Electrocutionist winning the 2006 Dubai World Cup over Brass Hat and Wilko.
The richest horse race in the world is the $6 million Dubai World Cup (Group 1). Eleven of the best older horses entered the starting gate at Nad al Sheba racecourse in this 2000-meter (about 1 1/4 mile) event over the main track. Among the Americans in the race were Donn Handicap winner Brass Hat and 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Wilko. Electrocutionist, third in the Canadian International in October, represented the Godolphin home team while Kane Hekili was the Japanese flagbearer.
For the early stages, Magna Graduate, Super Frolic, and Wilko battled up front while Kane Hekili stayed in stalking position just behind them. At the top of the stretch, jockey Willie Martinez asked Brass Hat for his run and got it, as Brass Hat quickly joined the battle up front. It looked like an American sweep was eminent, as four Americans were across the track with a quarter mile to go. However, the locals were not to be denied. Having raced in mid-pack down the backstretch, jockey Frankie Dettori made his move aboard Electrocutionist at the half-mile pole and swung his mount wide on the far turn. With 1/16 of a mile to go, Brass Hat looked to be home free having broken free of the pack, but Electrocutionist was closing like a freight train down the center of the track. Electrocutionist ran right by Brass Hat in the final strides to win by 1 1/2 lengths in a time of 2:01.32 for the 2000 meters over a fast track. It was 3 lengths back to Wilko in third, and another 2 3/4 to Magna Graduate in fourth.
Sheikh Mohammed congratulates Frankie Dettori after the race
Winning jockey Frankie Dettori said, "I didn't breathe for two minutes. I was not traveling as well as Yutaka (Take on Kane Hekili) in front. I found a gap and the 5/8 pole and took it with both hands. I then had to switch him and lost some energy and ground. It was a great performance and is great for Godolphin and the whole team. I did not think I could win until I was 30 years out as I could not shake off Brass Hat."
Brass Hat was the favorite among the US horses and finished second.
Buff Bradley, trainer of runner-up Brass Hat said, "He ran a great race. Everybody knows that he's one of the best now." Willie Martinez aboard Brass Hat said, "He spotted that other horse (Electrocutionist) and he was coming back. What a race; what can I say? It's just hit me now. I'm so proud of what Brass Hat has done for us. It's very overwhelming. We had a great experience and we'd love to come back next year." Garrett Gomez aboard Wilko said, "He ran a really good race. The horse gave 130%. I couldn't ask for a much better performance than he gave me other than to win."
Results for US wagering:
7th RACE NAD AL SHEBA - DUBAI WORLD CUP (Group 1)
1st 4 - Electrocutionist $7.00 $2.80 -
2nd 1 - Brass Hat $2.80 -
3rd 11 - Wilko $7.00 -
$2 EXACTA 4-1 $33.80
$2 TRIFECTA 4-1-11 $285.40
$1 TRIFECTA Box $14247
Immediately before the World Cup were the world's second-richest races, which are also the richest races on the turf, each with a $5 million purse. In the Dubai Duty Free (Group 1) at 1777 meters (about 1 1/8 miles), Richard Mandella trainee The Tin Man was quickest out of the gate and set an easy pace of 24.90, 48.99, and 1:13.15. In mid-stretch, he still looked strong, but David Junior was closing well, and collared The Tin Man with 3/16 of a mile to go. David Junior drew away to win by 3 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:49.65. It was another 1 1/4 length back to Seihali in third, while Todd Pletcher-trainee Host was fourth, 1 3/4 lengths back of Seihali.
Jamie Spencer and David Junior after the race.
Winning jockey Jamie Spencer said, Spencer said, "We broke well. They went a bit quick but 600 meters out I was in no doubt, we went home hands and heels." Victor Espinoza aboard The Tin Man said, "Everything set up good. I wish he had had a little more at the end, but he ran great. The last 1/16 of a mile he was looking around a little bit, but when the other horse got in front, he came on again."
Heart's Cry winning the 2006 Dubai Sheema Classic.
