Chrome in post 11 for Dubai World Cup

Daily Racing Form Saturday Stakes Preview - - FRONT PAGE - – Mar­cus Hersh – Mar­cus Hersh

DUBAI, United Arab Emi­rates – Cal­i­for­nia Chrome will break from post 11 in a field of 12 Satur­day night when he at­tempts to be­come the third Ken­tucky Derby win­ner to cap­ture the Dubai World Cup, fol­low­ing Sil­ver Charm and An­i­mal King­dom.

Trainer Art Sher­man had only two op­tions left, posts 11 and 12, when Cal­i­for­nia Chrome’s name fi­nally was pulled dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s post-po­si­tion draw for the $10 mil­lion World Cup at Mey­dan. For the World Cup post draw, the name of each horse was drawn, and his rep­re­sen­ta­tive se­lected a post. Cal­i­for­nia Chrome’s name was the sec­ondto-last name pulled, leav­ing Sher­man lit­tle choice.

“There’s noth­ing you can do about it, but he’s got tac­ti­cal speed,” Sher­man said. “I’m not wor­ried about it.”

From the rail out, the World Cup field con­sists of Keen Ice, Mshaw­ish, Gun Pit, Mub­taahij, Spe­cial Fighter, Candy Boy, Vadamos, Hokko Taru­mae, Frosted, Hop­per­tu­nity, Cal­i­for­nia Chrome, and Tele­text.

Gun Pit’s name was the first drawn, and his Hong Kong­based con­nec­tions se­lected post 3. Next up was Mshaw­ish, and with Todd Pletcher hav­ing said af­ter watch­ing Mshaw­ish train Wed­nes­day that he wanted an in­side draw, post 2 was se­lected. The Ja­panese horse Hokko Taru­mae, a ma­jor pace fac­tor, came next, and his con­nec­tions chose a middle draw, 8. Frosted’s name came fifth, and – some­what sur­pris­ingly – trainer Kiaran Mclaugh­lin went for an out­side draw, choos­ing post 9.

“We want to be out in the clear, didn’t want to be down in­side too much, so we’re happy where we are,” Mclaugh­lin said. “It’s a long run down from the start to the first turn. He’s go­ing to be for­wardly placed. Ideally, it’d be speed in­side of us. Cal­i­for­nia Chrome out­side, we just have to see what hap­pens.”

With the sixth pick, Spe­cial Fighter’s camp chose post 6 for the sur­prise gate-to-wire win­ner of Round 3 of the Al Mak­toum Chal­lenge on March 5, when some thought there was an in­side-speed bias. Trainer Mike de Kock took post 4 for 2015 UAE Derby win­ner, Mub­taahij, and Jerry Craw­ford, pres­i­dent of Done­gal rac­ing, chose post 1 for Keen Ice while posts 11 and 12 still were avail­able. Keen Ice races with blink­ers on, the hope be­ing that the equip­ment change will get him into the race sooner than was the case when he fin­ished sev­enth in the Mak­toum Chal­lenge ear­lier this month.

Sher­man sug­gested Tues­day he didn’t want Cal­i­for­nia Chrome get­ting trapped down in­side but said af­ter the draw he’d have taken post 1 over 11 or 12 had it been avail­able. Now, jockey Vic­tor Espinoza will have to sur­vey the tac­tics to­ward his in­side, see­ing how de­ter­mined Hokko Taru­mae and Spe­cial Fighter are to make the lead, judg­ing how hard to send and when to drop in for po­si­tion.

“The out­side is good if you’ve got the horse,” Sher­man said.

Fair Grounds: Louisiana Derby

A field of 11, in­clud­ing the first five fin­ish­ers from the Risen Star Stakes last month at Fair Grounds, was en­tered for Satur­day’s $1 mil­lion Louisiana Derby.

The Risen Star’s top five – Gun Run­ner, Fore­vamo, Mo Tom, Candy My Boy, and Zap­perini – all are back for the Louisiana Derby, the first 1 1/8-mile race for th­ese 3-year-olds. Mo Tom, the win­ner of the Le­comte Stakes on Jan. 16 at Fair Grounds and badly com­pro­mised by mid­stretch trou­ble when third in the Risen Star, was in­stalled by line­maker Mike Dilib­erto as the 5-2 morn­ing-line fa­vorite. Mo Tom is trained by New Or­leans na­tive Tom Amoss and is owned by Gayle Ben­son’s GMB Rac­ing. Ben­son is the wife of an­other New Or­leans na­tive, Tom Ben­son, who owns the NFL’S New Or­leans Saints and the NBA’S New Or­leans Pel­i­cans.

Mo Tom landed post 6 and will be rid­den again by Florida-based Corey Lanerie. “I’m very happy with the draw,” said Amoss.

Gun Run­ner, fourth be­hind third-place Mo Tom in the Ken­tucky Jockey Club Stakes last Novem­ber but the Risen Star win­ner in his 3-year-old de­but, is sad­dled from post 1, a tricky spot but one that the compact, ath­letic Gun Run­ner and lead­ing Fair Grounds jockey Florent Ger­oux should be able, with luck, to han­dle.

Gun Run­ner is listed as the 3-1 se­cond choice on the morn­ing line, with Florida ship­per Green­pointcru­sader the 7-2 third choice.

From the rail out, the field, with jock­eys: Gun Run­ner (Ger­oux), Green­pointcru­sader (John Ve­lazquez), Bat­tery (Javier Castel­lano), Con­quest Windyc­ity (Joe Rocco Jr.), Candy My Boy (Fran­cisco Tor­res), Mo Tom (Lanerie), Tom’s Ready (Brian Her­nan­dez Jr.), Un­cle Wal­ter (Robby Al­barado), Daz­zling Gem (Shaun Bridg­mo­han), Zap­perini (Julien Leparoux), and Fore­vamo (Colby Her­nan­dez).

“It’s very solid,” Dal­las Ste­wart, the trainer of Tom’s Ready, said of the Louisiana Derby. “You’ll see two or three horses in this field in the Ken­tucky Derby.”

Gun Run­ner, Mo Tom, Green­pointcru­sader, and Fore­vamo are listed among the 20 horses in the most re­cent edi­tion of

Derby Watch and were part of pool 3 of the Ken­tucky Derby fu­ture wa­ger.

Green­pointcru­sader, the field’s lone Grade 1 win­ner, fin­ished se­cond to Derby fa­vorite Mo­hay­men in his only start this year, the Jan. 30 Holy Bull Stakes.

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