DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- There were no surprises Monday when final entries for the $10 million Dubai World Cup were released by the Dubai Racing Club, with 13 challengers set to take on Arrogate, the horse considered the best in the world right now.
Where Arrogate and everyone else in the World Cup will begin their 2,000-meter (about 1 1/4-mile) journey Saturday night will be revealed at a post-position draw Wednesday at Meydan Racecourse. The draw for the World Cup is a two-step process: Horse names are randomly drawn by racing officials, and the connections choose their own posts from the available slots.
"The start is so crucial," said Bob Baffert, Arrogate's trainer. "You've got to get out of there. He had the rail the last time, and I didn't like it."
But even breaking from the fence in the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream in his most recent start, Arrogate still won easily. His opponents Saturday are Apollo Kentucky, Awardee, Gold Dream, Gun Runner, Hoppertunity, Keen Ice, Lani, Long River, Mubtaahij, Neolithic, Special Fighter, and Furia Cruzada.
Post positions for the other Grade 1 races on the card also will be drawn Wednesday. The $6 million Sheema Classic got just seven final entrants, but the race is star-studded, with Postponed, Highland Reel, Jack Hobbs, and Seventh Heaven forming a glittering core. There are 14 entrants in the $6 million Dubai Turf, including Ribchester, Real Steel, Zarak, Mutakkayef, Mondialiste, Decorated Knight, and Deauville -- an excellent cast.
Among the $2 million Golden Shaheen's 14 entrants are four American horses: Mind Your Biscuits, St. Joe Bay, Stallwalkin Dude, and Imperial Hint. Mind Your Biscuits is the likely favorite for Chad Summers, who became a licensed trainer of record only late last year. Mind Your Biscuits galloped about two miles and schooled in the spacious Meydan paddock Monday.
"He shipped well and is very good right now," Summers said. "I couldn't be happier. I wish the race was tomorrow."
As expected, 12 horses were entered in the Al Quoz Sprint, a straight-course turf race lengthened from about five furlongs to about six furlongs this year. Ertijaal, Limato, and Amazing Kids are the likely favorites in a race that includes two Americans, Long On Value and Richard's Boy.