03/26/2005 1:00AM

Roses in May much the best

Roses in May, ridden by John Velazquez, powers his way to a three-length victory in Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Roses in May took the fight to the world in Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba racecourse and proved that his stamina and speed were enough to win the planet's richest race.

Always near the front under Eclipse Award-winning jockey John Velazquez, Roses in May took the lead with six furlongs remaining, kicked clear of his 11 rivals at the head of the three-furlong stretch, and scored by three lengths.

The victory marked the biggest prize in the racing careers of Velazquez, trainer Dale Romans, and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey. Roses in May became the fifth American-trained winner in 10 runnings of the Dubai World Cup.

The winning tactics were a strategy that Romans and Velazquez had discussed the day before the race. They wanted Roses in May to challenge the other runners.

"I wanted to take the run to them," Romans said. "He can go to the front and keep going. If he can keep his momentum going, he doesn't back down."

Roses in May finished about 1 1/4 miles, or 2,000 meters, in 2:02.17 and paid $4.20 in the United States. At the wire, he was clear of Dynever, the American stakes winner now based in Saudi Arabia. Choctaw Nation, trained in California by Jeff Mullins, finished third.

Jack Sullivan finished fourth, followed by Congrats, Adjudi Mitsuo, Lundy's Liability, King's Boy, Yard-Arm, Ruler's Court, Chiquitin, and Elmustanser.

Roses in May broke from post 11 and was near the front under Velazquez for the first half-mile, tracking Yard-Arm and Chiquitin. Roses in May engaged Chiquitin with six furlongs remaining, and led by at least a length at the top of the long stretch.

"Past the five-eighths, I put him on the bridle and he won easy," Velazquez said.

Choctaw Nation, the winner of the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap last summer, rallied from the back to threaten in the stretch, but Velazquez said he never feared that Roses in May would be caught.

Choctaw Nation was caught by Dynever in the final sixteenth. The Dubai World Cup was Dynever's final start for trainer Christophe Clement. Dynever has been based in Saudi Arabia since being privately purchased earlier this winter.

Roses in May's victory strengthened his status as one of the finest dirt horses in the world. Second to Ghostzapper in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star Park, Roses in May has won 8 of 13 starts and $5,490,187. The Dubai World Cup was his first win since the Kentucky Cup Classic last September.

Romans had been confident all week, and the results showed why.

"He loves to win and he loves to run," Romans said. "I thought he was better than going into the Breeders' Cup. I think we saved our best race for this day."