Loooch Racing Stable, Glenn Ellis and Imaginary Stable’s War Story could be a third horse aiming toward the Dubai World Cup card for accomplished Florida- and New Jersey-based conditioner Jorge Navarro.
An excellent fourth last out behind a trio of Eclipse Award finalists –Gun Runner, Collected and West Coast– in the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, the son of Northern Afleet is taking aim at the same two races Arrogate won in early 2017, Saturday’s Group 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Group 1 Dubai World Cup nine weeks later. Arrogate finished 2¼ lengths behind War Story in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“My partners really wanted to focus on Dubai we weren’t sure if we were going to run him (in the Pegasus),” Loooch principal owner Ron Paolucci told XBTV’s Zoe Cadman Sunday morning at Gulfstream Park. “As well as he ran in the Breeders’ Cup and as good as he came out of it, with the opportunity to run in the Stronach spot, (we are) looking at where he is in the world rankings. To get to Dubai, we might need to run a good race here.”
Navarro currently has XY Jet and Sharp Azteca tentatively aiming toward Dubai returns.
Owned by Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm, XY Jet was second as the favourite in the 2016 Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen and shoots for redemption.
Sharp Azteca, also slated to compete in the Pegasus and owned by Gelfenstein Farm, was third as the favourite in last year’s Group 2 Godolphin Mile. How he fares going the 1800m of the Gulfstream Park fixture will likely determine if he is aimed toward the 1600m Godolphin Mile or 2000m Dubai World Cup for ten-times the purse.