03/15/2017 4:06PM

Arrogate among 14 probables for Dubai World Cup

Barbara D. Livingston
Arrogate is one of five American horses expected for the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 25.

A list of likely runners for the Dubai World Cup card on March 25 at Meydan Racecourse was released by the Dubai Racing Club on Wednesday, the same day that Arrogate, the best horse in the world, according to international rankings, was settling into his temporary home at the Meydan quarantine facility after arriving from California.

There are 102 horses listed as likely runners for the seven Thoroughbred races on the World Cup card, including 14 in the $10 million World Cup. The likely field for the World Cup, carded at 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) and won last year in rousing fashion by California Chrome, is composed of five American runners, four Japanese shippers, and five locally trained horses. The field includes eight Group/Grade 1 winners, but Arrogate will be an odds-on favorite to add another major prize to his trophy case.

The 4-year-old Arrogate burst into international prominence for trainer Bob Baffert and owner Juddmonte Farms when he won the Grade 1 Travers, his stakes debut, by 13 1/2 lengths last summer. He went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic by a half-length over California Chrome and then captured the $12 million Pegasus World Cup on Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park by almost five lengths over Shaman Ghost, who won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap last weekend.

The World Thoroughbred Rankings committee gave Arrogate a 127 rating for his Pegasus, while the 134 he achieved in the Breeders’ Cup Classic was the highest rating anywhere in 2016.

The other Americans in the World Cup are Gun Runner, Hoppertunity, Keen Ice, and Neolithic. The race also is expected to include Mubtaahij, who was second in the 2016 World Cup.

In all, there are 14 American runners in the seven Thoroughbred races, which include a total of 29 Group/Grade 1 winners.

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The $6 million Sheema Classic is expected to have only eight runners but still is excellent, featuring a rematch of the one-two finishers in the race last year, Postponed and Highland Reel, plus Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs and the Aidan O’Brien-trained multiple Group 1 winner Seventh Heaven.

The $6 million Dubai Turf also should be a great race and is headed by last year’s winner, Real Steel, as well as Ribchester, Mondialiste, Zarak, Decorated Knight, Deauville, and Mutakayyef.

The $2 million Golden Shaheen at about six furlongs will have four Americans: Mind Your Biscuits, Stallwakin’ Dude, Imperial Hint, and St. Joe Bay, a quartet that seems likely to produce the winner. Sharp Azteca is the lone American horse among a dozen likely runners in the Godolphin Mile, which includes the sharp locals North America and Heavy Metal and the Japanese horse Kafuji Take.

Limato, Ertijaal, and Amazing Kids appear to be the principals among 12 likely runners in the Al Quoz, a straight-course turf sprint lengthened from about five furlongs to about six furlongs this year. The race will have two Americans, Long On Value and Richard’s Boy.

The Gold Cup, over about two miles on turf, also is deep this year but will have at the head of the betting markets last year’s winner, Vaziribad.

Final entries are due and post positions will be drawn for all the World Cup races on Monday.