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Essence of Dubai earns trip to Kentucky Derby

While Street Cry gave his owner a victory in the world's richest race Saturday, Sheik Mohammed al Maktoum has his sights set on another prize: the Kentucky Derby.

A few races before Street Cry surprised favored stablemate Sakhee in the $6-million Dubai World Cup in United Arab Emirates, Essence of Dubai won the $2-million UAE Derby and earned a trip to the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

"Essence of Dubai had been training very well coming into the race and he has obviously emerged as our leading contender for the Kentucky Derby right now," said Simon Crisford, who manages Sheik Mohammed's Godolphin Racing. "We will see how he does over the next month."

The UAE Derby distance of 1\ miles is the same as the Kentucky Derby, meaning Essence of Dubai most likely will be the only 3-year-old to have run so far in a race.

The winner, ridden by Frankie Dettori, went from last to first in the field of 14 and won by a half-length ahead of Total Impact. Time for the race was 2 minutes, 2.9 seconds.

MORE HORSE RACING: Perfect Drift, with a perfectly timed ride by Eddie Delahoussaye, won the $500,000 Lane's End Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky. Perfect Drift overtook Azillion and Request for Parole in deep stretch and ran 1[ miles in 1:48 4/5, paying $10.20, $5 and $3.40. Deeliteful Irving beat favored Cetewayo by 2 lengths in the $200,000 Pan American Handicap at Gulfstream Park. Golden Apples, in her first race since November, rallied from last to beat Starine by 1\ lengths in the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap at Santa Anita. Golden Apples ran 1[ miles on the turf course in 1:47.05 and paid $8.80, $4.20 and $3.20. Windward Passage edged past Ocean Sound in the middle of the stretch and went to a 1-length victory in the $100,000 Rebel Stakes, Oaklawn Park's last major prep for the Arkansas Derby in three weeks. Classic Case outran Red Masque by a neck to win the Budweiser Challenge Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

SWIMMING: Olympic silver medalist Diana Munz won the 1,500-meter freestyle for her third title of the Spring National Championships in Minneapolis, giving her 18 career U.S. national crowns, the most among active swimmers. Munz finished in 16:11.88, nearly eight seconds ahead of Adrienne Binder.

RUNNING: Paula Radcliffe held off the competition to defend her title in the 5-mile race at the World Cross-Country Championships in Dublin, Ireland. Radcliffe won in 26:55. Deena Drossin finished second nine seconds back and Colleen de Reuck took bronze in 26:17. "I really felt great out there," said Radcliffe, who became the first female to win back-to-back titles since Lynn Jennings in 1991 and 1992.

CYCLING: Mario Cipollini edged Fred Rodriguez and Marcus Zberg to win the Milan-to-San Remo race, the opening event of the 2002 World Cup.

BOXING: Masamori Tokuyama stopped Kazuhiro Ryuko in the ninth round in Tokyo to defend his WBC super-flyweight title for the fourth time. Emiliano Valdez, a Dominican fighter who was knocked unconscious during a match two years ago, died in Venice, Fla., of complications from blows to the head.

GREYHOUNDS: Talentedmrripley set a season-best time at Derby Lane, running Race 10 in :37.17 to win by 12 lengths in a qualifier for the $100,000 Distance Classic. The semifinals are Wednesday, with final on Saturday. The time was .09 seconds off the track record, set in 1995 by Awesome Memory.

_ Compiled from Times wires.

SHREDDING IT: Rookie Sophia Mulanovich rides a wave off Queensland, Australia, on her way to an upset of four-time world champion Layne Beachley at the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast event.

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