11/28/2012 5:52PM

Hollywood Park: Richard's Kid has Dubai World Cup as his goal

Benoit & Associates
Richard's Kid will try to snap a three-race losing streak that began after this victory in the Cougar II at Del Mar.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The short-term goal for Richard’s Kid is a win in Saturday’s $250,000 Native Diver Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The long-term hope is that the 7-year-old can have enough success Saturday and early in the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting to justify a trip to the Middle East for the $10 million Dubai World Cup in March.

“I think Dubai is the main goal in front of us,” trainer Doug O’Neill said Wednesday.

The Grade 3 Native Diver will be enough of a test. Richard’s Kid, fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 3, faces Nonios and Game On Dude, who were sixth and seventh in that race, as well as defending Native Diver champion Kettle Corn and the longshot Make Music for Me.

Richard’s Kid, who races for a partnership led by Paul Boghossian’s Triple B Farm, can end a three-race losing streak that began after his win in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar in July. At the time, Richard’s Kid was owned by Zabeel International of Dubai and trained by Bob Baffert. Richard’s Kid was sold in mid-August, shortly before he finished third in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

In the BC Classic, Richard’s Kid closed from last in a field of 12 to finish eight lengths behind winner Fort Larned. O’Neill was encouraged by Richard’s Kid’s finish on a track that was not friendly to closers.

“I thought he ran great,” O’Neill said. “For him to make up ground was impressive.”

Garrett Gomez was aboard Richard’s Kid in the BC Classic, but will ride Kettle Corn on Saturday. Rafael Bejarano rides Richard’s Kid on Saturday for the first time since the Cougar II Handicap.

The Native Diver will be Richard’s Kid’s first start at Hollywood since a second to Game On Dude in the Hollywood Gold Cup in July.

“His energy level is high,” O’Neill said. “He should be very live in there.”

In 2011, the Native Diver was worth $100,000. This year, the purse has been enhanced by the Oak Tree Racing Association, which operated autumn race meetings at Santa Anita from 1969 to 2009 and at Hollywood Park in 2010.

Oak Tree also has contributed to the purse of the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap for fillies and mares on Dec. 8, which will be worth $200,000, an increase of $50,000 from 2011.

Alex More than 1 year ago
Richard's Kid should stay in the US.. he hates Dubai.. I guess Oneil and the owners cannot read past performances. So many people with money are just down right dumb..
Senor Enrico More than 1 year ago
Chris Butler... "Like I said before the Breeders Cup Mile. Animal Kingdom has no shot to win.".... Do you think you were right??? Animal Kingdom stumbled, checked, shuffled back, lacked room in stretch. Yet he bursted through and got second and was rapidly closing on Wise Dan. Manny thought he was the best horse in the race. So you were absolutlely wrong in saying he had no shot in the BC Mile.
thomas More than 1 year ago
As much as I admire Richard's Kid for his consistency, and giving it his all each and every race, he would be completely overmatched on the Tapeta surface. Animal Kingdom will be America's best chance for a Dubai Cup victory. He appears to be in good form and will be at home on the surface. Not to mention, he's trained by a class act trainer, all too familiar with international racing. His Breeders Cup race was just sick. How can a horse be off that long, get that kind of trip, and still rip off a final quarter like that? The added distance at Dubai and a little more conditioning will yield the perfect result for the big chestnut.
Chris Butler More than 1 year ago
Like I said before the Breeders Cup Mile. Animal Kingdom has no shot to win. He has no shot to win in Dubai either. He might not even make it to Dubai AGAIN! Remember what happened after he won the set-up race for him in February at Gulfstream???????
thomas More than 1 year ago
a 5,000 claimer at mountaineer has "no shot" at winning in Dubai. A horse with the caliber of AK has a good of chance at winning as anyone. Your disdain, either towards Motion or Irwin has completely affected any rational opinion you may have towards this horse. Consequently, you sound like a blabbering fool.
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
Wow - great call on AK in the BC Mile. Except a good trip and he wins. Not sure how saying he had 'no shot' in that race is somehow correct. He obviously had a great shot. This is coming from someone who has never bet on AK in my life.
richard montgomery More than 1 year ago
Is it April 1st?
Andrew Montez More than 1 year ago
This horse has no shot in Dubai. He doesnt even like the surface over there. He was a big flop the whole time he was there. He's going on 8, he's a tired horse. Typical O'Neil i guess. This guy is a joke.
PeterG More than 1 year ago
Animal Kingdom has a good shot in Dubai in my opinion although I don't know who he's going to be running against.. He trains on Tapeta surface at Fair Hill. Horses that can run on turf generally love Tapeta. He could have won the BC Mile with a better trip and that's not even his distance. If everything goes good with his tuneup race at Gulfstream he should be a major player in the Dubai World Cup. I hope there's a lot of people like the guy below me and they drive up Animal Kingdom's price.
Tom Wilson More than 1 year ago
Animal Kingdom, Wise Dan, and Dullahan have NO SHOT over there either.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Have you seen dullahan's synth races? He will have the best shot of any American starter since they left awesome nad al Sheba and went to comparatively dull meydan. Wise Dan should run the duty free. And Animal Kingdom has a puncher's chance in both the duty free or the world cup. Unfortunately American horses get overbet in American pools so find a uk book if you feel like plunging on any of these.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Sorry but O"Neil is trying to one-up Baffert with a classy yet tired horse..He is seven and soon to be eight..RETIRE HIM. No shot in Dubai..Animal Kingdom, Wise Dan, Dullahan...
Mario Vargas More than 1 year ago
Richard's Kid has fought many battles in his career. It be prudent at this point for his current connections to consider retiring him now rather than try Dubai again. He hates Meydan although he's better on synthetic surfaces here in the states. The chap has done enough already. He'd make up Paul Baghossian's purchase price money by breeding him here to quality California mares. End of story...