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Frank Gabriel returning to Dubai Racing Club

In a fairly shocking announcement, former Dubai Racing Club CEO Frank Gabriel is leaving his post at the New York Racing Association and returning to the Dubai Racing Club where, according to a story from the Daily Racing Form’s Dave Grening, he will hold the title vice-president of racing.

Read the full story HERE, with quotes from Gabriel.

Gabriel left the DRC after successfully, and remarkably executing the first truly international race meeting in China this April, one in which full import-export protocol was established enabling competitors to ship in, race, and depart. Prior to that, he oversaw another successful Dubai World Cup Carnival, the ninth on his watch as the boss of the DRC. His role at NYRA was limited to racing, working with the horsemen, and is returning to Dubai in a racing-specific role. It had been widely believed that the Meydan was dividing the role Gabriel formerly held to keep Meydan’s entertainment and hospitality business under one operation and racing in a stand-alone position.

The power vacuum at the Dubai Racing Club was growing uncomfortably long as the 2014-2015 racing season approached. While Gabriel’s return is surprising, the degree of his role, limited to racing, was predictable. Incredibly well-liked and respected in Dubai, his return will be met with open arms.

The role of racing secretary in America is one that has grown downright ridiculous over the years. Whereas the slate of races for the upcoming Dubai season, and most everywhere in the world, is set and really does not change after its initial release, the act of filling American races, and loading them with absurd conditions, is tiring. For example, this Saturday at Saratoga, the third race is for horses aged three and older “which have never won $10,000 on three occasions other than in maiden, claiming, starter, or state-bred races, or which have never won four races lifetime, or optional claiming price of $80,000″

Think the craziness ends there? Not quite. Weight conditions are added as well.

“Three-year-olds 119 lbs.; Older, 124 lbs. Non-winners of two races other than Claiming, or Starter at a mile or over since February 1 allowed 2 lbs. Such a race since then Allowed 4 lbs.”

Within this one race, four horses are offered for the $80,000 claiming price, including 13-time winner Compliance Officer, while Zabeel Mile (G2) winner Mshawish is also entered, qualifying as never having won four races lifetime. The spread in weights between them is just two pounds (120 vs. 122), while another horse who qualifies for the “never won four races” conditions, Sinatra, carries 124, a function of having won two races at more than one mile since February 1st.

Working out these conditions, and the horsemen designed to fill the races with them, was Gabriel’s main task in New York. As published last week, the programme for the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival is already set.

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