California Chrome Ascends in Dubai

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D.S. Williamson

March 1st, 2016

Why did I ever doubt the amazing California Chrome? Maybe, it was hubris. But ranking Mshawish ahead of California Chrome in my 2016 Dubai World Cup Rankings, a blog that I posted a few weeks ago, was downright foolish. Chrome knew it was foolish. That's why he arguably ran the most impressive Dubai World Cup prep that I've seen since Curlin's prep in 2008.

What was so amazing about Chrome's prep victory in the $150,000 Trans Gulf Electromechanical Trophy  is that he won so easily while carrying 15 pounds more than any of the other horses. Horseplayers don't often think of weight. We're all caught up with speed and pace figures. Chrome beat the heck out of his opponents while carrying a gargantuan 15 more pounds. Check out Chrome's prep below along with a few other horses in the updated 2016 Dubai World Cup Rankings.
1. California Chrome - Sure, the time wasn't great. Chrome ran the 1 1/4 miles in 2:04.32. The competition wasn't great either. But, he carried an extra 15 pounds and he won easily. That's what you want out of a Dubai World Cup prep. In regards to time, Prince Bishop won the 2015 Dubai World Cup in 2:03.24. Chrome looks like he's matured enough to be the best horse in the world in 2016.
2. Mshawish - I know that I've posted this in a blog already. I think it's important to watch this race again. Mshawish's best ability, and what should make him the top challenger to California Chrome in the Dubai World Cup, is how he can relax behind horses before exploding when asked. Mshawish won the Donn Handicap in 1:47.89. The split times were 24.01, 23.75, 23.72 and 12.29. Mshawish didn't look like he was slowing down to me in that final 1/8 of a mil.e. Chrome versus Mshawish would be some race.
3. Frosted - I decided to post an interview of trainer Kiaran McLaughlin in regards to Frosted, Godolphin's top chance at another Dubai World Cup win. The most powerful racing outfit in the world has won 6 Dubai World Cup's including winning with African Story in 2014. McLaughlin also trains this year's top Kentucky Derby prospect in Mohaymen. Frosted looks much improved from last year. He's definitely become comfortable in Dubai.
 4. Hoppertunity - He didn't beat anybody in the Grade 2 San Anontio. In fact, Hoppertunity almost lost to Imperative. But here's the thing, jockey Flavien Prat took Hoopertunity wide around both turns. He took Hoppertunity ridiculously wide around the final turn. Hoppertunity went wide in the Clark Handicap. What's with taking this horse wide every time?  If he makes the trip to Dubai, I hope that they try and save ground with him. There will be speed signed on. If the race falls apart on March 26, he'll have a shot.
5. Mubtaahij - Last year's UAE Derby winner has his prep for the March 26 Dubai World Cup this Saturday on March 5. If Mubtaahij runs well in the G1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3, he'll have to be considered a contender to win the Dubai World Cup. He loves Meydan based on his UAE Derby win. Plus, he's a grandson on his sire's side of the great Dubai Millenium. Mubtaahij could climb up the ranking in a hurry with an impressive win in Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3.


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