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Bovada Horse Racing Futures Watch: 2018 Dubai World Cup
Held at the Meydan Race Course in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Dubai World Cup is open to Northern Hemisphere horses aged four and older, and Southern Hemisphere horses aged three and older. The race is run on Meydan's dirt course (which was converted from a synthetic surface in 2015) at a distance of 2000 metres, which is just slightly more than 1 1/4 miles.
Although Bovada is currently offering 23 betting options, the race is limited to 14 starters. In this week's Bovada future bets segment, we'll look at a handful of runners that are most likely going to be making the trip over to chase the $6 million winner's share of the purse, with their current future bet odds.
Dubai World Cup Possible Starters
Mubtaahij (10-1): One of two likely entries into the race for trainer Bob Baffert, Mubtaahij will be taking his third crack at winning the race, having finished fourth in 2017 and second behind California Chrome in 2016. While he did pick up a Grade 1 win as recently as last September, he hasn't been much of a factor in three races since. Useful in exotic bets, but not to win.
Hoppertunity (14-1): The second Baffert entry, Hoppertunity would also be taking his third shot at the race, after running sixth in 2017 and third in 2016. Now a seven-year-old, for much of his career he was a solid top three choice in most races, but age may be catching up to him. In tough to hit the board.
Thunder Snow (12-1): This Irish-bred world traveller had some support in the 2017 Kentucky Derby off of two solid wins in Group 1 races at Meydan, but he infamously came out of the Chruchill gate bucking and recorded a DNF. Despite that debacle, he's been in the money in eight of his last 10 races against world-class competiton, and loves the track. Solid contender whose odds are likely to drop.
Seeking The Soul (25-1): Trainer Dallas Stewart had reportedly mentioned a Dubai start for Seeking the Soul if he ran well enough in the Pegasus World Cup. He finished fifth in the field of 12, far back of the top two, and you have to think Stewart was hoping for a bit better. Still, this is an improving colt that is going to win a race somewhere this year. Intriguing option at big odds.
Gunnavera (9-1): He was probably not on most people's Dubai radar for most of the past year, but after the 2017 Triple Crown series, he has run two very good races to finish second in the (G1) Travers Stakes and third in the Pegasus, and it wouldn't be a surprise if the connections decide to take a shot in what may be the weakest Dubai World Cup field in the past few years. His best might be good enough to win.
Forever Unbridled (7-1): Superstar mare was lighty raced in 2017, but she was three-for-three when she did run, including winning the 2017 Breeders' Cup Distaff. She has won seven of her last ten races, and was second or third in the other three, and while she has yet to try taking on males, or race 1 1/4 miles, this might be a good spot to try. But 7-1 seems like an underlay. Not impossible but we'd like higher odds.
West Coast (5-2): Yet another Baffert trainee, there were high hopes he would beat Gun Runner in the Pegasus, but he fell just short to finish second. He could be on the verge of a big season, and a win in Dubai would certainly set that in motion, but after his superstar Arrogate appeared to never be the same after winning the race last year, Baffert may be inclined to try a different path with this one. Will be the favorite if he runs.
Note that the Bovada future bets list for the 2018 Dubai World Cup indicates an incorrect date, and the race will be run on March 31, not March 24 as posted.
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