Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Saudi Cup 2024: Posts, jockeys, odds for world’s richest race

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Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia

Pointing out “he had the 2 hole last time” in winning the
Breeders’ Cup Classic, trainer Rick Dutrow said Wednesday he was fine with White Abarrio drawing the rail post for the Grade 1, $20 million Saudi Cup, a
one-turn race going 1 1/8 miles on the dirt Saturday at Riyadh.

“This cannot be a problem,” he said when he unrolled the
ribbon that revealed post 1 for the 5-year-old horse who was the early 3-1 favorite
in Europe betting for the world’s richest race. “We’ve got the best rider. We’ve
got one of the best horses, so we’re fun. We’re ready. … He really takes my breath away every time I see him.”

Video: Dutrow likes White Abarrios chances in Saudi Cup.

Irad Ortiz Jr., who has won five of the last six Eclipse Awards as the champion rider in the U.S. and Canada, will have the mount for the third time in a row on the son of Race Day who is owned by C2 Racing and La Milagrosa Stable. This will be only the third race for White Abarrio since last summer. Before the Breeders’ Cup he won Aug. 6 in the Whitney (G1).

National Treasure, the 4-year-old colt who won last month’s
Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), drew post 7. He was 8-1 in early betting.

“This horse has just gotten better and better, and he’s just
beginning to put races together,” said Jimmy Barnes, the traveling assistant to
trainer Bob Baffert. “He’s really matured, and he really loves it here. It’s
going to be up to Flavien (Prat). He’ll give him a good trip. That’s all I can
ask for.”

Señor Buscador in post 4, Saudi Crown in 5 and Hoist the
Gold in 8 were the other U.S.-based horses in the 14-horse field.

The Saudi Cup will be the last of nine races Saturday at King
Abdulaziz Racecourse. The scheduled post time is 12:40 p.m. EST. Shown here is
the full field in which program numbers, which were assigned alphabetically, do
not match the post positions in most cases. Odds shown below reflect early betting in Europe
as reported by Racing Post.

 Saudi Cup 2024  Post  Trainer  Jockey  Odds*
  1. Carmel Road 14 Abdullah Albadah Camilo Ospina 25-1
  2. Crown Pride   6 Koichi Shintani João Moreira 33-1
  3. Defunded   9 Abdulaziz Khalid Luis Sáez 25-1
  4. Derma Sotogake 13 Hidetaka Otonashi Christophe Lemaire   6-1
  5. Hoist the Gold   8 Dallas Stewart John Velázquez 40-1
  6. Isolate   2 Doug Watson Joel Rosario 20-1
  7. Lemon Pop   3 Hiroyasu Tanaka Ryusei Sakai   5-1
  8. Meisho Hario scr Inao Okada   scr
  9. National Treasure   7 Bob Baffert Flavien Prat   8-1
10. Power in Numbers 10 Ahmed Mohamoud Adel AlFouraidi 50-1
11. Saudi Crown   5 Brad Cox Florent Géroux 14-1
12. Señor Buscador   4 Todd Fincher Júnior Alvarado 16-1
13. Ushba Tesoro 11 Noburu Takagi Yuga Kawada   8-1
14. White Abarrio   1 Rick Dutrow Irad Ortiz Jr.   3-1
15. Scotland Yard – ae 12 Moutaib Almulawah Luis Morales 40-1
ae – also eligible scr – scratched *Source: Racing Post

More reaction from the draw was provided in quotes curated by the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia.
Carmel Road, post 14, Abdullah Albadah, trainer: “I’m happy. He’s in good form, working well in the morning. Tough race, first time he’s run 1,800 meters. Hopefully he’ll run well.”
Crown Pride, post 6, Masafumi Matsuda, assistant trainer: “He’s a versatile type of horse and can race form any position. It’s the best draw for him.”
Defunded, post 9, Khalid bin Mishref, racing manager: “It was a good move from us to bring him early to Saudi Arabia. He’s acclimatized very well. We’re hoping that he’s capable to compete against those great horses.”
Derma Sotogake, post 13, Manari Tanaka, representative: “I think he has improved since the Breeders’ Cup.”
Hoist the Gold, post 8, Dallas Stewart, trainer: “That’s the same number that Winning Colors (who he rode as an exercise rider) had when she won the (1988) Kentucky Derby. He travels well. He’s been to California three times. He went to New York. He looks terrific and is handling the track good.”
Isolate, post 2, Doug Watson, trainer: “We wanted to be drawn 1-9, so we’ll take it.”
Lemon Pop, post 3, Harry Sweeney of owner Godolphin: “We’ve enormous confidence in our jockey. In our last race we drew the very outside, and a horse had never won from that position before. Lemon Pop overcame those odds. He’s going to have to do it again, but we’ll see how it goes. It’s a big ask for Lemon Pop. We’re respectful of all.”
Meisho Hario, post 12, Inao Okada, trainer: “The draw is not a big concern. He can race from any position.”
Power In Numbers, post 10, Ahmed Mohamoud, trainer: “Very happy. It’s the last number, but we hope it will be the lucky number for us.”
Saudi Crown, post 5, Faisal Al Qahtani, owner: “Very happy.”
Señor Buscador, post 4, Joe Peacock Jr., owner: “He’s been training great. He’s training really well, and the team have done a marvelous job. They were patient. He’s showing up to prove everything we wanted him to be. We’re having a fabulous time.”
Ushba Tesoro, post 11, Shogo Hirose, owner’s representative:  “Good to get.”

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