There’s no doubt about it: money talks. The Dubai World Cup, to be held over the dirt surface on March 31st at Meydan City, is the second-richest race in the world thanks to its US$10 million purse. Only the the Pegasus World Invitational at Gulfstream Park in Florida, USA, which takes place in January, has a bigger purse, at US$16 million.
When you compare these purses to the US$600 000 offered for the March 10 Grade I Santa Anita Handicap, you can understand why the majority of the major players in Southern California’s older handicap ranks have opted in for the races set to be taking place in Dubai soon.
West Coast, the late developer trained by Bob Baffert, has emerged as the best three-year old of 2017, thanks to his Travers win at Saratoga, and his solid runner-up effort in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to the more experienced Gun Runner.
Baffert missed the Santa Anita Handicap at his home track, and West Coast has been training in suitably spectacular fashion for his debut in 2018.
West Coast’s older stablemate Mubtaahij will be joining him. Mubtaahij has a lot of experience to call on when it comes to Meydan City: he managed to finish in second place in the Dubai World Cup in 2016, and came back in 2017, finishing in fourth place. He came in behind Arrogate, Gun Runner and Neolithic. Mubtaahij also finished in a distant second place at the Santa Anita Handicap.
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