Well Armed Is Well Paid In Dubai

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 29, 2009 in Kentucky Derby, News, Other Events | 2 Comments >>

Stretching the lead with every stride over the final 600 yards, Well Armed ran away with the $6 million Dubai World Cup by a record 14 lengths yesterday.

The 6-year-old gelding not only turned the final race at Nad Al Sheba into one to remember, but also claimed the richest prize in horse racing. Next year, the track will be replaced by a $1.25 billion racing complex.

“Last race at Nad Al Sheba, and we won it!” winning jockey Aaron Gryder said.

Well Armed took the lead out of the gate, then broke away from the pack in the stretch for the easy victory, in which the favorites finished well back in the 14-horse field.

The winning margin nearly doubled the record of 7 3/4 lengths set by Curlin last year. Gryder was so confident that he began patting his horse’s neck about 10 strides before the finish.

“This horse really showed everyone in the world how good he is,” Gryder said, then asked: “Who was second?”

Gloria de Campeao was the distant runner-up, with Paris Perfect third.

It was just the seventh win in 23 starts for Well Armed, owned by Kentucky’s WinStar Farm.

Earlier, Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed appeared to expand his Kentucky Derby options with the surprise win of Regal Ransom in the UAE Derby, with stablemate Desert Party second.

Mubarak bin Shafya — who trains out of Nad Al Sheba — had two winners on the day: Eastern Anthem in the $5 million Sheema Classic and Gladiatorus in the $5 million Duty Free.