03/21/2016 2:26PM

Five Americans among 12 Dubai World Cup entries


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The names of 12 horses had passed the entry box when entries closed Monday morning in Dubai for Saturday’s $10 million Dubai World Cup.

The list of final declarations doesn’t include Intilaaq, who made the set of probable entrants distributed last week by the Dubai Racing Club and was entered instead in the $6 million Dubai Turf, but the five Americans – California Chrome, Frosted, Mshawish, Keen Ice, and Hoppertunity – are set to take their chance Saturday night at 9 local time, which is 1 p.m. Eastern.

The other seven in the World Cup are Candy Boy, Gun Pit, Hokko Tarumae, Mubtaahij, Special Fighter, Telextext, and Vadamos. Post positions for the World Cup and four more of the nine stakes on the World Cup card will be drawn Wednesday. Posts were drawn Monday for the Kahayla Classic, Godolphin Mile, Gold Cup, and UAE Derby.

There were no major surprises among the final declarations, though Market Rally wasn’t among the entrants in the UAE Derby. That race has a field of seven and is headed by the unbeaten filly Polar River, who drew post 2. In post 1 is Frank Conversation, the lone American-based runner in the race, who must show he’s as good on dirt as on all-weather surfaces.

There are no Americans in the 11-horse Gold Cup, which is not surprising since the number of high-quality U.S.-based two-mile grass horses is roughly zero, but the lack of American shippers in the 10-horse Godolphin Mile is surprising. Marking, who shipped to Dubai earlier in the winter with Frosted, is the only American among 10 entered, and he will be formidable from post 1 under James Doyle. American expatriate Cool Cowboy (post 8) ranks among the top challengers.

A cracking edition of the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint, to be drawn Wednesday, has 14 final entrants, among them American shippers Mongolian Saturday and Lady Shipman as well as top local hope Ertijaal and Sole Power, who defends his Al Quoz title and makes his sixth appearance in the race.

U.S. shipper X Y Jet looms large among the 10 entrants in the Golden Shaheen, which also drew the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Confrontation, who turns back from a sharp win over about one mile to this six-furlong trip.

The $6 million Dubai Turf, over about nine furlongs, got 15 entrants, among them the California-based Flamboyant, but the absence of defending champion Solow, withdrawn last week with an injury, hits very hard. The $6 million Sheema Classic, contested at about 1 1/2 miles on turf, has only nine entrants, but two – Postponed and Highland Reel – rated significantly higher than anything in the Dubai Turf.

California Chrome, Frosted, and Keen Ice have been in Dubai for weeks and, in the case of the first two, since January. Mshawish and Hoppertunity arrived a week ago, and on Monday, Hoppertunity, the winner of the San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita last out, worked 800 meters (about a half-mile) under exercise rider Dana Barnes, who is overseeing the horse’s training in Dubai for Bob Baffert. Leandro Mora, assistant trainer to Doug O’Neill who’s here with UAE Derby starter Frank Conversation, timed the work in 48.40 seconds, which Barnes described as “super good.”

California Chrome and Keen Ice had light mornings Monday after working about five furlongs Saturday, with California Chrome jogging around the quarantine center training track and Keen Ice out for a light gallop. Tammy Fox, who is overseeing and riding Keen Ice here for trainer Dale Romans, revealed that Keen Ice worked in blinkers Saturday and will race in them for the first time in the World Cup. After Keen Ice finished seventh in Round 3 of the Al Maktoum Challenge on March 4, jockey Ryan Moore suggested trying the colt in blinkers.

“He worked in 59 1/5,” Fox said. “He seems to like [the blinkers.]”

Mshawish, who won the Donn Handicap last out and finished third in the Dubai Turf last year, had a spirited gallop Monday, but unlike Hoppertunity, he had his final World Cup work before shipping overseas for trainer Todd Pletcher.

John Murray More than 1 year ago
Can we all agree that the 3 year old debate about Chrome, Frosted, Keen Ice has to be settled in this race. They all have to win convincingly for me to sleep easy. I see Msawish getting nipped at the wire by a fast closing Hoppertunity for a 5 way dead heat for place behind Special Fighter or Mubtahiij, anybody else. Let this be the end of any further fiction from the class of 2010...please.
John Murray More than 1 year ago
Class of 2011, sorry, see I can't even remember that far back...
Jack Armstead More than 1 year ago
If it weren't for Frosted, Keen Ice would still be eligible for Non-Winners of 2 Life-time. He still is eligible for Non-Three Life-time and was way over bet in the Donn. I think Frosted and Chrome will "get it on" with Hoppertunity/Mshawish coming late. I don't know about Pletcher's stat's for shipping to the Middle East/Dubai, but, I doubt that Mshawish will adapt... unless he'd been there longer to acclimate. Baffert is hoping for Hoppertunity to run 2nd or 3rd and pick up a nice check.
Sunil Patel More than 1 year ago
somebody let me know when CC actually wins a race against world class horses. Lost to Shared Belief, lost in the Breeders Cup Classic, lost to a weak field in last years World Cup. Beat absolutely nothing so far this year.
Linda Brady More than 1 year ago
hes always been OVER RATED!
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
Still don't get what Keen Ice is doing here...and now blinkers???...is he going for the lead?
MARK More than 1 year ago
only horse to beat American Pharoah. you never know when a horse feels like running his best. Travers Stakes. My best day every with Javier Castellano
Mark Whalen More than 1 year ago
Nope. Pharoah lost his initial start, at Del Mar. Out of the money. He took the next start, a stakes race, and went from there.
Vic Harrison More than 1 year ago
I wonder if the Five Americans will be singing 'Western Union'?
Marc Estrich More than 1 year ago
I am old enuff to love the comment!! Things went wrong today...bad news came my way...
Jack Armstead More than 1 year ago
It is a safe bet to Key Chrome (in both 1sr & 2nd) w/Frosted/Hoppertunity, Mshawish w/Frosted, Hoppertunity, Mshawish, w/ALL in $.10 Superfecta's. If you really think the blinkers will help Keen Ice, then just spend $12.00 and box all five of them in a dime Super. Kieran has been there (w/Frosted) and so has Chrome. That big grey might be a tough 4 year old who could beat Chrome. If I can get there early enough, I will Part wheel them (1st & 2nd and 1st & 3rd) both with/ All w/ All. Contrary to the myth that the Muslims don't bet... there will be plenty of value if a couple of them sneak into the Superfecta. The payoff last year will Chrome & Lea in 2nd & 3rd was sweet. I just wished I'd played it.