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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2023 Dubai World Cup Day - Tips, Picks and Notes


EQUINOX - Competes against Rebel's Romance - Hit the arrow play button to watch him strut!


A major component of handicapping is energy distribution, which is unfortunately missing from the PPs. Alot of time spent watching replays (that I could find) in order to gauge running styles and reasons for wins and losses. Still, not ideal without figures. Please consult replays as well if you plan on placing bets on this card.


Uninspiring PP's have been posted for all five of these races.


Race 5 - UAE DERBY - 1900m/approx 9.5f - dirt - $1,000,000


1 - ES_UNICO (BRZ) - no chance.


2 - AH JEEZ (USA) - no chance.


3 - CAIRO (IRE) - Trained by Aiden O'Brien. Breeding is correct for the race. With 5 races, 3 wins and two seconds. Turf and AWS. Furthest he ran so far is 1600m. Much faster on AWS than turf, which is a better sign for dirt than the other way around. Aiden O'Brien would not have placed him here without confidence. Won the Derby Prep at Dundalk on March 3rd so he is competing again 22 days later. This guy was 3 seconds faster on AWS than Derma Sotogake (JPN) on dirt. He was on the lead in the Patton Stakes and charged down the stretch. Nice style with his breeding and will have no problem doing the same at 9.5f. Very nice horse with an incredible trainer and worth a nod in a boxed exacta. Looks like Aiden wants a shot in Kentucky this year. I'm all for it. I love the way he runs. The fact that he chose Cairo for this race as opposed to his superstar Auguste Rodin speaks volumes. He will keep Auguste on turf for the Epsom Derby and put his best probable dirt runner on the Kentucky Derby path. Main player in this race.


4 - CONTINUAR (JPN) - Built incredibly for the race and his trainer really wants a Derby gate. Unfortunately, as great as his build is for this race, thats how opposite it is for the Derby. He runs very similarly to Go Soldier Go. In his win in the Cattleya, he came from the rear, circled the field 5 wide and forged ahead. The difference with Soldier though, is that Continuar was passing several retreating horses and this was only an 1800 meter race as opposed to a 1900 meter race with Go Soldier Go striding past forging horses.


5 - DERMA SOTOGAKE (JPN) - Have to take a stand against the Zen Nippon winner in favor of two other Japanese entries. He ran that 9f race over 3 months ago and it was messy. Since then, he's had 2 races both at only 8f. He took 1st back in December and only hit 3rd in February. His mares are nicely situated with stamina, but his chefs are flat at 3.00. He's a nice horse and he has Lemaire on his back - and if I cave for a super bet, I'll use him. With an exacta bet, it must get chopped down.


6 - DURA EREDE (JPN) - Five races. Two Wins. One on dirt in his maiden and one in a Grade 1 on turf in his last traveling 2000m (approx 10f). Breeding is correct for the race. He has run the furthest so far of the field and drops down in distance here, with proven ability to run on dirt. Deserves consideration in a boxed exacta. Japan is stacked for this race. They want a ticket to Kentucky badly and they came with a couple powerful contenders. Hard not to use with the configurations he is holding. Incredible scale for this race.


7 - GO SOLDIER GO (USA) - Five posted races and each one of them on the Meydan track - home field advantage. Posted two wins at the 1900 distance on the same track. Built for dirt and an incredible prospect for the Kentucky Derby. The huge problem here is that his breeding is not conducive to this race in the least, even though he was successful in the Condition and Listed races prior. The numbers he is holding gives him zero advantage. The only thing he has to rely on is that Tapit stamina. Whether that works or not is anyone's guess. This is the guy we WANT to win because he will be a fantastic overlooked player in Kentucky with much higher odds and we would surely take advantage of that. He runs like a champion, but he is really up against it in this race. If Tapit can take care of that 5.00 index, this guy will be the first to tackle this race as a "true speed" horse. If he pulls it off, the Soldier can compete for the Derby roses. Soldier is built 100x better for Churchill than Meydan. He's stacked for Kentucky. I'll take a shot with him, but only in a boxed exacta with at least 2 others. I adore this horse and I'm really hoping that Tapit comes to the rescue here. At least this guy should give us some odds so worth the shot of an added gamble. He is one heck of a horse, killer down the stretch, and if he pulls this off, he is even better than we think he is.


