2018 Dubai World Cup Day Recap: Mendelssohn and Thunder Snow Win Big

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D.S. Williamson

April 1st, 2018

The 2018 Dubai World Cup is in the books. As often happens on Dubai World Cup Day, a couple of favorites show up huge while the biggest favorite falls flat. It's happened before where the horse offering the lowest odds to win the most prestigious race on the card, the Dubai World Cup, falls flat.

It happened this past Saturday on March 31 after Thunder Snow beat West Coast in the Dubai World Cup. Thunder Snow's win wasn't the most eye-catching as Mendelssohn crushed his competition in the UAE Derby.

Check out the three performances that stood out to me on 2018 Dubai World Cup Day!

2018 Dubai World Cup Day Recap:  Mendelssohn and Thunder Snow Win Big

Mendelssohn Proves He's a Real Derby Contender

It's impossible to come up with enough superlatives to describe exactly how dominant Mendelssohn was. He crushed the UAE Derby field by around 15 lengths. Was it a deep field? Probably not. But, neither, it appears, was the Florida Derby later in the day.

While Audible looked great winning the Florida Derby, Mendelssohn looked like the next Secretariat by winning the UAE Derby. I wrote a blog last week about how Mendelssohn was at the top of my Derby Rankings even though he hadn't yet raced on dirt. I mentioned that he might be a monster horse. Was I right? Maybe.

But, Bolt d'Oro, Good Magic, McKinzie, Justify, and Magnum Moon are yet to have their final prep races. Mendelssohn looked fantastic. It still doesn't mean he wins the Kentucky Derby although for now, he obviously stays at the top of my Derby Rankings.

Mine Your Biscuits Beats Speed Favoring Track in Dubai Golden Shaheen

The dirt track appeared to favor speed. That didn't stop Mind Your Biscuits from running lights out to nail chalks Roy H and X Y Jet to win the Dubai Golden Shaheen. It was Mind Your Biscuits' second straight win in the Dubai Golden Shaheen. This time, he beat two of the best sprinters in the world. Roy H had won the Breeders' Cup Sprint last November while there are few horses with early speed that X Y Jet routinely shows.

Joel Rosario provided one of the most perfectly timed moves I've ever seen. He showed why he remains one of the best riders in the world. Once Joel got Mind Your Biscuits going at the top of the long stretch, the horse was unstoppable.

Thunder Snow Upsets West Coast in Dubai World Cup

Trainer Bob Baffert was supposed to take his second straight Dubai World Cup trophy back to the United States. Arrogate beat Gun Runner last year. West Coast, because Gun Runner had retired, was supposed to easily win the Dubai World Cup this year. West Coast was such a huge favorite that he went off at 3/5.

Godolphin, like they've done many times in the Dubai World Cup, wasn't intimidated. Surprisingly, Godolphin won the World Cup with one of their lesser regarded horses. Thunder Snow is a decent sort, but he had finished second, once to North America and once to Heavy Metal, in two of his last three. He had beaten North America and Heavy Metal in the other race.

What chance did he have of taking down arguably the top handicap horse in North America? What's impressive is that Thunder Snow pulled away from West Coast in the stretch.

It's difficult to know why West Coast ran so poorly. Yes, he finished second to a decent racehorse in Thunder Snow, but Thunder Snow isn't Dubai Millenium. West Coast should have run by the winner in the stretch.

Maybe, West Coast isn't as good as we thought he was. Or, and this is a real possibility, he hasn't yet grown into the four-year-old handicap horse that he will grow into. After all, West Coast is a late-blooming three-year-old from last year. I'm willing to give him a mulligan.