10/09/2002 12:00AM

New Jersey outfit to try Dubai

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West Point Thoroughbreds, a New Jersey-based company that sells racing partnerships, plans to buy and race several 2-year-olds in Dubai this year and market them to U.S. owners, officials for the company said Wednesday.

West Point president Terry Finley and president of bloodstock services Jim Cullen are in Dubai for the Oct. 12 Pearls of Dubai International juvenile sale. Any horse West Point buys there will be raced in Dubai through at least the end of its 2-year-old season, said Rich Cristiano, West Point's director of client management.

"The purse structure over there is fairly good and the training costs are a fraction of what they are over here, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to test the waters," Cristiano said.

West Point is committed to buying several horses at the sale; 53 lots guaranteed by the Emirates Racing Association will be auctioned.

Because of subsidies from the Emirates, the cost of training a horse in Dubai is "about half" what it costs in Kentucky or New York, Cristiano said.

Meanwhile, Dubai officials told West Point that they hope to form an agreement with a U.S. racing company to simulcast races from Dubai this year. "We think it's the perfect time for us to be the first partnership to do this," Cristiano said.