x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai World Cup: Little Mike looking for more respect after US performances

Owner Carlo Vaccarezza thinks his horse, Little Mike, is being overlooked depsite a Breeders' Cup victory earlier this year, writes Geoffrey Riddle.

Carlo Vaccarezza thinks the horse he bred, Little Mike, is being overlooked despite a Breeders' Cup victory earlier this season. Jaime Puebla / The National
Carlo Vaccarezza thinks the horse he bred, Little Mike, is being overlooked despite a Breeders' Cup victory earlier this season. Jaime Puebla / The National

DUBAI// On Monday, the owner of Little Mike demanded more deference be directed towards his home-bred ahead of the Dubai Duty Free on Saturday.

Little Mike arrived in Dubai before Super Saturday earlier this month with a huge reputation having picked up three Group 1 races in America last season, including the Breeders' Cup Turf.

The six year old flopped badly for his first attempt on Tapeta in the concluding round of the Al Maktoum Challenge behind Hunter's Light and connections are adamant that a different horse will line up with 13 others in the US$5 million (Dh18.365m) contest.

"When he wins, nobody talks about Little Mike," Carlo Vaccarezza, who bred the horse, said. "When he won at the Breeders' Cup Turf, all the headlines said why Point Of Entry lost the race.

"He never gets the credit he is due and nobody believes in him. It is always what he can't do, not what he can do."

Vaccarezza, who arrived in the United States from Italy in the late 1960s with only $60 in his pocket, was on colourful form at Meydan Racecourse yesterday and revealed his distaste at Little Mike being eclipsed at America's Horse of the Year awards for 2012.

"My wife says that his name 'Little' means not enough people have respect for the horse," Vaccarezza added.

"We've won some of the biggest races in America - what else can we do to get respect?

"I was really upset we didn't win the Eclipse Award and that they gave it to Wise Dan. I'd like for our horse to race him one day."

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