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2017 Dubai World Cup Workouts


Sunday morning at Meydan
Date: 03/20/2017

On Sunday and Monday morning in Dubai, entrants for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) and its rich undercard were at Meydan Racecourse on the main track. Conditions were typical for late March in the Emirates, with clear skies and temperatures in the mid 70's during training hours before climbing to the high 90's during the day. The races will be run Saturday evening (Saturday morning in North America), with the World Cup going to post at 9:40pm local time (1:40pm ET). In North America the full card will be broadcast live on TVG in the U.S. and HPI-TV in Canada. In addition, NBC Sports Network will broadcast the four Group 1 races from 9:30am-12:30pm.

Here are photos and comments for 38 horses that were out Sunday and Monday. Please click the smaller photos to see a larger version.


Arrogate (Dubai World Cup) breezed 1/2 a mile in about 50 seconds under exercise rider Dana Barnes on Monday (left), after his routine gallop on Sunday (right). Trainer Bob Baffert said, “He’s handling everything really well. He looks good to me. I’ve never won (the Dubai World Cup) here (at Meydan), and it’s totally different. I really liked (Nad Al Sheba), but this is totally different (with) tighter turns. You need a lot of racing luck to get away from the gate. It becomes a jockey’s race. And you never know until they start turning for home, is the horse going to show up? As a trainer, you’re just hoping that at the 1/4 pole, they’re moving. I brought this great horse over here and I don’t want to mess it up. It’s still a horse race, and when it’s a major race, I go into it focused. I don’t take anything for granted. (Owner Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farm) has been a pleasure to work with. I can’t believe they had a horse like Frankel, the best horse they’ve ever seen in Europe, and then they get a horse like Arrogate. (Prince Khalid) is doing something right. I’m just glad to be part of it. And I’m counting on Arrogate to get it done."

Furia Cruzada (Dubai World Cup) galloped on Sunday morning. Trainer Erwan Charpy said: “We are delighted to be running in the Dubai World Cup and it is very rare for a filly or mare to do so but she is a very good performer who deserves her chance as she has done nothing wrong. She won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 on her debut for us and was a bit unlucky on Super Saturday but was making up ground at the line and should run a big race. The likes of Arrogate will obviously be hard to beat but we are very pleased with her."

Gold Dream (Dubai World Cup) galloped Monday morning under exercise rider Hiroya Kinoshita, who said, "He was a little tired when he arrived but as of today he is back to normal. He cantered a lap and a half today and will gallop on Wednesday."

Gun Runner (Dubai World Cup) breezed 1/2 mile in 49.40 seconds on Monday morning at 5am under exercise rider Carlos Rosas, and was accompanied to and from the track by Scott Blasi, assistant to Steve Asmussen, aboard the stable pony. Rosas, who was also the exercise rider for 2008 winner Curlin, said, “He’s little but he’s all heart. He can really run.”

Hoppertunity (Dubai World Cup) galloped Sunday (left) and then blew out 1/2 a mile on Monday under exercise rider Dana Barnes. Trainer Bob Baffert said, "Hoppertunity has been training better than he ever has, and he really loves it here. He just keeps coming and gobbling up ground and getting checks, and you never know, one day he could get there (to win).”

Keen Ice (Dubai World Cup) galloped 1 3/8 miles on Monday under exercise rider Nick Bush. Ginny DePasquale, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher said, “We’re very pleased with him. Mentally, he’s completely changed.”

Lani (Dubai World Cup) galloped on the main track Monday morning.

Neolithic (Dubai World Cup) galloped 1 3/8 miles on Monday. Ginny DePasquale, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher said, “He’s been on his toes ever since he arrived. It seems like he’s adapted unbelievably well.”

Sounds of Earth (Sheema Classic) galloped on the main track Sunday. Assistant trainer Masaoki Nakata said: “He arrived in very good condition, similar to the way he is in Japan and is eating well. We'll be working him entirely on dirt. I'll ride him for his fast work on Wednesday, on the dirt course.”

