The following appeared in The Paulick Report March 28th. The four Virginia Bets Off Track Betting Centers will accept wagering on three Dubai races Saturday — the Dubai Turf, Sheema Classic and $10 Million World Cup. The races will run respectively at 11:35 AM, 12:15 PM and 12:50 PM . Advance betting on the entire Dubai card will be available Friday at the OTBs but only the three mentioned will be shown via simulcast Saturday.
Saturday also is Florida Derby Day at Gulfstream which will host a stakes filled card. Jonathan Thomas, son of Virginia Equine Alliance Track Superintendent J.D. Thomas, trains Catholic Boy, one of the favorites in the $1 Million Derby prep. Saturday is also a mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 wager. With over $4 million in the carryover pool and millions more to be wagered, this will be quite popular Saturday. The Virginia OTBs are in Chesapeake (Buckets Bar & Grill), Richmond (Ponies & Pints), Henrico (Breakers Sports Grille) and in Collinsville (The Windmill).
Gary and Mary West’s West Coast, 2017 Eclipse Award winner as outstanding 3-year-old male, drew post 9 in a field of 10 entered in Saturday’s $10-million Dubai World Cup at Meydan racecourse in the United Arab Emirates.
Trainer Bob Baffert was pleased with the assignment. “We have a fast horse,” Baffert said. “From the outside, if they break a little slow you’re not going to get in trouble. From the inside if you break slow, you’re going to be in trouble.”
Chuck Fipke’s champion mare Forever Unbridled, winner of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, drew the 6 post for the 2,000 meter (1 1/4 mile) dirt race. Other American-based runners contesting the World Cup are Gunnevera (post 3), Mubtaahij (post 5) and Pavel (post 8). All horses compete without race-day medication.
Dallas Stewart, trainer of Forever Unbridled, who will be making her final career start on Saturday, said: “The post position should be fine. She’s comfortable, so I’m comfortable. It’s going to be a great race. She’s going to need to bring her best race to win this.”
The Dubai World Cup is the final race of a nine-race program that has attracted horses from around the globe. Post time for the World Cup is 12:50 p.m. EDT (8:50 p.m. in Dubai).
To view all the races on the Dubai World Cup program, click here.
Post Position Draw Quotes
Shinji Maeda, brother of owner Koji Maeda, Awardee, Post 1 – “In reality, we wanted an outside gate but funnily enough number one is our lucky number. Kizuna and One And Only both won the Japanese Derby from the first bracket, so the inside is lucky for us. The field is small so from any position he would need luck.”
Trainer Satish Seemar, North America, Post 2 – “That’s exactly what we wanted – one, two or three. I’m very positive. We’ve got everything right in his preparation so far, and now we have the perfect draw. He’s still to peak, and he’ll do that on Saturday.”
Jockey Richard Mullen, North America, Post 2 – “I’m very happy with the draw. When we discussed it this morning, I said to Satish that anything from one to five would be fine but I didn’t want to know if it was higher, so the two stall is ideal. He’s a natural front-runner, so I should be able to go forward.”
Trainer Antonio Sano, Gunnevera, Post 3 – “It’s a good position, but remember my horse comes from behind, so it’s not that important to us. It’s a strong race, and I hope he has the chance to finish with a good run in the last two furlongs. (Jockey) Joel Rosario knows the plan. It’s very important we see a lot of speed in the race so my horse can come from behind at the end.”
Trainer Erwan Charpy, Furia Cruzada, Post 4 – “Four is a very good draw for her and I am happy with that. She has been very consistent all season on both the turf and the dirt. She has improved all year and is in perfect condition.”
Trainer Bob Baffert, Mubtaahij, 5; West Coast, 9 – “I’m fine with both. Everybody wants the one, but I do not. I don’t like the one-hole and have never liked the one. I’ve heard you have to be on the rail here as it’s a speed biased rail, but I think in a race of this magnitude, when you get all of these good horses together, all that changes. We have a fast horse. From the outside, if they break a little slow you’re not going to get in trouble. From the inside if you break slow, you’re going to be in trouble. I just didn’t want them to draw next to each other. If they’d bump into each other or something else had happened, I’d hate be together. I think every trainer here hopes his horse runs his race and feels if he runs his race, you know you’re going to be competitive. To me, the break is so important, as we saw last year (with Arrogate). I don’t want to see that and go through that again. I don’t think there’s a really bad post when you’re going a mile-and-a-quarter (2000m). The horse is the more important than the post so I’m fine with it. I’m looking forward to it.”
Trainer Dallas Stewart, Forever Unbridled, Post 6 – “What we’re real happy about is how she’s doing here. Her energy is great. Her appetite is good. The post position should be fine. She’s comfortable, so I’m comfortable. It’s going to be a great race. She’s going to need to bring her best race to win this.”
Lisa-Jane Graffard, French racing manager for Godolphin, Talismanic, Post 7 – “The horse trained well on the dirt at Del Mar. He’s very adaptable with a great mind and Andre (Fabre, trainer) always wanted to bring a good horse here for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and we’re delighted to bring a horse of that calibre to this race. Tactics are up to the trainer and jockey and we’ll wait to hear on the night.”
Assistant trainer Leandro Mora, Pavel, Post 8 – “I definitely didn’t want to have the one. I expect he’ll be forwardly placed, but once they come out of the gate it’s a different game. West Coast is the horse to follow. If we’re lucky we’ll break with West Coast and be happy to chase him and then make our move. I’d like to be in the first four and then do what we can from there.”
Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor, Thunder Snow, Post 10 – “He’s doing good this year, last time was disappointing but he came back really well. We’re really happy with him.”
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