Breeders' Cup Champions Arrogate and Highland Reel (IRE) Lead World Cup Night Starters
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2017) — Juddmonte Farm’s 4-year-old Arrogate, the defending $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner and 2016 Longines World Best Racehorse, and Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith’s Highland Reel (IRE), winner of last year’s $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), headline an all-star group of runners from the 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships entered in the Dubai World Cup program Saturday evening, March 25 at Meydan Race Course.
The sensational Arrogate headlines the field as the odds-on favorite in the $10 million, 1 ¼-mile Dubai World Cup (G1). Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Mike Smith, Arrogate, a winner of six races in seven starts, has amassed $11,084,600 in career earnings. His dramatic come from behind victory over California Chrome in last year’s Classic at Santa Anita Park earned him the top rating at the Longines World’s Best Race Horse of 2016.
Last year’s Classic also was named the Longines World’s Greatest Horse Race by the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA). Arrogate opened 2017 with a 4 ¾-length win in the 1 1/8 mile, $12 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28.
Should Arrogate win Saturday, he would join, Cigar (1995-96), Pleasantly Perfect (2003-04), Invasor (ARG) (2006-07) and Curlin (2007-08) as the only horses to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic and then the Dubai World Cup the following year.
Three of the top four finishers from last year’s Classic are entered in the World Cup: Arrogate, third-place finisher Keen Ice for Donegal Racing and Calumet Farm, and trained by Todd Pletcher, and fourth-place finisher Hoppertunity, also trained by Baffert, for owners Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman.
Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Three Chimneys Farm’s 4-year-old Gun Runner, second in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Las Vegas Dirt Mile (G1) for trainer Steve Asmussen, is the fourth Breeders’ Cup starter from 2016 entered in the Dubai World Cup
The Dubai World Cup field also includes Katsumi Yoshida’s 4-year-old Gold Dream (JPN), who became the first horse to qualify for the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar when he won the one-mile February Stakes (G1), a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” event, on Feb. 19 at Tokyo Race Course.
Highland Reel, a wire to wire winner of last year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf for trainer Aidan O’Brien, is the 7-2 second choice behind Postponed (IRE) in the 1 ½-mile Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1).
Also in the $6 million Sheema Classic is the 4-year-old filly and multiple Group 1 winner Seventh Heaven (IRE), who finished fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).
O’Brien has entered Lancaster Bomber (IRE), runner-up in last year’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), in the 1 3/16 mile, $2 million UAE Derby (G1) for 3-year-olds, with the race winner garnering 100 points towards a possible start in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
J Stables, Head of the Plains Partners LLC Et Al’s 4-year-old Mind Your Biscuits, second in last year’s $1.5 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), is the 7-2 favorite in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) at six furlongs.
Limato (IRE), sixth as the favorite in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), is the 7-2 second choice in the six-furlong, $1 million Al Quoz Sprint (G1) on turf.
The 6-year-old Cougar Mountain (IRE) and the 7-year-old Mondialiste (IRE), 8th and 12th respectively in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile, have been entered in the 1 1/8-mile, $6 million Dubai Turf (G1).