8 - GORAIKO (JPN) - Built correctly for the race but was beaten badly by Perriere in the Hyacinth. Pass.


9 - LAHRESH (GB) - Hits the mark in breeding quite nicely. This guy could be scary. Four races all on dirt. Last 2 were at 9.5f. Both times up against Go Soldier Go. Lahresh beat Soldier by 4.5 lengths back in January. They met again in March and Soldier demolished him. Lahresh was only able to take 6th place. Incredibly, this guy took a break in between those two races, while Go Soldier Go threw in another win at 9.5f in between there. Shows how powerful Soldier truly is and shows incredible stamina to be able to do that. The fact that he actually even beat Soldier at 9.5f gives pause, but I still see no comparison between the two. Pass.


10 - MR. RAJ (USA) - He ran a bang-up race in his last at 1900, just a head behind Go Soldier Go. Impressive coming from a Bolt d'Oro colt but he is holding two big flaws for this race. One, he isn't built with the stamina to come back in 3 weeks to compete again. Two, he has a 5% chance of taking this race with his breeding. Unlike Go Soldier Go, Tapit is nowhere to be found. Plus, their are at least 3 others who tower in advantage. Could be useful underneath in exotics.


11 - PERRIERE (JPN) - Breeding is over the top spectacular for this race. Four races, all on the dirt surface, with the furthest at only 8.5f. In the scope of things, that truly doesn't matter because the horse is winning stakes races way below his optimum. He's perfect for the UAE Derby. He runs mid-pack and has massive energy late. The dirt in Japan in much softer and lighter than Meydan, however, with the way he is bred, he will probably take to Meydan even stronger. Perriere, Cairo and Dura Erede are all historically built correctly for the race and have shown power in their races. Go Soldier Go is not built right for the race and must rely on Tapit to beat history. At the moment, these are the four that I've chopped the field down to for a win and place consideration. I may have to chop it again but I'm not ready to do that just yet.


12 - TALL BOY (USA) - Why? What the hell is Doug O'Neill thinking? Even though Tall Boy has won on the Meydan track already, it was an 8f race - not 9.5f against regally bred monsters. Tall Boy's breeding is toast at 9.5f in this race against these titans.


13 - WORCESTER (USA) - If this horse wins the UAE Derby, it's fkn fixed or the horse is completely on steroids. He is so backwards for this race that its comical. Is there any post-race vet supervision in Dubai? I certainly hope so. Baffert has no business being in this race with this horse. Worcester is 101% backwards in breeding for a gate here. If Bob Baffert takes the trophy with this horse, I'm done with Dubai forever. Worcester is not built for the UAE Derby, I am 100% certain of that. When he loses, don't listen to the hype that it was because of the gate assignment. It is because this Santa Anita speedster should have stayed put on that track, but his trainer is a selfish, money-hungry dirtbag that doesn't care one iota about the welfare of any horse in his care.


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Race 6 - GOLDEN SHAHEEN - 1200m/approx 6f - dirt - $2,000,000


1 - C Z Rocket (USA) 9 yrs old - Posted second place in 3 consecutive races at this distance with very commendable times, all in the USA including Santa Anita. Not an ideal set-up for this race against more seasoned players.


2 - Gunite (USA) 4 yrs old - Tangled with Elite Power last month overseas, a horse who smoked his last 6 races, and Gunite fell short against him by 3.25 lengths, settling for second place. This is actually quite impressive, as Gunite will be facing a field that pales to Elite Power in the sprinting department. Asmussen has a respectable competitor here who gained a nice post with his style of running. An absolute exacta player here as long as he attains a good break.


3 - Hopkins (USA) 5 yrs old - Seven starts, 3 wins, all run at Santa Anita and DelMar. His last win at 6f up front was won in 1:08.89, so the speed is there. Baffert calls Dettori to ride and with the post, he has a fairly half decent shot here. Baffert is in his element with a 6f sprinting race but faces a tougher surface here. Possible consideration depending on how the track has been playing in the previous 5 races. If speed is holding, he is a player.


4 - Justin (JPN) 7 yrs old - Hasn't posted a win since February of last year. Lost 4 straight at this distance.


