- You may recall that Pletcher called the "shipping back from Dubai thing overrated" after his Honey Ryder won on Saturday. James Scully, writing on Brisnet.com, agrees:
The "Dubai jinx" is a myth that has become accepted as fact due to constant repetition by members of the media, similar to the claim of tighter turns at Pimlico, and Pletcher put it in the proper context following the Sheepshead.But Mike Watchmaker has a totally different view:
Unfortunately, for every American-based horse like Cigar, Formal Gold, Silver Charm, Victory Gallop, and Aptitude, who were able to perform at a high level back in this country in a reasonably short time frame after competing in the Dubai Cup, there is a list of American horses two to three times as long who were never the same after racing in the Dubai Cup, or took a very long time to recapture a semblance of peak form. This longer list includes some very good horses, such as Soul of the Matter, Siphon, Sandpit, Behrens, Captain Steve, Harlan's Holiday, Pleasantly Perfect, and Roses in May. [Daily Racing Form, sub. only]In his column, Watchmaker, apparently with little else to do, wonders what would happen to the handicap division if Invasor does not recapture his form, which seems a pointless discussion at this point considering that he's already raced here after running in Dubai. So no point contemplating a summer and fall of Hesanoldsalt vs. Flashy Bull rematches just yet.
- The Associated Press reports that the Sheikh appealed to our illustrious president for assistance regarding the lawsuit filed in Miami on behalf of abused camel jockeys.
Maktoum asked Bush for his "personal attention" to the lawsuit filed in Miami federal court, which the prime minister said "is causing an unnecessary interference with the good and mutually valuable relations" between the two countries. [AP]In a letter dated February 11, the Sheikh said that the UAE is "a key partner in the global war against terrorism." The note was written before the Sheikh played host to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad earlier this month. A hearing is scheduled for July 16 on the UAE's motion to have the suit dismissed. The Emirates contend the lawsuit should be thrown out because U.S. courts have no jurisdiction and its rulers are entitled to sovereign immunity.
- The Bengals' Chad Johnson will race against a horse for charity at River Downs on Belmont day, a contest that may be more interesting than the Belmont itself.
The race, billed as "man vs. beast," will be held on the turf course, with Johnson starting at the sixteenth pole and the horse, Restore the Roar, starting at the eighth pole. [ESPN.com]No word on how Johnson will celebrate at the finish line should he win. I seem to remember, many years ago, Beasley Reece, the former New York Giants DB and currently an Emmy winning broadcaster in Philadelphia, racing against a horse at Monticello. I don't remember if he won or not; maybe I'll ask him.