The Dubai Racing Club has released the probable entrants for the March 26 running of the $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Race Course. The field consists of Frosted, Keen Ice, Mshawish, Hopportunity, Mubtaahij, Special Fighter, Intilaaq, Hokko Tarumae, Gun Pit, Vadamos, Candy Boy, Teletext –and the superstar of the field and likely post time favorite, 2013 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome.
California Chrome has unfinished business in Dubai. That would seem to be irrelevant to a horse, but it almost seems as if Chrome is aware that he’s in the UAE for ‘payback’. He finished second in the 2015 Dubai World Cup. It was a gutsy effort when he wasn’t at his best and would prove to be his final race of the 2015. His season was shortened due to unfortunate circumstance and injuries. California Chrome looks to be at the top of his game. He’s won his two prep races including an allowance race in Dubai. He didn’t even looked challenged in either race. If such a thing can be said about a horse he looked focused to the point of being mad.
Also in the field is Frosted, an easy winner in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 in late February. Frosted has turned in good training times and in his final prerace workout went five furlongs in 1:01.60 at the Marmoom training. Another American horse is an ‘under the radar’ wise guy favorite. Six year old Mshawish is trained by Todd Pletcher and won the Donn Handicap earlier this year. Before shipping from Florida earlier this week he turned in a scorching workout that was so impressive that it has become a ‘viral video’ hit in the horse racing world. The final American entrants are San Antonio Stakes winner Hoppertunity and Keen Ice.
Historically, foreign horses have been strong in the Dubai World Cup but the table might have tilted toward US shippers. The Meydan Race Course has replaced its old tapeta synthetic track with dirt which eliminated the ‘home surface advantage’ for local horses and should in benefit the American horses due to their familiar with–and success on–dirt surfaces.