Horses from around the world were showcased on the eight Dubai World Cup undercard races from Meydan in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday evening, but the death of Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Zenden, who suffered a catastrophic front leg injury while galloping out past the finish of the six-furlong dirt race, left a pall on the event.
Zenden, a 5-year-old who was winning a graded/group race for the first time in his 15th career start, turned in a career best performance under UAE-based jockey Antonio Fresu, going straight to the front and never seriously being threatened while winning by open lengths in track record time. He sustained the injury just after Fresu gave the horse a celebratory slap on the neck, stumbling and throwing his jockey to the ground. Fresu dodged trailing horses and escaped unharmed. In the day’s finale, the Dubai World Cup, Fresu was dislodged from Military Law when that horse broke through the starting gate and ran off before being scratched.
Owned by LLP Performance Horse LLC, Zenden is trained by Carlos David, a former assistant to indicted horseman Jason Servis. David won his first race as head trainer in November 2018 and had a breakout season in 2020, winning 52 races from 231 starts (23%) while compiling earnings of $1.6 million. The $1.5-million Golden Shaheen was his first graded/group win.
Zenden began his career racing for owner Pichi Investments LLC and…