Friday, May 24, 2024

$20 Million Saudi Cup Draw: Odds, Post Positions

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Good luck horse players! The field is set for the world’s richest horse race and there are champions and longshots galore to test the savvy of even the most seasoned bettors.

White Abarrio

White Abarrio, National Treasure Take on International Stars

Final entries were revealed on Wednesday, with Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) champ White Abarrio and Preakness (G1) and Pegasus Word Cup (G1) winner National Treasure among the top contenders.

The $20 million Saudi Cup on Saturday (8:40 p.m. post-Saudi time) also features five Japan-based horses seeking to give the country its second straight win in the 1 1/8-mile dirt race at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh.

Last year, Panthalassa edged Bob Baffert-trained Country Grammer at the wire. Baffert sends out National Treasure from post 7 hoping to reach the winner’s circle after three straight runner-up finishes (Country Grammer twice, Charlatan in 2021).

Among the Japan breds are Ushba Tesoro, Derma Sotogake, and Crown Pride. Lemon Pop is a Kentucky-bred but is based in Japan.

The Saudis are well represented as well with ownership of a handful of U.S.-breds, including Carmel Road, Defunded, Power in Numbers, Saudi Crown, and Senor Buscador.

Prince Faisal and White Abarrio: A Regal Partnership in the Racing Arena

Saudi’s Prince Faisal Bin Khaled Bin A recently became part-owner of White Abarrio, trained by Rick Dutrow, Jr. The 5-year-old will be ridden by champion Irad Ortiz, Jr. from the No. 1 gate.

“We won from 2, so 1 is just fine,’’ Dutrow said, referring to White Abarrio’s BC Classic win from post 2. “We’ve got the best rider, and one of the best horses. He takes my breath away every time I see him run.”

Gambling is illegal in Saudi Arabia, so there’s no morning line set by the track.

Unofficial odds by the US Racing Team at has White Abarrio as the 3-1 favorite over Champions Cup (G1) winner Lemon Pop at 5-1. Preakness (G1) and Pegasus World Cup (G1) winner National Treasure is 9-2 and BC Classic runner-up Derma Sotogake is 6-1.

A look at odds posted by oddsmakers in Europe and the United States show White Abarrio, Lemon Pop, and Derma Sotogake as the top three betting choices, followed by National Treasure and Ushba Tesoro, fifth in the BC Classic and winner of the Tokyo Daishoten (G1) on Dec. 29.

Eyes on the Prize: Saudi Crown and Rivals Gear Up for the $20 Million Saudi Cup Race

Senor Buscador

The next wave is led by Saudi Crown with odds in the 12-1 area (he’s listed at 8-1 by the US Racing Team). Senor Buscador, Isolate, and Defunded are in the 14-1 to 20-1 range, and the others are in the 20-1 and higher range.

This is the fifth running of the Saudi Cup, which is set up as a two-day racing extravaganza with more than $37 million in prize money.

The inaugural Saudi Cup kicked off in 2020 with Maximum Security winning, but after his trainer Jason Servis was convicted of taking part in a doping scheme to improve performance, the horse will soon officially be disqualified, and runner-up Midnight Bisou will be declared the winner.

In 2021, John Gosden-trained Mishriff won; in 2022 Emblem Road pulled off a stunning upset for Saudi Prince Saud Bin Salman Abdulaziz, and Panthalassa gave Japan its win by passing Country Grammer at the wire.

Dutrow, who came off a 10-year suspension for multiple rules violations in 2023, obviously is excited about competing in a $20 million race.

“I’m shaking right now, I mean this is exciting stuff man – a $20 million race, my mum’s going crazy! I mean my dad used to run for $10,000 … we were so happy, now a $20 million race, she just can’t believe it.”

The field for the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1), from the rail out, with jockey, trainer, US Racing Team odds (unofficial):


2024 Saudi Cup Odds and Contenders
PP Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Odds
1 White Abarrio Irad Ortiz, Jr Rick Dutrow, Jr. C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable, LLC 3-1
2 Isolate Joel Rosario Doug Watson RRR Racing 15-1
3 Lemon Pop Ryusei Sakai Hiroyasu Tanaka Godolphin 15-1
4 Senor Buscador Junior Alvarado Todd Fincher Joe R. Peacock, Jr 10-1
5 Saudi Crown Florent Geroux Brad Cox SFMQ Stables 8-1
6 Crown Pride Joao Moreira Koichi Shintani Teruya Yoshida 20-1
7 National Treasure Flavien Prat Bob Baffert F Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Masterson, Robert E., Stonestreet Stables LLC, Schoenfarber, Jay A., Waves Edge Capital LLC and Donovan, Catherine 9-2
8 Hoist the Gold John Velazquez Dallas Stewart Dream Team One Racing Stable 30-1
9 Defunded Luis Saez Abdulaziz K Mishref Pegram, Michael E., Watson, Karl and Weitman, Paul 25-1
10 Power in Numbers Adel Alfouraidi Ahmed Mohamoud Klaravich Stables, Inc. 30-1
11 Ushba Tesoro Yuga Kawada Noboru Takagi Ryotokuji Kenji Holdings Co. Ltd. 10-1
12 Meisho Hario Suguru Hamanaka Inao Okada Yoshio Matsumoto 20-1
13 Derma Sotogake Christophe Lemaire Hidetaka Otonashi Hiroyuki Asanuma 6-1
14 Carmel Road Camillo Ospina Abdullah Albadah SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Masterson, Robert E., Stonestreet Stables LLC, Schoenfarber, Jay A., Waves Edge Capital LLC and Donovan, Catherinetd> 25-1

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