Updated on 03/01/2017 5:25PM

Gun Runner, Keen Ice could join Arrogate in Dubai World Cup

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Gun Runner, winning the Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn, would probably be the second choice in the Dubai World Cup if he runs.

The American contingent for the Dubai World Cup card on March 25 at Meydan Racecourse is beginning to take firmer shape, and World Cup favorite Arrogate could have a strong supporting cast joining him in Dubai.

Arrogate is one of two horses trained by Bob Baffert targeting the $10 million World Cup, with Baffert also sending Hoppertunity, who was third in the 2016 World Cup. Baffert won the World Cup twice in the race’s first five editions, but his most recent win came in 2001 with Captain Steve. Arrogate, the winner of the Pegasus World Cup, Breeders’ Cup Classic, and Travers Stakes in his last three starts, is as short as 2-5 in overseas World Cup wagering.

Gun Runner could be the second choice, but he has not yet been confirmed as a starter in the race. Gun Runner was a sharp winner of the Razorback Handicap on Feb. 20 at Oaklawn Park and since then has shipped back to trainer Steve Asmussen’s string at Fair Grounds. Gun Runner is scheduled to have his first work since the Razorback this weekend, after which his World Cup status should be clarified.

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Trainer Todd Pletcher said Tuesday he has two possible World Cup runners in Keen Ice and Neolithic, both of whom were invited to run. Neolithic finished third in the Pegasus World Cup and Keen Ice fifth, and the connections of both horses, Pletcher said, are monitoring their horses’ workouts and keeping an eye on the composition of the World Cup field before committing to the race.

Imperative also is a possible runner in the World Cup. Midnight Storm runs March 11 in the Santa Anita Handicap, making it unlikely that he would swing back two weeks later for the World Cup.

Pletcher said plans are to send the 3-year-old Master Plan to the $2 million UAE Derby. Master Plan won the $100,000 males’ division of the OBS Championship Stakes in his most recent start.

Also pointed to the UAE Derby, according to trainer Ken McPeek, is Vettori Kin, a Brazilian-bred who is considered a 4-year-old on Northern Hemisphere time. The UAE Derby is open to Northern Hemisphere 3-year-olds and Southern Hemisphere 4-year-olds. Vettori Kin, a Group 1 winner on turf, is based at Payson Park.

The $2 million Golden Shaheen for dirt sprinters figures to have several American runners, including Mind Your Biscuits, St. Joe Bay, Stallwalkin’ Dude, and Imperial Hint. Imperial Hint, who won the General George at Laurel Park in his most recent start, was confirmed for the race Wednesday by trainer Luis Carvajal Jr.

Carvajal said owner Raymond Mamone gave him the green light to run Imperial Hint.

“It’s like a one-in-a-million chance for a small stable like mine,” he said.

Sharp Azteca should be heavily favored to win the $1 million Goldolphin Mile. Trainer Jorge Navarro sent out X Y Jet to finish second in the Golden Shaheen last year.

As usual, there will be few – if any – North American runners pointed to grass races on the World Cup card. One possible starter is Da Big Hoss, who could be pointed to the $1 million Gold Cup over about two miles.

Postponed, Lani run Saturday

Postponed and Lani are the two best-known horses racing on the so-called Super Saturday card this weekend at Meydan.

Postponed won the $6 million Sheema Classic in 2016 and will prep for a repeat try in the Group 2, $250,000 Dubai City of Gold on Saturday. Postponed is the Sheema favorite, with Highland Reel, Zarak, Jack Hobbs, and Satono Crown also popular in the markets.

Lani, the Japanese colt who ran in all three legs of the U.S. Triple Crown last year, finishing third in the Belmont Stakes, runs in the Group 1 Maktoum Challenge Round 3. Lani won the UAE Derby at Meydan last March but ran far below his best form in three Japanese dirt races last fall.

A previous version of this article misstated the purses of the UAE Derby and Gold Cup. The purse for the UAE Derby is $2 million, not $1 million, and the purse for the Gold Cup is $1 million, not $2 million.