Arrogate draws perfectly, tabbing a straight exacta in Dubai World Cup
By Dick Powell
The $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) will be run this Saturday at Meydan at 1 ¼ miles on the dirt. For the past few years, the Dubai Racing Club has not had a North American agent to promote the races of the Dubai Racing Carnival so the world’s richest day of racing kind of sneaks up on us over here.
But, purse money makes the world go around and this year’s event has attracted a field of 14, headed by the world’s top-rated racehorse ARROGATE (Unbridled’s Song). After his romp in the Pegasus World Cup (G1), Arrogate came out of the race so good that Bob Baffert had no choice but to send him over to Dubai. But, despite his presence, 13 rivals will line up against him.
The draw for the Dubai World Cup took place on Wednesday and it could not have gone better for Arrogate when he drew post 9. Because of the kickback on the Meydan dirt track, you either want to race up on the lead or outside in the clear. Where you don’t want to be is stuck behind horses so an inside draw would have been a problem. Post 9 enables Mike Smith to use his tactical speed to either go up near the lead or stalk on the outside.
The dirt track at Meydan gets hot during the day and no matter how much water gets put down, it evaporates quickly. As the sun goes down, it cools off some and tightens up. As it does so, speed does better and the running times get faster.
Go back and watch last year’s Dubai World Cup. CALIFORNIA CHROME (Lucky Pulpit) broke from post 11, raced four wide and dominated without ever having a speck of sand kicked back on him. It was a perfect trip and Arrogate, who can break as well as California Chrome, can take full advantage of the wide draw.
When you watch last year’s race, pay attention to how MSHAWISH (Medaglia d’Oro) raced far off the rail on the lead and enabled MUBTAAHIJ (Dubawi) to save ground on the rail without anyone in front of him so he was not eating any kickback en route to a runner-up effort. FROSTED (Tapit) raced in midpack, had his ears pinned from the kickback and finished far back. Notice how Frosted came back two months later and won the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) by 14 lengths.
If there was a slight chance of beating Arrogate, it would only have come from him drawing inside and getting stuck in traffic. From post 9, he should get a perfect trip. So how do we make money?
Japanese horses are as good as any in the world and have developed a program for dirt horses that gets better and better. They won the race with VICTOIRE PISA (Neo Universe) in 2011 and this year, their best chance is not Belmont Stakes (G1) third-place finisher LANI (Tapit) but GOLD DREAM (Gold Allure).
Gold Dream has made all nine career starts on dirt in Japan and won a Group 3 stakes on dirt last year going a mile. This year, he returned off a two-month layoff at Tokyo to capture the February Stakes (G1) going a mile in good time. What intrigues me about Gold Dream’s chances is who is riding him.
In his past three starts, Mirco Demuro rode Gold Dream. Demuro won the Dubai World Cup aboard Victoire Pisa. So guess who is riding Gold Dream in this year’s Dubai World Cup? The “Magic Man,” Joao Moreira who is the leading rider in Hong Kong. Moreira is so talented that his effect on a horse in Hong Kong is immeasurable and many just use him automatically. As a longshot with a live chance, play an Arrogate-Gold Dream exacta.
The Rainbow Six carryover is approaching $1 million and as it grows, the payoff for hitting becomes much greater than the parlay on the six winners. On Wednesday, field sizes were a manageable seven, eight, seven, eight, six and nine. The payoffs were not off the charts but the Rainbow Six paid $4,964 as nobody held a single ticket. The parlay was $2,613. On Sunday, the Rainbow Six paid $10,323 while the parlay was $3,538.
What happens is that the money that goes into the pool, looking to be the single winner, becomes, in effect, “dead” money, similar to carryover money. As the carryover grows, more players are looking to take down the whole thing and the combinations that they are playing contain many longshots that have little chance of winning.
Yes, it would be nice to be the single-ticket winner but in the meantime, six out of six is paying healthy dividends for a 20-cent bet.