HRT Highlights #51: 2023 Saudi Cup Recap & More

In HRT we bring the latest information about horse racing. In this HRT Highlights #51, we will look at racing across the world starting with the 2023 Saudi Cup.

HRT Highlights #51

2023 Saudi Cup

When Japanese based horses took two races at the 2022 Breeders Cup at Keeneland the world started to take notice. But when Panthalassa went gate to wire to win the 20 million dollars Saudi Cup with three of the next four also from Japan there can be no doubts that Japan racing is very good. 

Panthalassa broke alertly and held off the late charging Country Grammer while Cafe Pharoah got third, Geoglyph 4th, and Crown Pride was 5th.  Taiba finished a disappointing 8th and will return to California.     

2023 Saudi Derby

The highlight of Saudi Cup day may have been the Saudi Derby which became a two-horse race as Havnameltdown went to the front under Frankie Dettori and was quickly taken on by Saudi based Commissioner King. They race side by side for most of the mile event until Commissioner King surged ahead to win by a head to take the trophy. 

Trainer Bob Baffert says that Havnameltdown will now return to the US and focus on sprinting.   

2023 Honeybee Stakes

Meanwhile, in the US racing on the west coast was canceled due to storms and Oaklawn Park offered a pair of races for Derby and Oaks hopefuls. 

In the Honeybee, Wet Paint went off as the 8/5 favorite based on a victory in the Martha Washington a month ago on a wet sealed track. On Saturday she caught exactly the same conditions and though she trailed by 10 lengths at one point she stormed down the stretch to win by 3 under Flavien Prat for trainer Brad Cox. Condensation led most of the way and finished second with Grand Love getting third.

2023 Rebel Stakes

In the Rebel Stakes, Confidence Game went off at 18/1 and loved the sloppy track as he rallied four wide and cruised to victory under James Graham to earn 50 Kentucky Derby Qualifying points. Red Route One was second and Reincarnate finished third.  3/2 favorite Verifying finished 4th while highly regarded Giant mischief came home 6th

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