American horses use Thursday to gallop ahead of World Cup
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Sports Network) - Two of the three United States based thoroughbreds entered in Saturday's $10 million Dubai World Cup galloped over the all-weather Meydan Racetrack two days before the 1 1/4-mile race.
Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, galloped approximately 1 3/4 miles with assistant trainer and exercise rider Alice Clapham in the saddle.
"He was on his toes," said trainer Graham Motion, "but we would be worried about him if he wasn't."
Owned by Team Valor, Animal Kingdom drew post 12 in the 13-horse field and is the 5-1 third pick in the morning line.
"Hopefully (jockey) Joel Rosario will have him in a good spot. Our tactics won't change and he's capable of coming from off of it if he has to. After all we won the Derby from post 16," said Motion.
Pacific Classic champ Dullahan also galloped Thursday morning at Meydan. Trained by Dale Romans, the 4-year-old colt went around the synthetic track 1 1/2 times.
"He trained great," said Romans.
Dullahan, owned by Donegal Racing, will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens from post 3 and is 6-1 in the morning line.
"U.S. horses have had no success since the switch from Nad Al Sheba dirt course to the synthetic surface at Meydan," Stevens said. "But in the Dubai World Cup Dullahan is a specialist on a synthetic surface, with three wins back home on it including the Pacific Classic. His only defeat was his prep run here at Meydan, where he needed the race, and where things, through no fault of his jockey that day, didn't go right for him. Dullahan has a great finish over the final 600, and my job is to put him in the right place in the race to produce that."
Leading female Royal Delta took it easy Thursday following a strong three- furlong workout on Wednesday. Owned by Besilu Stables, the 5-year-old mare jogged around a small trotting ring and rested the remainder of the day.
Royal Delta is the 4-1 second selection with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith again in the saddle from post 8. Trained by Bill Mott, she finished ninth in last year's World Cup before going on to win her second straight Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic and second Eclipse Award.
"The filly did well coming into the race last year but we didn't have the easiest of trips," Mott noted, "so we decided to come back right then and there. She is bigger and stronger this year."
The Dubai World Cup, the richest race in the world, has a post-time of 2:05 p.m. (ET).
03/28 12:06:22 ET