11/03/2008 1:00AM

Sheikh Hamdan stocking up for Dubai


While Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum has been active purchasing many of North America's top 2-year-olds, his brother, Sheikh Hamdan, has been quietly buying some nice older horses to run in next year's Dubai International Racing Carnival.

On Monday, Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Stable closed a deal to purchase the quality turf horse War Monger from owner Peter Vegso and trainer Bill Mott. War Monger won the Sunshine Millions Turf this year, his only win from seven starts in 2008. In his last start, War Monger finished seventh in the Breeders' Cup Mile.

War Monger was the most recent of seven horses that Sheikh Hamdan has purchased since the summer. Others include the graded-stakes-winning sprinters Tasteyville and Indian Chant, as well as Barbecue Eddie, Merchant Marine, Summer Doldrums, and Pascal.

Barbecue Eddie finished fourth to Benny the Bull in last year's Dubai Golden Shaheen, a race that he'll likely target again. Merchant Marine finished third to Curlin in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Summer Doldrums has won stakes on dirt (Whirlaway), turf (Grade 3 Colonial Turf Cup), and synthetic (Presque Isle Downs Mile). Pascal won the off-the-turf Allied Forces, an overnight stakes at Belmont.

"We're not looking for anything specific, it's just when we can find a particularly nice racehorse in America, get them sent over, and work them into their program," said Rick Nichols, Shadwell Stable's racing manager. "Sheikh Hamdan is there for the winter, through the Carnival, and he wanted to have a few nice horses to watch run."

It was uncertain to which trainers the seven horses would go. It is also unclear whether any of those horses would return to North America following the Carnival to compete in the United States.

The Dubai International Racing Carnival begins Jan. 15 and culminates with the Dubai World Cup program at Nad Al Sheba on March 28.