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DUBAI: LITTLE MIKE IN FOCUS
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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Dubai

Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) winner 'et cetera', the Dale Romans trained gelding Little Mike is an interesting horse shipped across the oceans for a big race on Dubai World Cup night.

Little Mike is a tough, US based turf runner, who is seriously dangerous if allowed to stroll along on an uncontested lead. Like when he won the prestigious Arlington Million (G1) over 1 miles in Chicago last August. As rival jockeys underestimated his mount's chances, jockey Ramon Dominguez sent Little Mike straight to the front. Where he managed to slow things down, and have plenty in reserve when entering the home stretch. At that stage, it was already clear that he would not be for catching. Little Mike ran on well to the wire, and took the race by 1 lengths from the English trained challenger Afsare. Little Mike had run a similar race to take the Turf Classic (G1) over 9 furlongs (1800 metres) at Churchill Downs in May (easily from Slim Shadey) and after his win in Chicago he was well established in the elite. And members of the elite must go to the Breeders' Cup. Trainer Dale Romans never ducks a challenge, so that Little Mike would be at Santa Anita Park on November 4 was pretty obvious. Though, to contest which race? The Breeders' Cup Mile (G1), where he would drop down in trip and face Wise Dan, or the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1), where he would stretch out in trip and face the defending champion St Nicholas Abbey and New York win machine Point of Entry? It was a tough call and in the end Romans made the right one, as he declared Little Mike for the Turf. Dominguez was again on board but this time he did not take an early lead. Instead, he settle Little Mike in third spot early, and the gelding was nice and relaxed in that position. He made his move with just under a quarter of a mile to go, and kicked into a clear lead. Point of Entry finished faster, but he came form too far back and Little Mike held on by half a length. The versatility he showed here, able to rate just off the pace, made him an even better horse, and he is certainly good enough to make an impact also in the Sheema Classic. Particularly if they go slowly early on.

UPDATE MARCH 21: LITTLE MIKE GOES FOR THE DUTY FREE





Last update: 2013-03-23 06:31:01 (First published: 2013-03-07 08:41:30 )

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