Romans Bids To Expand Empire

Dubai World Cup-Winning Trainer Plans More International Runners

After earning an Eclipse Award as America’s outstanding trainer in 2012, Dale Romans is now ready to conquer the world.

Already a winner of the Group 1 Dubai World Cup after saddling Roses in May to victory in 2005, the affable Kentuckian who grew up working for his father, trainer Jerry Romans, at Churchill Downs is scanning global horizons as he tries to win another Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline as well as the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free on Saturday.

“I want to do different things,” Romans, 46, declared. He mentioned England as a possible future destination for his horses and raised the possibility of participating in more Dubai World Cup Carnivals with an extended string.

Romans has been the only American-based trainer bold enough to ship runners to the Dubai World Cup Carnival since Meydan opened in 2010, and he’s hoping that his multiple Grade 1 winners Dullahan and Little Mike will benefit from their Super Saturday starts when they run back in the Dubai World Cup and Dubai Duty Free, respectively.

“It’s a very tough task to come over here and win the richest races in the world against some of the very best horses, but coming early gives us the best chance,” said Romans. The trainer relies on his longtime partner Tammy Fox to help guide the fortunes of his stable, and Fox has spent several weeks in Dubai with the horses.

Romans, whose resume also includes such success stories as American champion Kitten’s Joy, lassic winner Shackelford and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Tapitsfly, is pleased about how his horses have come on since they have been in Dubai and is bullish about their Dubai World Cup day chances.

“He looks fresh and happy … and he’s plenty fit,” Romans observed of Dullahan. “Little Mike can run fast early and keep going. If [the other horses in the race] want to chase him early, fine, but they won’t finish if they do.”