Arrogate attempts to become the richest racehorse in North American history

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March 24th 2017

Tomorrow, the Bob Baffert-trained 4-year-old Arrogate, the #1 ranked thoroughbred in the world by Longines, attempts to become the highest-earning thoroughbred in North American history in the $10 million dollar 2017 Dubai World Cup. If Arrogate wins, he will earn $6 million with a 1st place finish which will push his career race winnings to $17 million dollars. Thus, he would surpass California Chrome’s $14.75 career race winnings.

The Dubai World Cup is a 2000 Meter race which is slightly less than 1 1/4th mile. NBC Sports Network will provide live coverage of the Dubai races from 8:30 to 11:30 AM.

Besides Arrogate, the Dubai World Cup field of 14 includes a few names familiar to North American race fans: 2016 Kentucky Derby runners Gun Runner and Lani, 2015 Kentucky Derby runner Mubtaahij who finished 2nd in the last year’s Dubai World, Pegasus World Cup runners Neolithic and Keen Ice and the San Antonio Handicap winner Hoppertunity. Hoppertunity finished 3rd behind California Chrome and Mubtaahij in last year’s Dubai World Cup.

Other contenders include runners from the 2017 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 race at Dubai (shown below): race winner Long River, 2nd place finisher Special Fighter, 3rd place finisher Furia Cruzada and 4th place finisher Move Up. Note that Furia Cruzada is a 5-year-old mare.

Rounding out the Dubai World Cup are three Japanese horses:  the 2016 Tokyo Daishōten winner Apollo Kentucky and 2nd place finisher Awardee as well as the 2017 February Stakes winner Gold Dream.

Overall, I expect this to be another Arrogate romp similar to what we witnessed in the 2017 Pegasus World Cup. This is partly why I haven’t discussed this race or its expected entries on my blog until now. However, this field is much stronger than the 2017 Pegasus World Cup and it will be interesting to see what horses hit the board behind Arrogate and if anyone can seriously challenge him.

Perhaps Arrogate’s most serious challenger will be the most recent Razorback Handicap winner Gun Runner who had a sizzling time of 1:40.97 and 110 Beyer Speed Figure in that Oaklawn Park race (shown below). Gun Runner beat Shaman Ghost in his previous race, the 2016 Clark Handicap, last November. Shaman Ghost finished 2nd behind Arrogate in the Pegasus World Cup.

My prediction: 1) Arrogate, 2) Gun Runner, 3) Hoppertunity and 4) Keen Ice. But usually this race always has a surprise finisher or two. From the Meydan-based horses, Special Fighter and Mubtaahij seem to have the best chance to break into the Top 4.



2016 Dubai World Cup Preview – California Chrome is race favorite

March 23rd, 2016

The coming Saturday at Noon CST is the highly anticipated Dubai World Cup featuring California Chrome. 1st place pays out $6 Million dollars, 2nd place $2 Million, 3rd place $1 Million and 4th and 5th split the remaining $1 Million. The field also has five other American thoroughbreds: Frosted, Keen Ice, Hoppertunity, Mshawish and Candy Boy. Teletext is a Kentucky-bred horse who never raced in the US. Mubtaahij is an Irish horse who raced in the 2015 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes finishing 8th and 4th respectively. Meydan racecourse doesn’t allow betting because all forms of gambling are illegal in the UAE. California Chrome was the consensus race favorite for all of the major online gambling websites.

Horses who have competed in previous year’s Dubai World Cups include California Chrome (2nd in 2014), Candy Boy (4th in 2015) and the Japanese horse Hokko Tarumae (5th in 2015, 16th in 2014).

The Irish horse Special Fighter won the 2000 Meter Al Maktoum Round 3 at Meyden back on March 5th with Gun Pit finishing 2nd, Mubtaahij 4th and Keen Ice finishing 7th. Frosted set a track record for the 1900 Meter Al Maktoum Round 2 on February 4th with Special Fighter finishing 6th in that race.

Dubai World Cup – 2000 Meters (approximately 1 1/4 mile) at Meydan Racecourse – Post Time: Saturday March 26 NOON CST

Post Position/Horse/Country/Jockey/Trainer/Rating

  1. Keen Ice (USA) – R. Moore/Romans – 120
  2. Mshawish (USA) – L. Dettori/Pletcher – 115
  3. Gun Pit (AUS) – J. Moreira/Fownes – 115
  4. Mubtaahij (IRE) – C Soumillon/De Kock – 119
  5. Special Fighter (IRE) – F. Jara/Muhairi – 119
  6. Candy Boy (USA) – P. Dobbs/Watson – 115
  7. Vadamos (FR) – V. Cheminaud/Fabre – 113
  8. Hokko Tarumae (JAP) – H. Miyuki/Nishiura – 116
  9. Frosted (USA) – W. Buick/McLaughlin – 120
  10. Hoppertunity (USA) – F. Prat/Baffert – 116
  11. California Chrome (USA) – V. Espinoza/Sherman – 121
  12. Teletext (USA) – S. De Souza/Harabi – 113

Commentary:  This is a difficult race to handicap because big races at Meydan often have surprise winners. That being said, I think this race should come down to California Chrome, Frosted and Special Fighter for the win. Hoppertunity has never finished below 4th in a graded stakes race and is coming off a win in the 1 1/8th mile San Antonio Stakes.

Keen Ice is capable of hitting the board and likes this distance. However, he has had disappointing 6th and 7th place finishes in his last two starts. He finished 4th in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Mshawish is coming off a win in the 1 1/8th mile Donn Handicap back on February 4th and has turf race experience at Meydan. I think he is better suited for races 1 1/8th mile or less.