Dubai World Cup Odds; California Chrome and Lea Top 2015 Contenders
Dubai World Cup Odds; California Chrome and Lea Top 2015 Contenders: Every Kentucky Derby winner earns a huge amount of fans and faces an incredible amount of scrutiny, including California Chrome. This horse receives criticism on a daily basis. For example, when his recent Dubai pictures were posted, some online commenters thought he looked thin or otherwise unhealthy from being in Dubai. When any Derby champion competes, emotions run high.
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To handicap a race with California Chrome entered, bettors need to put aside their biases regarding whether they like this colt or not. For a long time, California Chrome has done nothing wrong other than disliking the “boxed-in” trip during races. He deserves a shot in the Dubai World Cup this Saturday at Meydan Racecourse and rates as the top choice.
Nothing more than facts makes California Chrome the most likely winner. In February, California Chrome ran second to Shared Belief at Santa Anita. The majority of fans and analysts consider Shared Belief to be the best horse in the United States, if not the best horse in the world. Oddly enough, California Chrome gets class relief now without the best American horse in the field despite running in Dubai.
Beyond the second-place finish last month, his 2014 campaign was obviously excellent. California Chrome proved his talent in compiling a 9-6-0-1 record, winning two-thirds of the Triple Crown and taking a Grade I turf race to end his season. As long as regular jockey Victor Espinoza keeps his mount in the clear, California Chrome will run his race.
Should the reigning Horse of the Year fail, Lea may take up the torch for the Americans. His trainer Bill Mott certainly holds a lot of experience in coming to Dubai, winning the 1996 edition with Cigar and losing in recent years with Royal Delta. Lea recently finished second at Gulfstream Park to the talented Constitution on a day that the track favored speed.
Many online bettors have been dissatisfied with Lea’s rider Joel Rosario this year, and the statistics hint at his struggles. Maybe Rosario can turn things around with a win on Saturday.
Out of the international contenders, Hokko Tarumae seems most suited to a dirt surface based on his pedigree and record in Japan. Although his sire side signals turf, on his bottom side the American dirt sprinter Cherokee Run is his damsire. In addition, 1990 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Unbridled sired his second dam Unfoiled. Hokko Tarumae’s current three-race win streak includes the Group I Champions Cup on dirt. He ran 16th in the synthetic Dubai World Cup last year.
Defending champion African Story deserves a look, too, based on the fact that he won his prep race on Meydan’s new surface in the Group I Al Maktoum Challenge – Round 3. The quality of that field remains in question though. Perhaps African Story won the Al Maktoum Challenge because there were no legitimate dirt horses, such as the top two Americans in this race, in the field.
The new surface for the Dubai World Cup raises question marks for all entrants, although the Americans still hold the upper hand. When African Story won this race, they held the Dubai World Cup on the Tapeta synthetic surface. Now, the race is held on a sand-based dirt surface, slightly different from the one at the discontinued Nad Al Sheba when Cigar won.
Unlike most recent Dubai World Cups (Animal Kingdom is an exception), the Americans can win this one. California Chrome and Lea rank as the two best options to use on top. Neither of them will offer that much value in the American pools though, so skip the betting and enjoy world-class horses competing on a global stage.
Dubai World Cup 2015 Post Positions & Odds
Race #9 (21:00 Dubai) 1:00 PM ET
1 Prince Bishop 14-1
2 Hokko Tarumae 10-1
3 African Story 7-1
4 Side Glance 25-1
5 Lea 4-1
6 candy Boy 12-1
7 Long River 40-1
8 Epiphaneia 7-1
9 California Chrome 6-5
Group 1 Champions Cup Replay:
Group I Al Maktoum Challenge – Round Replay: