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.
Top-10 Sire Gemologist scores another MdSpWt winner title=
Gemologist

Top-10 Sire Gemologist scores another MdSpWt winner

Gemologist, a top-10 Second Crop Sire by both earnings and winners, registered his latest maiden special weight winner on June 19 when the cleverly-named Feed Me Carats scored by one length...

[read more]

Distorted Humor filly stakes debut a winner title=
Distorted Humor

Distorted Humor filly stakes debut a winner

Arabian Hope battled to a head victory in the $64,000 Ganton S. at York in England in the stakes debut for the 3-year-old Distorted Humor filly...

[read more]

Overanalyze colt digs deep to win Belmont maiden special weight debut title=
Overanalyze

Overanalyze colt digs deep to win Belmont maiden special weight debut

Psychoanalyze outdueled Smash Williams in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight affair on Wednesday afternoon to become the third winner from the first crop of Overanalyze...

[read more]

Bodemeister filly gets job done in first stakes start title=
Bodemeister

Bodemeister filly gets job done in first stakes start

Kenda was making her stakes debut in Sunday's $75,000 Special Goddess S. at Santa Anita, but was unfazed by the step up in class...

[read more]

Gemologist colt back to winning ways title=
Gemologist

Gemologist colt back to winning ways

Graded stakes winner Golden Diamond returned to the winner's circle on June 11 with a two-length allowance win going 1 1/8-miles...

[read more]

Speightstown filly rallies in time to take Crank It Up S. title=
Speightstown

Speightstown filly rallies in time to take Crank It Up S.

Deer Valley got a very well-timed ride to pull out a half-length victory in the $60,000 Crank It Up S. Saturday at Monmouth Park...

[read more]

Bodemeister's American Anthem dominates Woody Stephens S. (G2) title=
Bodemeister

Bodemeister's American Anthem dominates Woody Stephens S. (G2)

WinStar Farm's et al. American Anthem got his second straight graded stakes win on Saturday with a commanding 3 1/4-length victory in the $500,000 Woody Stephens S. (G2) at Belmont Park...

[read more]

More Than Ready's Roy H stays perfect in 2017 with True North S. (G2) win title=
More Than Ready

More Than Ready's Roy H stays perfect in 2017 with True North S. (G2) win

Roy H kept his 2017 record unblemished with a 2 1/2-length score in Friday's $250,000 True North S. (G2) at Belmont Park, the first stakes win for the son of More Than Ready...

[read more]

Gemologist filly debuts a winner at Gulfstream Park title=
Gemologist

Gemologist filly debuts a winner at Gulfstream Park

Rose to Fame fought off all challengers to win her debut Wednesday at Gulfstream Park, taking the 4 1/2-furlong contest by a length over a sloppy racetrack...

[read more]

American Patriot confirmed for Royal Ascot’s Queen Anne (G1) title=

American Patriot confirmed for Royal Ascot’s Queen Anne (G1)

WinStar Farm’s leading 4-year-old colt American Patriot, winner of Keeneland’s Maker's 46 Mile S. (G1) in his last start, has been confirmed for the £600,000 Queen Anne S. (G1) on June 20th at the Royal Ascot meeting, and the son of War Front will travel to England on June 13th...

[read more]