Highlighted by the 17th running of the Dubai World Cup, Saturday’s program includes seven additional thoroughbred races, with total purses valued at $27 million. To capture all the action, TVG’s coverage will begin at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and will feature Todd Schrupp and Simon Bray offering analysis and handicapping information from the network’s Los Angeles studios.
Two American-based horses, Game on Dude and Royal Delta, are scheduled to join a field of international stars in the Dubai World Cup starting gate. The Bob Baffert-trained Game on Dude, who was second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, is coming off a win in the San Antonio Stakes. Just breaking from the starting gate will make jockey Chantal Sutherland, the first woman to ride in the world’s richest race. If she should win it–and Game On Dude’s tactical speed will be a strong asset on Meydan Racecourse’s synthetic surface–she will achieve something that women in the Middle East (or most anywhere else) could not even have dreamed about just a few years ago.
But Sutherland, who already has been the subject of Dubai newspaper stories and has received offers for appearances and more interviews there, has decided to focus on her horse and her riding.
“I’d rather not talk about it. I’d be afraid that whatever I said would be misinterpreted,” she said softly, expressing a sensitive regard for the culture of the region in purposefully deciding to downplay the historical nature of her ride. “I know the attention is going to be around me and my horse, but I just want to lay low.”
Royal Delta, who is conditioned by Bill Mott, won the 2011 Eclipse Award as champion three-year-old filly following a campaign highlighted by victories in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic and the TVG Alabama Stakes. In her lone 2012 start, she was second in the Sabin Stakes.
The $2 million Golden Shaheen has also attracted two American entries, The Factor and Giant Ryan. Also trained by Baffert, The Factor enters the race following back-to-back wins in the San Carlos and Malibu Stakes, while the Bisnath Parboo-trained Giant Ryan will make his 2012 debut. Giant Ryan won last year’s Vosburgh Stakes and was eighth in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Rounding out the American contingent are the Steve Asmussen-trained Regally Ready who joins the field in the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint, and the Graham Motion-trained Lucky Chappy, slated for the $2 million UAE Derby. Regally Ready captured last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, while Lucky Chappy is coming off a second place finish in the El Camino Real Derby.
The $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic includes St Nicholas Abbey, the Aidan O’Brien trainee who was an upset winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf. O’Brien will also saddle last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic sixth place finisher, So You Think, in the Dubai World Cup.
The day’s program will also include the $5 million Dubai Duty Free, the $2 million Godolphin Mile and the $1 million Dubai Gold Cup.