The winner of the 2009 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Vale Of York, has been away from the races since his longshot win at Santa Anita over likely Kentucky Derby favorite, Lookin At Lucky. Godolphin returned the Juvenile winner to Dubai following his triumph to allegedly prep him for the Kentucky Derby that they are so desperate to win. In recent weeks, there have been rumors that Vale Of York would not be returning to the United States after all and would rather be running in some of the European classics.
Whatever his destiny, Vale Of York's 2010 campaign will commence this weekend during the Dubai World Cup preview card at the new Meydan Race Course. He is scheduled to start in the $250,000 Al Bastikiya as a prep for the UAE Derby, which is part of the traditional Dubai World Cup program. Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford has said that Vale Of York will either be sent to Kentucky or to Europe based on his results in those two races. Ahmed Ajtebi, who timed the ride in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile to perfection, will stay aboard Vale Of York in the Al Bastikiya.
I have, of course, mentioned before on this blog (numerous times) that I selected Vale Of York on top in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, so obviously I have a soft spot in my heart for the horse and would love to see him return to the U.S. for the Derby in just less than three months. Whether or not I get to see that will depend a lot on this weekend. You can sure I will be watching with a very keen eye.
Tune in again for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!
Photo courtesy of racingpost.com