OffTrackBetting.com - The United Arab Emirates' Meydan Racecourse will play host to the richest race in the world on Saturday, March 26 - the Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline. A purse of $10 million will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to go about 1 1/4 miles in Meydan's dirt track.
A stellar field of 12 including five North American entries have been assembled for the Dubai World Cup - race 9 on Meydan's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 1:00 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 12 entries for this extremely lucrative and prestigious Group 1 Stakes.
2016 Dubai World Cup Race Preview
California Chrome 3-2 - two-time Eclipse Award winning Art Sherman trained 2014 Horse of the Year had a terrific six race win streak early that year and looked absolutely untouchable - the Preakness Stakes, a four length win in the Kentucky Derby, the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes by 7 1/4 lengths and two minor stakes scores. But he stumbled his next two starts - a sixth in the 2014 Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby September 20 followed a fourth in the Belmont Stakes - a race that could have made him the first Triple Crown winner in decades. He had just two starts in 2015 - a runner-up finish in last year's Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan followed another second in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes in February, 2015. He has been untouchable in 2016 - a Handicap score on this track February 25 and a dominant win in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita January 9. California Chrome now has 20 career starts with 11 wins, three seconds and a third place finish and has won three of his last four starts. He looks to better a runner-up finish in this race last year as the morning line favorite. Regular rider Victor Espinoza has the mount.
Frosted 2-1 - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt raced in stakes company for the first time November 29, 2014 and finished a respectable second as 9-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct and followed that with another good runner-up finish - in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream January 24, 2015. He has placed in five of his last six starts ahead of this race - a win last time out in a Group 2 stakes on this track February 4 followed a seventh in the Breeders' Cup Classic, a good win in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby September 19, a third behind Keen Ice and American Pharoah in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes August 29 and consecutive runner-up finishes - in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes August 1 and behind American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes June 6. He also had a troubled fourth in the Kentucky Derby and a huge statement with a win by two lengths in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct last April 4. Frosted has been in there with some of the best in the world and has fared well in those races. He looks for his biggest career score Saturday with William Buick in the reins of the morning line second choice from post 9.
Mshawish 8-1 - Todd Pletcher pupil has 23 career starts with eight wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He had a three race win streak at the end of 2014/beginning of 2015 including the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes in January and the 2015 Gulfstream Park Turf in February. He has just six starts since and enters on a nice two race win streak - the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream February 6 last time out and the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Stakes also at Gulfstream. Before that were consecutive fourths - the Grade 1 Cigar Mile November 28 at Aqueduct and in the Breeders' Cup Mile on unfamiliar dirt tracks, a fifth in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap in August and a very good third in the UAE Derby at Meydan in March. Mshawish looks to make it three wins in a row when he leaves gate 2 with Lanfranco Dettori in the saddle.
Hoppertunity 12-1 - Bob Baffert trainee was one of the favorites for the 2014 Kentucky Derby but missed that race. He had a decent second in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 27, 2014 and has had some decent results since - he won the 2015 San Pasqual Stakes January 10, and the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 28, 2014. He enters off a good win in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita February 6 after an Ok third behind California Chrome in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes January 9 and three straight runner-up finishes - the 2015 Clark Handicap November 27 at Churchill Downs, the Grade 2 Haygard Fayette Stakes October 30 at Keeneland and the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes in September. Hoppertunity has five wins, six seconds and three third place finishes in 18 starts overall, has finished no worse than fourth in 10 graded tries and has placed in five straight graded stakes races ahead of this weekend - he is certainly trending upward. Flavien Prat has been tabbed with getting Hoppertunity his second straight win from gate 10.
Mubtaahij 15-1 - Irish bred colt had four wins and a second place finish in five races overseas at this time last year including the UAE Derby by eight lengths March 28 and the Al Bastakiya Stakes - all at Meydan before debuting in North America. He has failed to place in his last four starts however - a fourth last time out in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 Sponsored By Emirates March 5 followed a fourth in the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes February 4 (both on this track), a fourth in the Belmont Stakes and eighth in the Kentucky Derby. He also had a third in the Group 3 UAE Two Thousand Guineas last February. Mubtaahij looks for a bounceback effort and his first win in a year when he departs from gate 4 with Christophe Soumillon aboard.
