Dubai World Cup Update: New Shooters Take on Thunder Snow

March 15th, 2019

The 2019 Dubai World Cup takes place on March 30. Although Thunder Snow remains the horse to beat, a few new shooters could make his quest for a second straight World Cup victory harder than we thought. Bob Baffert will send out two quality equines, McKinzie and Dabster, to take down the Dubai champ.

Capezzano and Gronkowski, two horses trained by Salem bin Ghadayer, are also probable for the second richest horse race of the year. Check out more information on the 4 talented runners that could challenge Thunder Snow and win the Dubai World Cup.

Dabster, Capezzano, and Gronkowski Likely to Join the Fray, McKinzie on the Fence

McKinzie - Bob Baffert

After winning the Malibu, Bob entered McKinzie in the Grade 2 San Pasqual. Battle of Midway, who tragically died while training over Santa Anita's dirt track, beat McKinzie. The son of Street Sense ran well in defeat and Battle of Midway was a Breeders' Cup winner.

If he ships to Meydan, make no mistake, Baffert will have him ready to take down Thunder Snow on March 30. Also, let's not forget that Bob Baffert and owner Mike Pegram campaigned Captain Steve to a Dubai World Cup win in 2001.

The real question is whether Baffert and Pegram want to run McKinzie in the Santa Anita Handicap and with the new whipping rules. If they'd rather take their chances in Dubai, McKinzie will be a contender.

Dabster - Bob Baffert

Baffert recently said Dabster is definitely a "go" for the Dubai World Cup. Although he finished 6th in the San Marcos, that was his first race of the year. Dabster's an incredibly fast horse that's had trouble carrying his speed. However, he's a five-year-old sired by Curlin from an A.P. Indy broodmare. If Bob thinks he can win the Dubai World Cup, it's hard to argue against him.

Dabster's pedigree screams distance. Who knows? Maybe, the greatest trainer in thoroughbred racing history has him ready to win the second richest race of the year with an awesome front running score.

Capezzano - Salem bin Ghadayer

Sultan Ali unleashed a major Dubai World Cup contender in Capezzano on March 9. He beat Thunder Snow in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 that day. Jockey Mickael Barzalona sent Capezzano to the front. He never got headed and easily won the race.

No horse in the Dubai World Cup will be as well-bred as Capezzano. Bernardini sired him while his broodmare lists Unbridled's Song as her sire. Capezzano is a major player in the 2019 Dubai World Cup. He might be good enough to run Thunder Snow, Dabster, and the rest of his competition into the ground.

Gronkowski - Salem bin Ghadayer

Save for an excellent run in the Belmont Stakes, Gronkowski didn't have much luck under Chad Brown's care. Sometimes, it doesn't work out the way you expected it would. Now with Salem bin Ghadayer, Gronkowski raced very well to finish 5th in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3. He made up ground and kicked it into gear towards the end.

The pace in the Dubai World Cup will be much swifter than what it was in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3. Gronkowski could get the perfect set up because Thunder Snow will pressure Cappezzano early while Dabster has no other way to go except to the front. If Salem's got Gronkowski ready to show his best, he could be a real contender on March 30.