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Roses in May Wins in the Desert

5-Year-Old Earns Racing's Top Prize at Dubai World Cup

Associated Press
Sunday, March 27, 2005; Page E05

It's party time in the desert for Ken Ramsey.

After Roses in May won the $6 million Dubai World Cup last night in the United Arab Emirates -- and added $3.6 million to Ramsey's bank account -- the owner hoisted a giant glittering gold cup overhead, received congratulations from Dubai's ruling sheiks and said he plans to stick around for a while.

"We're going to have a champagne-and-roses party tonight," Ramsey said. "This is the biggest moment I've had in racing so far, absolutely. Right now I feel like I'm king of the mountain."

The return trip to Kentucky will have to wait awhile. Roses in May, runner-up in his last two races -- the Breeders' Cup Class and the Donn Handicap -- hit the jackpot in the world's richest thoroughbred horse race.

Taking the lead after the first turn at the Nad al Sheba racetrack, Roses in May needed little encouragement from jockey John Velazquez in beating Dynever by three lengths.

The 5-year-old Roses in May swept around the outside to seize control and become the fifth American horse to win the race held in this beachfront sheikdom.

Choctaw Nation finished third in the 10th running of the World Cup, giving American horses a sweep of the 1 1/4-mile race. Dynever, a Kentucky-bred now racing in Saudi Arabia, was ridden by Jose Santos and Choctaw Nation had Victor Espinoza up.

LANE'S END STAKES: Long shot Flower Alley rushed from the middle of the pack in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

Flower Alley, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Jorge Chavez, finished a half-length ahead of Wild Desert.

Spanish Chestnut went off as the 2-1 favorite under Gary Stevens and led until the top of the final turn, but faded badly and finished sixth in the nine-horse field. "Nothing happened, really," trainer Patrick Biancone said. "He just didn't stay. He was attacked early, and it was just a little too far for him."

Flower Alley had run only twice before, finishing third in a maiden race at Calder in December and winning a maiden race at Gulfstream in February. "Those maiden races at Gulfstream, at times, are some of the toughest 3-year-old races around," Pletcher said.

Mayan King, owned by former teen idol David Cassidy, finished seventh.

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