- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Jonathan Harvey and trainer Brian Meehan's Burano broke his maiden in Thursday's $150,000 Meydan Classic in Dubai. Winless from six starts going into the metric mile affair, the Dalakhani colt got up late to deny Entifaadha in a cavalry charge.
"I was short of room when I first needed it," winning rider Frankie Dettori said, "but luckily the gaps appeared and he ran on strongly."
Burano is entered in Saturday's Emirates Racing Association's Horses in Training Sale, but Thursday's score is prompting a rethink.
"He is improving all the time," Meehan said, "and that is his first win, so we will have to think about whether he goes through the ring on Saturday. Frankie gave him a great ride as I was worried there was no room 400 meters (about a quarter-mile) out."
Burano had hinted at ability on occasion. In his career debut at Newmarket, the chestnut was just collared by eventual Group 3 winner Rockinante, and in his first effort in Dubai, he rallied for fifth in the February 3 Meydan Classic Trial. Burano couldn't duplicate that performance when switched to Tapeta for the Group 3 U.A.E. Two Thousand Guineas on February 9, finishing eighth, but bounced back on the turf here.
Factory Time, the front-running winner of the Meydan Classic Trial, aimed to repeat over an extra furlong on Thursday. But the pacesetter's stamina ebbed away in deep stretch, and he was inhaled by the closers. Entifaadha looked to have the victory in the bag as he quickened on the outside, only to have Burano snatch it away from him by a short head in a final time of 1:40 1/5 on the good turf. Noor Zabeel closed for third, with Factory Time tiring to seventh in the 12-horse field.
Burano, who avenged his defeat at Entifaadha's hands at Newmarket last summer, increased his earnings tenfold to $99,681 from his 7-1-2-0 line. Bred by Sir E.J. Loder in Ireland, he was sold for $110,519 as a Goffs September yearling. Burano is out of the Lake Coniston mare Kalimanta, herself a half-sister to Breeders' Cup Turf-winning champion Kalanisi.
The Meydan Classic is unlikely to factor in the Kentucky Derby picture, for it featured no Triple Crown nominees.
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