 for 7 last year, but the win came at Meydan in his prep for the Al Quoz. He also won a Group 3 race here in 2010.

Both Plersch and De Kock said luck will play a role how War Artist fares Saturday night.

“If he’s too far behind and it doesn’t open in time you don’t get there,” Plersch said as he watched his horse train Monday morning. “It depends on whether they can get through or not. He’s not the best starter but Mike said we don’t want to push him too hard [early]. We’re just hoping he can get in a good position.”

Plersch bought the horse in 2008 and couldn’t race the horse for nearly after a year after he came down with colic. The horse has won four Group 3 races in Germany, France, and Dubai.

“He won me four or five Group races. I took him when he had colic. It was a big risk,” Plersch said. “He doesn’t owe me a penny. If he doesn’t perform anymore I’ll retire him. … I’m not so nervous as I was last year.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the horse who did not enter the UAE Derby, allowing Maritimer into the race. It was Boby Di Job, not Entifaadha.