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Fantasy Horse Racing?

I enjoyed Joe Drape’s column in the Times regarding the ongoing medication and safety issues in American racing and would love to see some of these ideas taken much further. However, I do wonder about his suggestion that should British-based Mafaaz win the Derby on hay, oats and water we’d see a collective return to basics – it didn’t happen after Raven’s Pass won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but perhaps we’re just slow over here and need repeated reminders. It’s an interesting notion.

There will be plenty of drug-free horses running in Dubai this weekend; the World Cup is almost upon us. It’s something of a quiet US contingent this year (at least compared to Curlin last year), with Albertus Maximus, Arson Squad and Well Armed heading the American charge in the big race (along with, somewhat oddly, Anak Nakal). Indian Blessing will be taking on the boys in the Golden Shaheen (although one hopes she’ll dress more appropriately for the event than My Little Slave Princess Leia) and Gayego appears in the Godolphin Mile. Post positions will be determined on Wednesday, and we’ll have much more on each race later in the week.

There may also some American horses trying their luck in Britain later this spring – Kenny McPeek’s Dream Empress and Striking Dancer will take aim at the Epsom Oaks (largely, it seems, because we have no equivalent mile-and-a-half turf race for them Stateside). It is possible Theregoesjojo will point to that Derby, rather than its Kentucky counterpart – it sounds almost as though he and Mafaaz may simply switch places.

Check back later this week for more on the Florida Derby and the Dubai World Cup…

4 comments to Fantasy Horse Racing?

  • Jessica

    Well, Raven’s Pass did win the Breeders’ Cup Classic running on first-time Lasix and Bute. I can see why he didn’t spark a rush to return to the basics.

  • Superfecta

    Very good point – and it’s what I assume any Euros coming over for the Derby will do once they get here.

  • G. Rarick

    The euros usually use the drugs in America because they feel they have to. But not all do. Pascal Bary won with Six Perfections a couple of years ago with no medication, and same with Domedriver. Dubai, unfortunately, is not a good example. The rules say no drugs, but the reality is otherwise. Look to Hong Kong. They’re clean.

  • Superfecta

    I loved Six Perfections – great example! I don’t see things going drug-free here unless everyone agreed to it at once; the level playing field seems remarkably difficult to attain. Great point about Hong Kong – they don’t put up with that sort of thing there.

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