HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- I Want Revenge is going to Dubai after all. Unfortunately for trainer Rick Dutrow and an ownership group headed by the IEAH Stable, he won't be going into the race they'd hoped for.
I Want Revenge will compete in the $1 million Godolphin Mile at Meydan on the evening of March 26 rather than the main event, the $10 million Dubai World Cup. He'll be accompanied on the flight by stablemate Stradivinsky, who'll run in the $1 million Al Quoz going five furlongs on the turf.
"I'm really disappointed I Want Revenge did not get invited to the World Cup," Dutrow said on Wednesday. "I don't know exactly why he didn't receive an invitation to that race. I guess they thought they had a whole bunch of horses better than he is. I don't agree but what can I do?"
I Want Revenge has started just once since Aug. 21, finishing fourth after looming boldly at the top of the stretch in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap here on Feb. 5. Dutrow felt that race would have set his horse up perfectly for the World Cup.
"He really needed that race and he's already proven he can run on synthetic surfaces," said Dutrow. "We'll just have to settle for the Mile. That's a distance that's well within his scope and I really like the timing of the race coming out of the Donn."
Dutrow said I Want Revenge, who breezed an easy half-mile in 50.20 seconds under exercise rider Michelle Nevin on Wednesday, will be ridden again by Ramon Dominguez in Dubai. He will have one more work, which will come the morning of his March 15 flight to Dubai.
Dutrow also breezed Stradivinsky here Wednesday. With Nevin aboard, Stradivinsky went five furlongs over a firm turf course in 1:03.18. Julien Leparoux has the mount on Stradavinsky in the Al Quoz.
Joining Stradivinsky on the grass course Wednesday was stablemate Acting Happy, who drilled five-eighths in 1:01.76, shading 24 for the final quarter mile. It was the first time she'd ever been on the grass.
"I wanted to see if she'd handle the turf and I thought she breezed real well," said Dutrow.
Dutrow remains uncommitted as to the next start for the undefeated Flashpoint, easy winner of the Grade 2, seven-furlong Hutcheson here on Feb. 26.
"He'll likely run here on the 3rd, either in the Swale or that two-turn race," said Dutrow jokingly referring to the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby. "He's doing good but we'll have to see. Right now I'm leaning towards the longer race."
Lots of big names Saturday
Had I Want Revenge not received an invitation to Dubai, he would have been a starter in Saturday's Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap. But even without I Want Revenge, the one-mile Gulfstream Handicap came up a very strong and competitive race, luring a field of eight topped by Donn runner-up Rule; Tackleberry and Soaring Empire, who were the first and second finishers in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship; the multiple Grade 2 winner Duke of Mischief; and Jackson Bend, Tizway, Pulsion and Our Dark Knight.
Saturday's star-studded entries also includes Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Pluck, who was entered in the Grade 3 Palm Beach but is more likely to run the same afternoon in a one-mile allowance race at Tampa Bay Downs. Pluck's first major goal this year is either the Irish or French 2000 Guineas in May.
"The original idea was to look for a sensible place to bring him back going a mile," said Motion. "Since the race we're ultimately pointing for, either the Irish or French Guineas, is at a mile, it doesn't make sense to start him off at a mile and one-eighth and then shorten him up, but I needed to get him started this weekend so I put him in the Palm Beach just in case the race at Tampa didn't fill."
With Pluck not likely to compete, Hallandale Beach winner Master Dunker may go postward the slight favorite in the Palm Beach in a field that includes East of Danzig, Ari C, Joes Blazing Aaron, Artful Run, Queen'splateskitten, Newsdad, Liberty Cap and Rafe.
Santos to sign biography
Retired jockey Jose Santos, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby with Funny Cide, will be here Saturday to autograph copies of his newly released biography, titled "Above It All: The Turbulent Life of Jose Santos."
Santos will sign copies of his book between 8 and 10 a.m. during the Breakfast at Gulfstream show and between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the breezeway adjacent to the walking ring.
Written by Bill Heller, "Above It All" is being sold exclusively online at JoseSantosBook.com. Santos, who retired in 2007 because of complications from a spill at Aqueduct, was a leading rider for many years in both Florida and New York. Aside from winning both the Derby and Preakness with Funny Cide in 2003, he also orchestrated one of the biggest upsets in Breeders' Cup Classic history aboard Volponi in 2002.