As expected, 13 American horses were declared for the world's richest race meeting, the Dubai World Cup fixture at Nad Al Sheba on Saturday night.
Topping the list of U. S. runners is Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey's Roses In May, runner-up to Ghostzapper in the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) last year. Trained by Dale Romans, the son of Devil His Due
is a warm favorite in the UK for the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) and looks the pick of the four American challengers in the world's richest horse race.
The mount of John Velazquez, he looked in great order under the lights on Monday and deserves his place at the head of the market.
Tyler Baze takes the mount on Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider's Congrats as the Richard Mandella-trained son of A. P. Indy
bids to emulate stable companion Pleasantly Perfect
, who won the race last year.
Lundy's Liability (Pat Valenzuela), trained by Bobby Frankel, and Jeff Mullins-trained Choctaw Nation (Victor Espinoza) complete the strong U. S. contingent in a race for which the barrier draw is Wednesday.
Gary Tanaka's Pico Central certainly did not look a horse unduly concerned by a hoof problem when he literally 'bounced' past onlookers Tuesday morning, under heavy restraint, as he continues his preparation for the Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) over six furlongs.
If the favorrite did fail to fire, compatriots Saratoga County (George Weaver/Javier Castellano), Bear Fan (Wesley Ward/Velazquez) and Mullins' My Cousin Matt (Valenzuela) could ensure an American victory for the fifth time in six years.
The American representation on the World Cup card is completed by Julio Canani's Tsigane (Valenzuela) in the Godolphin Mile (UAE-II); Doug O'Neill's Whilly (Felipe Martinez), Ken McPeeks's Prince Arch (Brice Blanc) in the Dubai Duty Free and Sheema Classic, respectively (both grade I) and McPeeks's Durban Thunder (Velazquez) and Frankel's Marenostrum (Valenzuela) in the UAE Derby (UAE-II).