5 - Lemon Pop (JPN) 5 yrs old - With 8 wins and 3 places in eleven career starts, there is no wonder why Lemon Pop has been a favorite here at the club since his 2 year old debut. Drenched in stamina with magnificent speed race after race. Consistent with his final times, however, his last 5 highly successful races were run at 1400 (7f) and 1600 (8f), not 1200 (6f). Dropping down to this distance requires staunch sprinters speed and even though he towers over this group, he will not be as advantaged as we would like. Still, comparisons with the longer distances against the power players here show that Lemon Pop was faster. This horse is extra special and will be on my tickets.


6 - Mouheeb (USA) 5 yrs old - Won a couple 6f races in 2022 but the final times pale in comparison.


7 - Red Le Zele (JPN) 7 yrs old - This guy has had 24 starts so far in his career. Came in second to Lemon Pop in his last 8f tangle. Sprinting times did not allow him much success at 6f. He took the trophy in one but it was not quite the fast sprinting final time like some of the others.


8 - Remake (JPN) 4 yrs old - This guy has competed on 5 different tracks but form was not there in his last. Being the son of Lani, quirky may describe him well. His win at Nakayama was impressive. 6f in 1:08.90 but regressed to a 3rd place in his last in Saudi Arabia in an adjusted time of approx 1:12.07. Not good enough to risk a wager on.


9 - Road Bloc (USA) 5 yrs old - no chance in this race.


10 - Sibelius (USA) 5 yrs old - Son of Not This Time with 18 starts over the last two years and has only recently been consistent. He will want a forward spot, if not the lead, but his post hinders his style. If he isn't up front, he suffers. Tough spot with the post.


11 - Sound Money (USA) 5 yrs old - Son of Flatter who consistently hits the board. Failed behind Jackie's Warrior and Cody's Wish in the past. Forward runner hindered by the post like Sibelius, so win consideration is not as heavy as possible board hit underneath.


12 - Super Ocho (CHI) 4 yrs old - not in this lifetime. No chance.


13 - Switzerland (USA) 9 yrs old - 28 starts for this guy, the most experienced of the group. 13 of his last races all in Dubai but only one win in a Gr 1, one year ago. He won't make it here.


14 - Tuz (USA) 6 yrs old - no. Just no.

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Race 7 - DUBAI TURF - 1800m/approx 9f - Turf - $5,000,000


1 - Alfareeq (IRE) 6 years old - Beat much lesser foes than what he will see here. Pass.


2 - Danon Beluga (JPN) 4 yrs old - Never raced outside of Japan but has been conditioned at much further distances in his last 4 unsuccessful attempts. He comes back down to the 9f distance which was his only win from last year. Not sure that is enough to consider him against a few others on this field.


3 - Do Deuce (JPN) 4 yrs old - Dropping down in distance from his past starts, this guy performed much better on Japan tracks than he did at Longchamps. Now at Meydan, which form does he take? The huge redeeming quality here is that Do Deuce actually beat Equinox by a neck in a 12f race which says that he is a very competitive and talented horse. But he's not running 12f and he is far removed from the Nakayama track. Hard to dismiss the quality here and would consider use in an exotic ticket if forced to place a bet in the race.


4 - El Drama (IRE) 5 years old - Race record is highly sub-par to this crew.


5 - Glorious Dragon (IRE) 8 yrs old - 32 lifetime races and has not been even remotely competitive in his last 9 performances. Can't imagine that would change here.


6 - Junko (IRE) 4 years old - He has no problem with hitting the board in France in Gr 2 and 3 and Condition races. His last race was a win at the 9f distance, but it came on AWS. His class is no match here.


7 - Lord North (IRE) 7 years old - Son of Dubawi who looks like he will relish this slight drop in distance. He powered home in his last race, traveling 10f on AWS in England but he bombed at the same 10f in 3 consecutive races on turf. Prior to that, he had a dead-heat with the beast Panthalassa on turf in MEYDAN traveling this exact distance. Back at a track that he likes and the distance that he prefers, appears Lord North is a very strong candidate for this race. Dettori regains the mount from that highly successful win. Big player.


8 - Master of the Seas (IRE) 5 years old - Charles Appleby comes with guns blazing with this guy and Nations Pride in the next gate. Jockey William Buick, consistent rider of this horse, takes off and chooses Nations Pride. So do I.