Special Fighter 15-1 - Irish bred Musabah Al Muhairi pupil has five wins and two second place finishes in 17 career starts and enters off a career best effort - a win in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 Sponsored By Emirates on this track March 5. Before that was a sixth in a Group 2 race here February 4, a Handicap score here January 21, a sixth in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 Presented By Longines Dolce Vita Collection January 7 and a win in the Entisar Sponsored By Al Tayer Motorsalso on this track in December. Special Fighter has been up and down in his career but looked terrific last time out. Jockey Fernando Jara will try to keep the roll going Saturday from post 5.
Keen Ice 20-1 - broke maiden in his second career start for trainer Dale Romans and has placed in five of 12 starts since - the best of which coming five starts back - a win over American Pharoah (the only horse to beat Pharoah so far) in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at 16-1 August 29. Before that was a good second behind American Pharoah in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational August 2 and a respectable third in the Belmont Stakes June 6. He also had a seventh in the Kentucky Derby and a fourth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. Keen Ice has failed to place in his last four starts overall however - a seventh last time out in a prep for this race - the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 Sponsored By Emirates here March 5 followed a sixth in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream February 6 and consecutive fourth place finishes - the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 27 and the Breeders' Cup Classic. He hasn't been great lately and will be after his first win since August. Ryan Moore gets the call from the rail.
Vadamos 20-1 - French bred Andre Fabre pupil has five wins and four runner-up finishes in 12 career starts. He won the Group 2 Darley Oettingen Rennen in Germany in September and has just two starts since. Last time out was a second in an Allowance at Chantilly March 3 after a thirteenth in a Stakes at Ascot in October. Vadamos has been competitive nearly every time out and chases his biggest win to date from post 7. Vincent Cheminaud rides from post 7.
Hokko Tarumae 20-1 - ships in from Japan having posted 17 wins, four seconds and six third place finishes in 35 career starts. He was terrific in 2013/2014 when he posted wins in the 2013 Group 1 Tokyo Daishoten, the Group 1 Champions Cup at Chukyo and the 2014 Group 1 Tokyo Daishoten. He has been OK since. Last time out was a win in the Kawasaki Kinen in January after a second in the 2015 Tokyo Daishoten and a fifth in the 2015 Group 1 Champions Cup. Hokko Tarumae has been competitive every time out and hopes his success at home translates to Meydan. Hideaki Miyuki will be in the irons from gate 8.
Teletext 30-1 - has five wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 12 career starts for trainer Sami Abdullah Al Harabi and has looked terrific in four races in Saudi Arabia leading up to this weekend. Last time out was a nice win in the Group 1 Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup February 13 after a fourth in the Group 2 Crown Prince Cup January 2 and two Allowance scores to end his 2015 campaign. He has been all around the world and has been competitive every time out. Silvestre de Souza will be in the reins from the outside post 12.
Gun Pit 30-1 - Australian bred Caspar Fownes trained gelding has eight wins, three seconds and a third place finish in 21 career starts. He enters off a good second in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 Sponsored By Emirate on this track March 5 and consecutive off-the-board finishes in Hong Kong - the Group 3 Centenary Vase in February and the Group 1 Champions Cup in December. Before that were three straight wins at Sha Tin. He looks for his first stakes win and enters in so-so form. Joao Moreira has been tabbed to ride from post 3.
Candy Boy 50-1 - has 13 career starts for trainer John Sadler and is coming off a fourth in a Group 1 race on this track way back on March 28, 2015. It followed a sixth in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic, a third in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby September 20 and a pair of good seconds - in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby August 2 and behind two-year old champion Shared Belief in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby July 2 -all in 2014. He also had a second in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity behind Shared Belief December 14, 2013, a disappointing thirteenth in the 2014 Kentucky Derby, an OK third behind California Chrome in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 5, 2014 and a terrific win in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes February , 2014. Candy Boy has two wins, four seconds and two thirds so far and hopes for his first win in two years in his first start in 12 months. Patrick Dobbs will be in the reins from gate 6.
2016 Dubai World Cup Entries & Odds
Race 9 on Meydan's Saturday card with a Post Time of 1:00 PM.
||Gun Pit (AUS)
||Michael de Kock
||Special Fighter (IRE)
||Musabah Al Muhairi
||Hokko Tarumae (JPN)
||Silvestre de Sousa
||Sami Al Harabi