10/04/2006 11:00PM

World Cup moved back

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The $6 million Dubai World Cup will be run on March 31, 2007, at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai, one week later than originally scheduled, the organizing body announced Thursday.

The shift to a later date could be a boost to the fields for two major stakes run in the United States in early March - the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap, tentatively scheduled for March 3, and the $350,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap, which will be run on March 3.

"The change can't hurt," said Santa Anita racing secretary Rick Hammerle. Horses "can run here and run there."

The change in dates was designed to move the Dubai World Cup onto Easter weekend, when organizers hope to draw more international travelers, according to a statement released Thursday.

The Dubai World Cup is part of a seven-race program of stakes, including six stakes for Thoroughbreds worth $1 million or more. The program includes two $5 million turf races and two $2 million races on dirt.

American-based horses have won five of the 11 runnings of the Dubai World Cup, most recently Roses in May in 2005.