This Side Up: 'Hometown' Hope Uniting Desert and Bluegrass

"Build it, and they will come." Such is the familiar philosophy sustaining the dramatic--sometimes melodramatic--changes in the desert landscape, both physical and metaphorical, over the past generation. Certainly those who first visited Dubai during the early years of its ruling family's commitment to our sport were annually bewildered by the exponential transformation of a cluster of creekside souks and wharves into a teeming, space-age skyline of gleaming towers. Even so, it was still staggering last year to see the Saudis stage a card featuring the richest race in history just...

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Plum Draws For American Saudi Cup Challengers

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—Pegasus World Cup and Breeders' Cup Mile winner Knicks Go (Paynter) will jump from gate five in Saturday's $20 million Saudi Cup, with key rival Charlatan (Speightstown) also drawn well in nine. Splitting the two in gate seven is Tacitus (Tapit), one of two horses in the 14-runner field to be starting in the world's richest race for the second time.  Commenting on the first international runner for the Brad Cox stable, the trainer's assistant and Knicks Go's track rider Dustin Dugas, said, "We like it, it's right...

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U.S. Quintet Tunes Up For Saudi Cup

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—A number of trainers with horses engaged in Saturday's Saudi Cup have been unable to travel but their horses and exercise riders have shipped in, mostly over last weekend, for the second running of the $20 million contest at King Abdulaziz Racecourse. The 14-strong field includes two locally-trained horses, Great Scot (GB) (Requinto {Ire}) and Alzahzaah (KSA) (Worldly), who face competition from Britain, Japan and Bahrain as well as five runners from the United States. For most of the American contingent, stronger work had taken place on the...

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American Runners Ready for Return to Riyadh

A year ago, a brigade of American runners dominated results in the inaugural running of the $20-million Saudi Cup, taking four of the top five placings in the world's richest race. Another top-level group of U.S.-based horses are set to return to Riyadh for the second running of the 1 1/8-miles race Feb. 20. Leading the group is Charlatan (Speightstown), who returned from a layoff to record a scintillating victory in the Dec. 26 GI Malibu S. last month. The newly turned 4-year-old worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 (1/5) at...

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Siskin A Transatlantic Juddmonte Masterpiece

LEXINGTON, KY--In the 36-year history of the Breeders' Cup, few owners have been so intertwined with the event as has Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms been. The operation's 80 starters at the meeting are bettered only by Godolphin and the Coolmore partners, while its seven winners and over $16-million in prizemoney at the Breeders' Cup is only slightly inferior to the record accrued by Coolmore. Juddmonte and the Breeders' Cup, in fact, have nearly come of age together. At the time that the inaugural Breeders' Cup was staged at Hollywood Park...

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Talented Sophomores Take on Their Elders in Jockey Club

A pair of 'TDN Rising Star' sophomores take on their elders in a five-horse renewal of the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup S. Saturday at Belmont, which is a "Win and You're In" event for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. Leading the sophomore duo is unbeaten Happy Saver (Super Saver). A dominant debut winner going seven panels at Belmont June 20, the Todd Pletcher pupil dominated a nine-furlong allowance next out at Saratoga July 26. The Wertheimer and Frere homebred made it three-for-three in Laurel's Federico Tesio S. Sept. 7....

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Tacitus Tackles Competitive Woodward

Five of the six runners slated to contest Saratoga's marquee handicap event--the GI Woodward S.--enter into Saturday's 10-furlong affair having won their latest starts. Heading the group is Juddmonte Farm's Tacitus (Tapit), who bounded home an easy 8 3/4-length winner in the 10-furlong Suburban July 4. For that race, trainer Bill Mott gave blinkers another try--even though an earlier equipment experiment failed to result in victory--and was duly rewarded. Last spring, the son of multiple Grade I-winning Close Hatches (First Defence) reeled off consecutive graded scores in the GII Tampa...

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Sir Winston Tries to Regain Belmont Glory in Suburban

Last season's GI Belmont S. winner Sir Winston (Awesome Again) will attempt to return to the scene of his most important victory and try to add Saturday's GII Suburban S. to his resume. Runner up in the GIII Peter Pan S. prior to his win in the third jewel of the Triple Crown, the Tracy Farmer hombred was sidelined because of a left front ankle injury last summer. Resurfacing with a forgettable 12th after a troubled trip in a soggy renewal of the one-mile Woodchopper S. over the Fair Grounds...

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Big 'Cap Victor Headlines Talented Oaklawn H. Field

The steadily improving Combatant (Scat Daddy), winner of the GI Santa Anita H. last out, headlines an intriguing field in Saturday's GII Oaklawn H. Closing out his 2019 campaign with a Churchill optional claiming victory Nov. 8 for Winchell Thoroughbred, Willis Horton and trainer Steve Asmussen, he was sent through the ring at Keeneland November days later, where bloodstock agent David Ingordo purchased him for $220,000 for Hronis Racing. Transferred to John Sadler, the bay checked in third in the GII San Pasqual S. Feb. 1 and rebounded to win...

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Americans Drawn Mid-Field in Saudi Cup

They traveled thousands of miles to get there, but the four main American contenders will all start within feet of each other in Saturday's inaugural $20-million Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh after post positions were drawn Wednesday evening in Saudi Arabia. Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables and Allen Racing's champion filly Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) will break from post six, while 2019 champion 3-year-old Maximum Security (New Year's Day) will break from post seven and Bob Baffert stablemates Mucho Gusto (Much Macho Man) and McKinzie (Street Sense)...

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Saudi Cup Coverage on FS1

Live coverage of the inaugural $20-million Saudi Cup from the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia airs Saturday, Feb. 29 at noon Eastern on FS1. Featuring a strong U.S. presence with Maximum Security (New Year's Day), Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute), McKinzie (Street Sense), Mucho Gusto (Mucho Macho Man) and Tacitus (Tapit) scheduled to compete, the nine-furlong event is the world's richest race. FOX Sports is the exclusive broadcast provider of The Saudi Cup in the United States, where the telecast will air from noon-1:00 p.m. Eastern with limited commercial...

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Ortiz and Panici Sidelined

Jose Ortiz and Luca Panici will both be sidelined for several weeks. Ortiz fractured his wrist Saturday after being unseated by Atone (Into Mischief) in the post parade of race three. He climbed back aboard and rode the race, but was off his mounts the rest of the day. He will be forced to miss the call aboard Tacitus (Tapit) in the $20-million Saudi Cup Feb. 29. Panici fractured his collarbone Friday afternoon when he was thrown from Terrible Tara (Revolutionary) in race 10 after she hit the rail. He...

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