Decorated Knight (Dubai Turf) galloped on the main track Sunday and then cantered on the training track Monday.

Real Steel (Dubai Turf), back to defend his title, cantered 9f on the main track. Assistant trainer Takahide Ando said: “Since he has done this trip before, he handled it very well. We are pleased with his current condition. Today he cantered just one lap, just to stretch him out before schooling with a pony. He will gallop on Wednesday on turf.”

Ribchester (Dubai Turf) galloped on the main track at 5am.

Vivlos (Dubai Turf) galloped on the main track Monday. Assistant trainer Shinji Yasuda said: “She arrived in good condition. Today we hacked one lap and cantered another. I'll gallop her on Wednesday.”

Zarak (Dubai Turf) jogged on the main track in company with stablemate Vazirabad. Antoine Creton, assistant to trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre said, “Our two horses went onto the track and just went for a slow canter. Zarak worked last Tuesday on the grass at the Meydan training track and will now be just doing routine canters until the race.” 

Gifted Master (Godolphin Mile) went out on the main track on Monday morning.

Kafuji Take (Godolphin Mile) galloped about 1 1/2 miles on Monday. Assistant trainer Hirofumi Yamamoto said: “He was a little tired after the journey but he has improved a lot over the past few days. Today we cantered a lap and a half over the dirt. Jockey Yuchi Fukunaga will gallop him on Wednesday.”

Sharp Azteca (Godolphin Mile) worked half a mile in about 55 seconds. Trainer Jorge Navarro said, “I didn’t want to do too much with him. He’s already fit. I just wanted to take the edge off because he’s tearing down the stall. I didn’t care about the workout as much as the gallop out and I got exactly what I asked. I wanted it to be strong and he was dragging the rider and came back good. He’s taking to everything very well. Shipping to California (from Florida) didn’t seem to bother him, that long trip. So I asked Mr. Gelfenstein (owner) if we could make the trip to Dubai. I told him the trip wouldn’t affect him and so far I’m right. He’s eating up good and everything we ask him he’s doing good. This horse has a lot in the tank and I don’t think we’ve seen the best out of him yet.”

Triple Nine (Godolphin Mile) galloped on the main track Sunday.

Dundonnell (Golden Shaheen) cantered twice around (2 1/4 miles) the main track under exercise rider Paul Lo. Lo said, “I have been with him since he arrived in Dubai and he has finished second and then third on Super Saturday. His preparation since has been fine, no problems and he is healthy. He will do his final gallop later in the week.” Trainer Caspar Fownes added, “I just arrived this morning and saw him in the quarantine. He looks alright and we’ll see how he looks in the morning.”

Mind Your Biscuits (Golden Shaheen) galloped on the main track at 5am and then schooled in the paddock, accompanied by trainer Chad Summers. Summers said, “He shipped well and is very good right now. I couldn’t be happier. I wish the race was tomorrow and I feel very confident. Tomorrow he will have a blowout down the lane.” 

Stallwalkin' Dude (Golden Shaheen) galloped on Monday morning.

St. Joe Bay (Golden Shaheen) trotted once around (9f) the main track Monday. Exercise rider Jesse Sauder said: “He felt great. He’s a very calm, collected, professional horse. He’s a fun horse to ride. He’s actually like a big teddy bear.”

Dios Corrida (Golden Shaheen) galloped on the main track Sunday and then jogged on the training track Monday. Assistant trainer Yoshinori Unoki said: "We cantered him on the quarantine's trotting track today. He is in much better form physically than he was last time out. He'll breeze on Wednesday."

Wild Dude (Golden Shaheen) cantered 9f on the main track at 7am under exercise rider Jamie Heavey.

Adirato (UAE Derby) went out on the main track Sunday then walked the shedrow on Monday. Assistant trainer Shingo Nomiyama said: "He seemed to travel well and has already relaxed into his new environment. Today we just walked him for an hour. He will gallop on Wednesday with his jockey."

