Godolphin’s homebred Mystic Guide, a Kentucky-bred son of Ghostzapper, and Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Jesus’ Team, a Kentucky-bred by Tapiture, are among the favorites in the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) March 27.
The six Kentucky-breds in the field will try to follow in the footsteps of Arrogate, the most recent Kentucky-bred winner of the DWC. Irish-bred Thunder Snow captured consecutive renewals of the race in 2018 and 2019, and the World Cup was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mystic Guide, listed at 5-2 on the morning-line, won his seasonal debut Feb. 27, storming to a six-length score in the Razorback H. (G3) at Oaklawn Park for trainer Michael Stidham. The 4-year-old chestnut captured last year’s Jim Dandy S. (G2) at Saratoga and finished second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). Jockey Luis Saez, who was aboard for the Razorback score, has the riding assignment. Produced from the multiple Grade 1-winning A.P. Indy mare Music Notes, Mystic Guide is a winner in three of seven lifetime starts and has never finished off the board.
Jesus’ Team, bred in Kentucky by Pamela Gartin and trained by Jose D’Angelo, finished second to Knicks Go in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. (G1) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 23. He also finished second to that rival in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). Between those outings was a victory in the Claiming Crown Jewel S. at Gulfstream. The Keeneland sale graduate is already a millionaire, having banked $1,098,540 in 14 lifetime starts. He is listed at 6-1 on the morning-line and he will be ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario.
“This horse has put me on the map,” said D’Angelo of Jesus’ Team who has the trainer’s first-ever starter in an American Classic race when he finished third in last year’s Preakness S. (G1) at Pimlico.
Also vying for the lucrative purse in the about 1 ¼-mile race are Kentucky-breds Title Ready (owned and bred by Charles Fipke), Capezzano (owned by Sultan Ali and bred by Darley), Sleepy Eyes Todd (owned by Thumbs Up Racing LLC and bred by Two Hearts Farm and Kristen Goncharoff), and Magny Cours, a Godolphin homebred).