03/27/2013 9:21AM

Dubai World Cup: Royal Delta gets luck of the post draw

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Royal Delta had the luck of the draw Wednesday, her connections landing the third pick of the post-position draw for the Dubai World Cup. Fellow American invader Animal Kingdom was less fortunate, with his connections getting the second-to-last pick among 13 entrants for Saturday’s $10 million World Cup.

Animal Kingdom breaks from post 12, a tough spot, while Royal Delta is ideally drawn in post 8. Dullahan, the third American in the race, will start from post 3, one stall inside Hunter’s Light, the 7-2 favorite on the North American morning line for the World Cup.

[DUBAI WORLD CUP: Complete DRF coverage, live video from Meydan]

Royal Delta, seeking to become the first female World Cup winner, is the 4-1 second choice on the line. Her draw in the 2012 World Cup was favorable, too, but Royal Delta got into trouble anyway after leaving from post 7. Planted behind horses from the midpoint on the first turn onward,

Royal Delta was squeezed and steadied on the far turn, losing any realistic chance at a win.

“I just hope she breaks well and gets a clean trip,” said Bill Mott, who trains Royal Delta.

Mott won the inaugural World Cup in 1996 with Cigar. Asked from what post Cigar broke, Mott guessed 10, but that was incorrect: Cigar also started from post position 8.

Omens were less favorable for Animal Kingdom. The draw was conducted using a two-stage process: A horse’s name was randomly selected, after which connections of the horse chose one of the remaining post positions. When Animal Kingdom’s turn came, only posts 12 and 13 remained.

On the surface, World Cup history doesn’t indicate such a wide draw is terrible: Curlin won the World Cup from post 12, and four other winners came from post 11. But all those World Cups save the last three came on the Nad al Sheba dirt track. The winners of the three World Cups over the Tapeta surface at Meydan broke from posts 5, 6, 8. More damning than that is the fact horses breaking from posts 11 and wider have gone only 1 for 69 in two-turn Tapeta races at Meydan this winter.

“I don’t know that it’s such a bad draw,” said Graham Motion, trainer of Animal Kingdom. “I was kind of glad posts 1, 2, and 3 already had been taken.”

Motion said he had spoken Wednesday morning with Ramon Dominguez, who rode Gio Ponti to fourth- and fifth-place finishes here in 2010 and 2011.

“Ramon said you really don’t want to be stuck inside,” he said.

Treasure Beach is the horse that breaks from the rail. Red Cadeaux, a longshot like Treasure Beach, has post 2, with Dullhan coming next. Dullahan’s trainer, Dale Romans, said just before the draw he hoped for something between 4 and 8.

Despite rumors of impending defections for days, the World Cup field has held firm at 13. Godolphin entered three runners, with Monterosso, the defending World Cup champion, landing post 10. Despite his elite credentials, Monterosso is just 20-1 on the morning line after a 10th-place finish here March 9 in his World Cup prep.

Post positions for the World Cup card’s other seven Thoroughbred stakes were drawn Monday. Post time for the first Thoroughbred race Saturday night is 9:10 a.m. Eastern, with the World Cup scheduled for 2:05 p.m. The local forecast continues to call for a high temperature of around 91 degrees Saturday.