Epicharis (UAE Derby) had a light work Monday over the main track. Trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara said: "He travelled well. He cantered two laps today and he will gallop tomorrow."

He Runs Away (UAE Derby) galloped on the main track Sunday morning.

Master Plan (UAE Derby) galloped on the main track Monday morning.

Qatar Man (UAE Derby) had his final workout Monday morning for trainer Marco Botti. Assistant and wife Lucie Botti said, “That was his final piece of work and I was very happy with how he went. He didn’t have a great prep going into his last start in the Al Bastakiya and he has improved for that run, which he obviously needs to do. The draw is going to be crucial over the 1900m track, anything over 7 will be fine. He needs a speed gate and if he gets it, we know he can be quickly out of there. He handles the dirt, has a good cruising speed and if he gets a similar trip to the Al Bastakiya then I think he can be competitive. Colm O’Donoghue will ride on Saturday.”

Vettori Kin (UAE Derby) jogged on the main track at 7am. New trainer Ken McPeek will be in Dubai on Tuesday.

Heartbreak City (Dubai Gold Cup) galloped on the turf Sunday morning. Track rider Jamie Heavey said: “He has been here three weeks and I have been helping out with his track work. He has made good progress in his time here. His summer coat is starting come through with the good weather here compared to Ireland at this time of year, so that is a good sign of his wellbeing. Tadhg O’Shea has been riding him in his faster gallops and has been happy with him also. His trainer Tony Martin gets here on Wednesday.”

Vazirabad (Dubai Gold Cup), back to defend his title, galloped on Monday. Antoine Creton, assistant to trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre said, “He just did a slow canter. He too went on the training track last Tuesday. He is well.” 

Wall of Fire (Dubai Gold Cup) galloped on the turf Monday morning.

Amazing Kids (Al Quoz Sprint) cantered on the main track. Track rider David Mo said: “He travelled well. I rode him on the big track this morning at 5am and he was happy. The boss (trainer John Size) will be here on Wednesday morning.”

Richard's Boy (Al Quoz Sprint) trotted once around (1 1/8 miles) under exercise rider Jesse Sauder. Sauder said, “He’s fresh and sharp and training great. The horses love it there (at San Luis Rey Training Center in Bonsall, CA)."

Long On Value (Al Quoz Sprint) blew out 1/4 mile through the lane on Monday. Riley Mott, assistant to father Bill said, “We let him gallop out 3f, too, but most of our serious work was done back home. This was merely to get his legs stretched out and keep him happy. He’s sort of an anxious type of horse, really high energy. But he shipped well, is eating well, has been holding his weight and colour, so we’re pretty happy. He’s been working really well since his last race and we’ve been very happy with his preparations. Frankly, we wouldn’t have sent him over here if we weren’t. It’s a long way to go to not be at your peak. We found his niche at Saratoga sprinting on the grass and he has some back-class as a two-year-old sprinting on grass. Once we cut him back a bit he started progressing and in his last race he was coming on late.”

The Right Man (Al Quoz Sprint) galloped Sunday morning then cantered Monday under exercise rider Mickael Mingant. Mingant said, “I cantered him over 6f. It was just a slow canter, nothing more. He is very relaxed and I’m happy with him.” 

Medicean Man (Al Quoz Sprint) galloped Sunday morning and then Monday, cantered steadily once around the all-weather training track before making his usual early, solo exit at the top of the short straight. He is one of two 11-year-olds entered on Saturday's card, the other being Reynaldothewizard.

Trainer Bob Baffert, who has Arrogate and Hoppertunity in the World Cup, chats with Frank Gabriel, Executive Director of Racing and former CEO of the Dubai Racing Club.
Left: The grandstand at Meydan.

Right: A fox chases birds in the Meydan infield on Sunday morning.

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