Well Armed Wins Dubai World Cup
Monday, March 30, 2009
Front-running Well Armed, under a snug hold by jockey Aaron Gryder, cut loose at the head of the straight and romped to a record 14-length victory in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 28, the final race to be run at Nad al Sheba.

On a main track that was favoring speed throughout the evening, WinStar Farm's homebred son of Tiznow was never threatened as he rolled to victory for trainer Eoin Harty at U.S. odds of 9-1. Well Armed was in a similar position at Nad al Sheba in last year's World Cup on the turn for home, but wound up third, beaten eight lengths by Curlin.

"He did the same thing last year and got collared," Harty noted afterward. "But I was watching the other horses and they were struggling, so I felt pretty good."

Indeed. Albertus Maximus, considered the top American hope coming in, was keen early but lacked a response over the final quarter mile while finishing sixth. Race favorite Asiatic Boy, last year's World Cup runner-up, raced at the back all the way and was 12th. Instead, it was 60-1 Brazilian shot Gloria de Campeao who finished second by more than four lengths, with off-the-board South African hope Paris Perfect in third.

“This horse really showed everyone in the world how good he is,” Gryder said, then asked: “Who was second?”

Breaking from barrier 7 in the field of 14, Well Armed went straight to the front, Gryder able to angle the 6-year-old gelding to the inside where he set a steady pace with My Indy and Albertus Maxiumus stalking. Well Armed, with his high cruising speed was in control with his ears pricked while still under a hold until Gryder went to work on him in the straight. With less than a furlong to run, Gryder took a look over his right shoulder and seeing no danger, patted his charge on the neck for a job well done.

Well Armed completed the about 1 1/4-mile distance in 2:01.01.

The French raider Gloria de Campeao, close to the pace early while tucked in behind the winner along the inside into the straight, was hard ridden to overtake Vodka for second but was never close to catching Well Armed. Paris Perfect, mid-pack in the straight for Bernard Faydherbe, finished best of the rest for third.

Earning his seventh victory in 23 lifetime starts, Well Armed won for the first time since taking the Goodwod Stakes (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 27. The $3.6 million winning purse increased the bay's lifetime earnings to $5,179,803.

The victory was nearly double Curlin’s 7 3/4-length win last year, the previous record winning distance.

Trainer Harty has a strong connection with the UAE, having been hired by Godolphin to train their 2-year-olds in the U.S. in 2000. He also spent two years readying the juveniles in Dubai.

Harty developed Street Cry, who went on to win the 2003 Dubai World Cup, but was thrilled to repeat the feat in his own name this time.

“It’s the biggest win of the career," Harty said. "I owe a lot to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who got me started and plucked me from a relative obscurity.

“This horse chipped a bone in the UAE Derby and then he fractured his pelvis and the vets wanted to put him down. Two years on he’s won the richest race in the world.”

Donn Handicap (gr. I) winner Albertus Maximus and Asiatic Boy were the disappointments.

“He was fighting me," said Alan Garcia, who rode Albertus Maximus. "I can’t really explain it right now. Last time I rode him in the Donn he was a totally different horse.”

Asiatic Boy’s rider, Johnny Murtagh, commented, "He is a horse who needs to get organized early on and we got shuffled back. After that we were flat to the boards and always struggling.”

The Argentina-bred Muller finished fourth, followed by My Indy, Albertus Maximus, Snaafy, Casino Drive, Happy Boy, Muhannak, Arson Squad, Asiatic Boy, Joe Louis and Anak Nakal, who trailed all the way.

The 2009 renewal provided a perfect bookend for the World Cup at Nad al Sheba, which was won in its first running in 1996 by American great Cigar. This was was the final event for the Nad al Sheba course, which will be demolished to make way for the $1.25 billion Meydan racing complex.
WinStar promotes Wilson to Stallion Seasons Director

WinStar promotes Wilson to Stallion Seasons Director

Kyle Wilson has been promoted to Stallion Seasons Director to oversee that department at WinStar Farm, and he has brought on Caroline Walsh to join the Nominations team...

[read more]

Donworth is dominating at Delaware title=

Donworth is dominating at Delaware

Donworth drew off to a devastating 11-length victory in Saturday’s $50,000 Stanton S. at Delaware Park...

[read more]

Super Saver colt equals sale record at OBS title=
Super Saver

Super Saver colt equals sale record at OBS

A son of Super Saver consigned by Bobby Dodd, Agent, went to The Three Amigos for $575,000 to top the third session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2015 June Sale...

[read more]

G1 winner Gemologist shuttling to Chile title=

G1 winner Gemologist shuttling to Chile

Grade 1 winner Gemologist will shuttle to Haras Santa Olga Farm in Santiago, Chile for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season, and the regally-bred Grade 1 winner is set to enter quarantine next Monday, with his last mares to be covered from his American book this Sunday...

[read more]

Pioneerof the Nile: A Triple Crown sire title=
Pioneerof the Nile

Pioneerof the Nile: A Triple Crown sire

Zayat Stables’ homebred superstar American Pharoah made history on Saturday, winning the Belmont S. (G1) to become racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner...

[read more]

Speightstown’s Rock Fall crushes foes in True North S. (G2) title=

Speightstown’s Rock Fall crushes foes in True North S. (G2)

Rock Fall earned his fifth straight victory and first graded stakes win June 5, taking the $250,000 True North S. (G2) at Belmont Park by 3 ¾-lengths...

[read more]

Cocked and Loaded fires winning salvo in Tremont S. title=
Colonel John

Cocked and Loaded fires winning salvo in Tremont S.

Colonel John has a rising star on his roster with Cocked and Loaded, who ran his record to a perfect 2-for-2 with a come-from-behind victory in the $250,000 Tremont S...

[read more]

Zindaya streaks to second straight stakes triumph title=
More Than Ready

Zindaya streaks to second straight stakes triumph

Zindaya pulled away in the Belmont Park turf course stretch to score by 2 ½-lengths in Thursday’s $150,000 Intercontinental S., the second consecutive stakes victory for the 4-year-old daughter of More Than Ready...

[read more]

Drosselmeyer, Belmont S. & Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, sires first winner title=

Drosselmeyer, Belmont S. & Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, sires first winner

WinStar Farm's freshman sire Drosselmeyer, the Belmont S. (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner by Distorted Humor, was represented by his first winner Thursday when 2-year-old filly Find Joy debuted with an impressive 4 ½-length victory in a $40,000 Maiden Special Weight at Pimlico...

[read more]

Crittenden’s rally carries him to first stakes win title=
Distorted Humor

Crittenden’s rally carries him to first stakes win

Crittenden rallied at just the right moment to take the first running of the $75,000-added PDJF Stakes Saturday, May 30 at Indiana Grand...

[read more]