Meydan doesn't disappoint
by John Mucciolo
Is this heaven? No, it’s Meydan. I have been to most of the major race tracks in the U. S., with trips to nearly all of the ovals in Kentucky, New York, Florida and the Golden State, but my first visit to Meydan in Dubai in advance of the 20th World Cup left quite an impression on me. As one who is rarely at a loss for words, I did spend much of my first morning here with my mouth agape, in awe of the specimen this venue really is.
While I don’t know the exact square footage of themajestic complex, I can tell you it is big….very big. And it is clean, especially clean. This vast area includes multiple top-notch restaurants, a museum, a hotel, etc., and everything I have seen is in immaculate condition. The saddling paddock might be my favorite thing at Meydan, as I have never seen anything quite like it or of its size. I used to think Belmont Park was the most impressive area in horse racing – but Meydan makes the Elmont, New York structure look minute in comparison.
The Thursday morning Breakfast With the Stars gala was a first-class event featuring splendid weather, live music, a superb buffet of food and of course, picturesque views of this grand racing spectacle. The lawn is so lush it appears to be trimmed with hand clippers on a daily basis; the main oval was being treated to by a countless number of employees and appeared immaculate; and the overall level of service I have encountered since arriving some 20 hours ago has been second to none without question. My overall experience of this gem in the desert has been outstanding…and I have yet to see a horse!
I will be out at Meydan early Friday morning to see as many World Cup entrants that I can as they get a final piece of morning exercise before the ‘big day’. Hope you enjoy the pictures!