The Dubai Sheema Classic (Group 1) featured the best older turf horses traveling the classic distance of 2400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles). Japanese entrant Heart's Cry battled on the front end with Alayan and Collier Hill through easy fractions of 27.27, 53.05, and 1:19.02 over the "good-to-firm" course. Turning for home, Heart's Cry took advantage of the slow early fractions, easily finding another gear to draw away from Collier Hill by 4 1/4 lengths for the win in a time of 2:31.89. It was 1 1/4 lengths back to Falstaff in third, while favorite Ouija Board couldn't close on the slow pace, finishing fourth 3 1/2 lengths back of Falstaff.
Heart's Cry and jockey Christophe Lemaire after the race.
Winning trainer Kojiro Hashiguchi said, "I am really excited. Heart's Cry was very good, so I brought him to Dubai. If I had no confidence, I would not have come here. In last year's the Arima Kinen(Gr.1), one of the biggest races in Japan, he was very strong. But now, he is stronger than then. We will look to going for the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes next."
Proud Tower Too winning the 2006 Dubai Golden Shaheen.
The $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (Group 1) is a 1200-meter (about 6 furlong) sprint down the straightaway homestretch at Nad al Sheba. Proud Tower Too was quickest out of the gate and battled up front with fellow American Thor's Echo through a quarter in 23.63 and a half in 45.10, with another American, Captain Squire, keeping in close contention in third. Thor's Echo briefly got even with Proud Tower Too at the 1/8 pole, but Proud Tower Too shook him off to prevail by 1 1/4 length in a time of 1:09.86. Jet West closed from 10th at the 1/4 pole to finish third by 3/4 length. It was just 1/2 a length more to Captain Squire in fourth, and 1 1/4 to Gaff in fifth, completing a top-five sweep by American-owned horses.
Proud Tower Too and jockey David Cohen after the race.
Winning jockey David Cohen said, "I can't even explain how this feels; it means the world. This horse has taken me to my first major stakes win, my first Grade 1 win and now has brought me here. You can't get better than this." Winning trainer Sal Gonzalez added, "I wasn't concerned about the post position. I knew when a horse comes up and looked him in the eye, he would run--and he ran a dynamite race."
Discreet Cat winning the 2006 U.A.E. Derby.
The $2 million U.A.E. Derby (Group 2) is an 1800-meter (about 1 1/8 mile) event on the main track for Northern Hemisphere 3-year-olds and Southern Hemisphere 4-year-olds. Australian-bred Gaburin set a reasonable pace of 46.93 and 1:11.84 on the front end, while hometown favorite Discreet Cat sat back in fifth early. Rounding the far turn, jockey Frankie Dettori asked Discreet Cat for run and got it, as Godolphin's Kentucky Derby hopeful surged ahead at the 1/4 pole and drew away to win by 6 lengths over Testimony, completing the distance in 1:48.59. Racing Manager of Godolphin, Simon Crisford said, "He's a horse that's going places and we are really excited. It was very important to put a victory on the board and it's very lovely that it was this horse because he's the future. Electrocutionist is the present but this horse is the future. It was very, very impressive. He's got such talent. Obviously, all our options are open for him, including the Kentucky Derby." His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, "We'll have to see how he comes out of the race and then we'll decide (on the Kentucky Derby)."
Utopia winning the 2006 Godolphin Mile.
The $1 million Godolphin Mile (Group 2) is a 1600-meter (1 mile) race on the main track for older horses. Japanese entry Utopia led at every call to win by 4 lengths over Turkish entry Win River Win in a time of 1:35.88. It was another 1/4 length back to Jack Sullivan in third. The lone American entrant, Island Fashion, raced at the back of the pack early and simply failed to fire, finishing seventh. Winning trainer Kojiro Hashiguchi, who also trains Duty Free winner David Junior said, "The start was very good, so I thought he had a good chance. The primary factor of his winning was that he could keep his pace. I believed his win in the middle of the stretch, and I shouted in a loud voice. I am very happy to win for Japan."
Dubai World Cup Links:
Results Charts for the card from Emirates Racing Association with photo finish pictures