Saturday's $10 million Dubai World Cup field had a slight shake-up over the weekend when Take the Points, who won the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park and Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park last summer and fall, was redirected to the $5 million Dubai Duty Free over about 1 1-8 miles on turf on the undercard of the eight-race program.
Take the Points has never won a stakes on a synthetic track or conventional dirt track, but seldom runs a poor race on turf - when he minds his manners. In the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 6, Take the Points caused interference in the stretch and was demoted from first to fifth, his only start this year.
Still on Monday, he was being quoted as a 25-1 outsider for the World Cup by the British bookmaker Coral. Take the Points will be replaced in the World Cup by Amor de Pobre, who will be an even longer price.
The British books are having a hard time finding a favorite in the World Cup. Vision d'Etat, the French shipper, is 4-1, followed by Gio Ponti (5-1), Twice Over (11-2), Gitano Hernando (6-1) and the Japanese filly Red Desire (8-1).
The Dubai Duty Free is a tough race, too. The field includes Courageous Cat, who is trained by Bill Mott and was second in the Breeders' Cup Mile last fall, and Presvis, who was second in this race last year and won a prep race over the same course and distance as the Duty Free earlier this month.