9 - Nations Pride (IRE) 4 years old - Can't go wrong with Appleby in a huge stakes race on turf. Ran like a champ to win his last race here in Meydan and could pose a huge threat to the field if cut loose with a nice trip. Will not dismiss the horse, nor the trainer in this race. A player.


10 - Order of Australia (IRE) 6 years old - Trained by Aiden O'Brien, another like Appleby who are masters with getting their charges ready to compete on the bigger stages. Unfortunately, this horse's form came roaring back at 1600 meters in his last. Prior, not so much.


11 - Real World (IRE) 6 yrs old - Godolphin horse trained by S bin Suroor who has been successful on turf, AWS and dirt, so bias of surface will not matter. In his last 5 starts, he bombed 3 of them badly. He only showed determination when competing against Baaed at Ascot and New Market, posting second place in both. He is highly respected because of that, however, we are not in England and Baaed isnt making a star appearance. With his record in Dubai, this guy is very vulnerable here but he is high class and not to be taken lightly.


12 - Serifos (JPN) 4 yrs old - Consistently placed in 8f races and now jumps up to 9f here. Breeding easily gives him the extra furlong. He's a fast one for sure but this will be his first start outside of his country. He may crack under the pressure of the more experienced and the added distance. Between him, Danon and Do Deuce as Japanese entrants, the scale for me tips to Do Deuce and Danon. Would rather risk using horses who are dropping down in distance as opposed to one who will need to adjust his energy distribution on a whim in another country.


13 - Shelir (IRE) 7 years old - Way out of his league here.


14 - Shirl’s Speight (USA) 6 years old - no chance here with the upgrade in distance. Bombed his last race in the first attempt outside of the USA - on dirt - traveling only 8f. Three consecutive loses on turf, under the 9f distance at home. Don't see how that could possibly change here.


15 - Sir Busker (IRE) 7 years old - 40 starts. 6 wins. He needs to be retired.


16 - Vin de Garde (JPN) 7 years old - No Chance here.

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Race 8 - DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC - 2410m/approx 12f - Turf - $6,000,000


1 - Botanik (IRE) 5 yrs old


2 - Mostahdaf (IRE) 5 yrs old - Can be very competitive at this distance when he feels like running, he's a bit inconsistent. If he is in high form, he can compete with the two best here.


→ 3 - Rebel’s Romance (IRE) 5 yrs old - This horse is a monster. The class doesn't get much better than this, but Equinox may give him a run for his money. Appleby walks into this race with a star yet again, but Japan does have major muscle here.


4 - Russian Emperor (IRE) 6 yrs old


5 - Senor Toba (AUS) 5 yrs old


6 - Shahryar (JPN) 5 yrs old


→ 7 - Equinox (JPN) 4 yrs old - Christophe Lemaire climbs aboard the pride of Japan, our equivalent of Flightline here in the USA. This horse is a magnificent specimen who absolutely can compete with the titan Rebel's Romance. This show will be even more spectacular than the World Cup with these 2 players. So much so, that it isn't even worth it to waste any time dealing with the others. Imagine Cigar up against Damascus - something similar to that. I can't wait for this race. If anything pops up with the others, I will update.


8 - Westover (GB) 4 yrs old


9 - Zagrey (FR) 4 yrs old


10 - Win Marilyn (JPN) 6 yrs old - Deserves a nod for board hit possibilities.

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Race 9 - DUBAI WORLD CUP - 2000m/approx 10f - dirt - $12,000,000


1 - Algiers (IRE) 6 yrs old - Won his last two races here in Meydan, under the 10f distance but certainly has the breeding easily otherwise. Would consider using in boxed situations with the other 3 main players.


2 - Bendoog (USA) 4 yrs old - This Gun Runner boy certainly likes the Meydan track and has no problem with getting his number on the tote board race after race. His odds will be gambler-friendly and if playing with a bigger and more spread out ticket, he may be just the right type to tackle a spot here. He is very competitive at the distance, even though he falls short of the wire. He has some determination in him.

3 - Café Pharoah (USA) 6 yrs old - A 10f race is no place for a 5.00 American Pharoah boy. I think they may have overlooked the Golden Shaheen too quickly. 9f may be his topper. Nice horse otherwise.