Fields for the Dubai World Cup card

Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Godolphins horse African Story is in perfect form right now. He hasn't missed a beat and has experience on the course. He's my pick. Toss ANimal Kingdom and Dullahan. Ill box the Queen with the African Story.
David More than 1 year ago
I think I see an error in pp's: r8 #9 Very Nice Name
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Has anybody else noticed that Mike Smith is making a habit out of running for Place in every big race?
Ray Smith More than 1 year ago
Yea that's been his exact intent....to run 2nd in every big race. He doesn't care about that winning thing.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Boy will I laugh if RD runs second.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Smitty has long had a reputation for taking the overland route in order to get the job done, but he has had remarkable success in the past few years. I never handicap jockeys, but he is somewhat of a money jockey in recent times.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Mike Smith has made a big difference for Royal Delta! When he put her on the lead in the BC Ladies Classic it shocked everybody because we sensed that the race was over as soon as they enterd the backstretch! So Royal Lady Delta we salute you! Take it to them!!!
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
This race, the Dubai World Cup, is FINALLY here. It seems I've been anticipating this race forever. Two of my absolutely favorite horses, My Girl - Her Highness, Royal Delta, and the regally powerful Animal Kingdom, racing at Meydan, competing against each other in a pivotal race. I am pulling for both of them to rock that track off its hinges, big time, together. I am also rooting for the inconsistent Dullahan, a talented horse I would really like to see do better in this race than he has in his last couple of efforts he has put in, in order to redeem himself. Maybe gaining Gary Stevens as his pilot will help Dullahan be steered in the right direction again. I'm putting all of them in my exotics along with my wild cards Meandre, African Story & Hunter's Light. I'm very familiar wth Meandre and African Story, and I respect their presence in this race enough to include them in my exotics. Can't wait to see this race - I get a feeling it's going to be an awesome race. Good luck to each one of our American contingent. May they all find this track in Dubai to be MUCH to their liking in 2013. May they all have powerful, trouble-free, safe trips. Go get 'em, my beauties!! Run like the wind!
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
right on Joy I've been boxing that exacta since the both horses were probables for the Dubai World Cup
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
I wish you great good luck, Nicholas!
scott More than 1 year ago
Nice post Joy. If you are a fan of Hunter's Light, have you seen his run in Italy from November? It was his race before heading to Dubai. It's on youtube, 'Hunter's Light wins Premio Roma'....it is a great race to watch. He is not beating the toughest field, the second place finisher was coming back from a placing in a group 1 in Germany, so decent. But its how he does it, on heavy turf no less.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
It is definitely one of the most unique and interesting wins I have ever seen, Chris! - LOL. I've never seen anything quite like it. I loved his excelleration between the other two horses and how he powered ahead of everyone, then the wheels came off! - LOL. Talk about using up all of the race track! Hunter's Light veered all the way over to the far rail, fell behind two other runners in the process then truly motored up that rail to reclaim the lead and handily win the race! How can you not admire that, no matter what the class of competition he was running against - it's impossible to do. I have admiration for Hunter's Light, that's why I was including him in my exotics along with Royal Delta, Animal Kingdom, African Story and Dullahan. He's a quality horse. Thanks for the great post, Scott! Good luck with the DWC.
scott More than 1 year ago
You are welcome Joy. Your posts are always thoughtful so I thought you might enjoy that race. I have been making my friends watch it, no one can believe it when he comes storming home at the end. Gotta love Dubai World Cup day, I love playing horses from all around the globe. Happy handicapping!
Michael More than 1 year ago
I wish they raced on dirt. I don't believe they cant make a nice dirt surface over there with all the oil riches. They could underline the top surface in gold for goodness sakes. I guess animal kingdom may like it tho since he runs well on all surfaces. My heart is rooting for delta girl tho.
russell More than 1 year ago
Michael, Godolphin is winning on this surface so why would they want to change it. US runner are 1-26 at Meydan.
Suzanne Thomas More than 1 year ago
They changed the surface to Tapeta for one reason - its safety profile.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
I love Royal Delta. I really do. However, her winning this race is an Earth shaker and I don't believe in those odds alone. The connections are shooting way too high placing her here AGAIN! If there are gamblers out there willing to play her with 4-1 odds, I commend you for your faith and allegiance. I will sit back and watch and just be thrilled if she can pull it off.
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
I know what you're saying but bare in mind this is Mr William Mott he doesn't go to these event if he cant win.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
That same logic didn't work last March.
russell More than 1 year ago
Nick that is true about Mott but if I had to choose between AK and RD i would pick AK. That said Im betting against both of them. How anyone can take 4/1 on a mare traveling 1/2 way around the world on a poly track makes no sense to me.
michael stapler More than 1 year ago
I'll take Dukllahan
michael stapler More than 1 year ago
He si this time. No shot.
Perl More than 1 year ago
She's a major underlay no doubt.
prlyr4lyf More than 1 year ago
The smartest trainer is Mr. Bob Baffert due to the fact he's staying on american soil......the logical spot for the best american handicap horse .....game on dude can win.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
I hate to say it,but the 3 American horses are automatic throwouts in my multi-race wagers
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Who in the World takes credit(?) for the morning line? Does he, she or they not want American action?