2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome looks ready to improve upon his runner up finish last year when he takes on a field of 11 runners in this year’s $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) at Meydan Racecourse.
The Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) winner of 2014 had an abbreviated campaign in 2015, never making it back to the track after a runner up finish in last year’s Dubai World Cup.
Starts at Royal Ascot and Arlington Park were scrapped due to minor injuries, and some questioned the schedule of the son of Lucky Pulpit.
Trainer Art Sherman has taken a different approach this year, sending the colt to Dubai early and the colt won a prep over the Meydan surface on Feb. 25 and looks to be coming into the race in very sharp form.
The colt drew the 11 post in a field of 12, but Sherman is not too worried about the outside draw. “The outside draw is good if you’ve got the horse and I hope we have,” Sherman said. “There wasn’t too much I could do about the draw. He’s got tactical speed so I’m not going to worry about it.”
Among his foes are four fellow U.S. based runners—Keen Ice, Mshawish, Frosted and Hoppertunity.
Post time for the Dubai World Cup is 1:00 ET and the first of eight betting races kicks off at 8:20 ET. Among the stakes is the $2 million UAE Derby (G1) which is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race.
Let’s head out to Dubai for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Meydan Race 9 The Dubai World Cup G1 (Post time 1:00 ET)
11 California Chrome 3-2
2 Mshawish 8-1
9 Frosted 2-1
8 Hokko Tarumae 20-1
California Chrome is looking to improve over his solid runner up finish in last year’s edition of the race and has made just two starts since after an ill-advised schedule and some minor injuries derailed his 2015 campaign. The colt returned off a 10-month layoff with a sharp win in the San Pasqual (G2) at Santa Anita and the barn elected to send the 2-014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner to Dubai early this year.
He won his prep easily, taking the Trans Gulf by two lengths while carrying 132 pounds. He has worked sharply since and looks primed for a top effort here. He should get a good trip sitting just off the pace and horses on or near the lead have fared well at this meeting.
Mshawish has fared well since trainer Todd Pletcher switched this guy to the dirt. He lost his first start on the surface, checking in fourth in the Cigar Mile (G1) and has won his last two, the Hal’s Hope (G3) and the Donn Handicap (G1) in his last outing.
The son of Medaglia d’Oro was fourth in last year’s Dubai Turf (G1) and was fourth in the 2013 Dubai Duty Free (G1). Pletcher has not won a race in Dubai, going 0 for 10 over the last 13 years. Decent value if he goes off near his 8-1 morning line.
Frosted ran third in last year’s Travers behind Keen Ice and American Pharoah. He then won the Pennsylvania Derby (G2) but came up short in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in a seventh place finish.
The colt won his local prep, the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (G2), drawing away to win by five lengths. He is coming into the race in sharp form and is in good hands with Kiaran McLaughlin who has spent plenty of time in Dubai.
WIN: #11 to win at 3-2 or better.
EXACTA: 2,11 / 2,8,9,11
TRIFECTA: 2,11 / 2,8,9,11 / 2,8,9,10,11
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