(Maximum Security will run in the Saudi Cup / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Live coverage of the inaugural Saudi Cup airs Saturday, Feb. 29 at noon Eastern on FS1. The field for the Saudi Cup, the world’s richest race with a $20 million purse, is headlined by 3-year-old champion Maximum Security and will include a collection of standout runners from around the world.
The Saudi Cup will be contested at nine furlongs at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with a prize of $10 million awaiting the winner. The Saudi Cup will serve as a bookend to the two biggest days of thoroughbred racing in Saudi Arabia’s history.
FOX Sports is the exclusive broadcast provider of The Saudi Cup in the United States, where the telecast will air from noon-1 p.m, Eastern with limited commercial interruption made possible by Runhappy. Hosted by Nick Luck and Michelle Yu, the international broadcast will originate from King Abdulaziz Racetrack and include analysts Emma Spencer and Tom Stanley. Scheduled post time for the Saudi Cup is 12:40 p.m. Eastern and wagering is available in the United States.
The inaugural Saudi Cup has garnered significant interest from the United States, which will be represented by Maximum Security, among others. Gary and Mary West’s three-time Grade 1-winner – and recently crowned 3-Year-Old champion – will make his 2020 debut in the lucrative event following a successful sophomore campaign which included triumphs in the Florida Derby, Haskell Invitational and Cigar Mile at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Other North American contenders expected to compete in the Saudi Cup include the Bob Baffert-trained pair of McKinzie and Mucho Gusto. A three-time winner of the prestigious Dubai World Cup, Baffert will attempt to strike more gold in the Middle East with his duo of Grade 1 winners. McKinzie, a Grade 1-winner at ages 2, 3 and 4, will make his first start since a runner-up effort to Vino Rosso in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Meanwhile, Pegasus World Cup victor Mucho Gusto will look to earn back-to-back wins.
Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables, and Allen Racing’s Champion Older Filly Midnight Bisou will take on colts for the first time for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. Last year as a 4-year-old, Midnight Bisou scored three Grade 1 victories, including a thrilling renewal of the Personal Ensign at Saratoga.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott won the inaugural Dubai World Cup with Cigar in 1996, and he’ll attempt to win another prestigious event in the Middle East when saddling Tacitus for Prince Khaled bin Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farm. The 2019 winner of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial presented by NYRA Bets, a well-bred son of Tapit, has not raced since finishing third in last year’s Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.