02/23/2010 12:00AM

Midshipman runs in allowance


The Group 3 Balanchine Stakes and the listed UAE Oaks are the features on Meydan's eight-race, $1.26 million card Thursday night, but both have come up weak, so American attention should be focused on the reappearance of Midshipman in a competitive seven-furlong allowance.

The lightly raced winner of the 2008 Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface, Midshipman failed to stay a mile when fourth behind Gloria de Campeao in Round 1 of the Maktoum Challenge on Jan. 28, and so is being dropped in both class and distance for this $110,000 conditions race on the Tapeta main track. With Frankie Dettori riding, Midshipman will carry equal weight of 129 pounds with Laa Rayb, winner of Deauville's one-mile, Group 3 Prix Quincey in 2008 as well as the $250,000 Totesport Mile Handicap at Goodwood last August.

The 1 3/16-mile, $250,000 UAE Oaks on Tapeta has attracted Siyaadah, the winner of the one-mile UAE 1000 Guineas. The Godolphin-owned Slyaadah will be ridden by Ahmed Ajtebi when she squares off again with Berg Bahn, Raihana, and Bikini Babe, the third-, fourth-, and fifth-place finishers in the Guineas two weeks ago.

The 1 1/8-mile, $200,000 Balanchine Stakes on turf has drawn much the same field that contested the similarly conditioned Cape Verdi Stakes on Feb. 5 with the exception of the winner Soneva, who sits this one out. Godolphin's neck runner-up Aspectoflove will start the likely favorite ahead of Purple Sage and Zirconeum, who were fifth and sixth in the Cape Verdi.