4 - Country Grammar (USA) 6 yrs old - Certainly uses his sire Tapit to his advantage while away from those California tracks. Appears set to explode again here with only a handful of real competitors and back on a track surface that suits his high stamina leanings.


5 - Crown Pride (JPN) 4 yrs old - T O Kenyes defeated him at 10f in Australia. Panthalassa annihilated him last out in Saudi. Jun Light Bolt nabbed him at Chukyo. Competitive though he may be, he hasn't placed a win in exactly a year that has gone by when he won the UAE Derby.


6 - Emblem Road (USA) 5 yrs old - His race record is gorgeous but he has thrown two clunkers into his last 3 races. Prior to that, you couldn't keep this horse away from the board. Not sure what has occurred to him over the last 7 months but definitely not the same. He is a great horse but the recent form is shaky.


7 - Geoglyph (JPN) 4 years old - His last race, which was on dirt, is much better than his 3 prior turf performance. This is a dirt horse who is built to run long, which he has not seen yet. This 10f test on dirt appears better suited for him but still not on the level of Panthalassa. He could get lucky and explode with these better conditions, which is more suited to his breeding, so consideration could be in order for a board hit.


8 - Jun Light Bolt (JPN) 6 yrs old - Yet another entry from Japan whose win ratio is much better on dirt than turf, however, another who finally traveled outside of his homeland and disintegrated in Saudi - just like T O Keynes. Panthalassa demolished them both. Seems that record won't change this time around either.


9 - Panthalassa (JPN) 6 yrs old - Exploded when he was let loose on dirt in Saudi Arabia and beat Country Grammar. Came second behind Equinox on Turf traveling the same distance. This horse has superior class. He should relish the extra distance on this surface and looks like a better player than many here. I like the way he is entering this race and would rate him right next to Country Grammar. Longer distance on dirt gives him even more room to explode. This is the one.


10 - Remorse (IRE) 6 yrs old - Three months ago, Remorse won his 10f Meydan race - it was just a listed race though. Far cry from the class of the players in this field. Since then, while trying to hit higher graded races - he has bombed - going shorter. It may appear that the horse prefers a 10f track, regardless of grade, but he is at least 6 seconds off from the others here.


11 - Salute the Soldier (GER) 8 yrs old - He's about 5 seconds out of his league here.


12 - Super Corinto (ARG) 4 yrs old - A Super Saver boy from Argentina who has competed in Chile and Florida with a very impressive race record, highly lacking in class, travels to Dubai to compete against insanely bred horses. Would make for a nice movie if he should pull that feat off. Based on his last two successful allowance races at Gulfstream Park at 8f and 8.5f, I wouldn't go near this horse with a 10ft pole.


13 - T O Keynes (JPN) 6 yrs old - The toughest puzzle of the entire gate. This horse has had 21 races so far in his career. Twenty of those races were run in his home country. All but a couple he either won or hit the board. Top notch, consistent and fast. Standout among this group with that race record. But the one race where he left Japan and traveled was for the Saudi Cup a year ago. He bombed. It was his worst performance of his career. To get him ready for this race, he competed in his last traveling 10.5f of which he placed second. Not sure the drop in distance is necessarily the fix in this case, but it certainly doesn't hurt. It could simply be the country. He is a very high performing classy horse who may have possibly had a very terrible time in that solo Meydan race. Not sure which way to take this guy and not ready to make that call yet.


14 - Ushba Tesoro (JPN) 6 yrs old - This guy deserves some attention. Won each of his last 4 races on dirt travelling 10f and 10.5f. He beat them all. He has been much stronger as a 6 year old than any time in life. Talk about late bloomer! This is the son of Orfevre and based on his charts and his configurations, the fact that this horse has only competed in his home country on soft dusty dirt may actually play to his favor in Meydan. He is built correctly for this track at this distance and could prove to be a very nice longshot addition, mainly because of the surface he will finally compete on.


15 - Vela Azul (JPN) 6 yrs old - Highly regarded horse but with 23 lifetime starts and only 2 wins on dirt, hard to back this guy in the World's richest dirt race.


I will be making changes and updating these races over the next few days as I get a better handle on the bias. Make sure to check back.

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