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2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos dies at 18

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MIDWAY, Ky. (AP) Monarchos, whose Kentucky Derby-winning time in 2001 was second only to Secretariat, has died. He was 18.

Nuckols Farm owner Charles Nuckols III confirmed Tuesday that Monarchos died early Saturday after emergency surgery the day before to repair a ruptured intestine.

The grey son of Maria’s Mon and Regal Band by Dixieland Band won four races with a second and three thirds in 10 starts from 2000-2002 and earned more than $1.72 million. Monarchos’ greatest triumph came in the 2001 Derby at Churchill Downs, where he was bumped by Point Given at the start and came from the outside at the stretch to catch Congaree and win by 4 3/4 lengths over Invisible Ink with Congaree third.

His time of 1:59.97 with Jorge Chavez aboard was just behind the 1973 Triple Crown champion’s record 1:59.40.

BloodHorse first reported Monarchos’ passing.

“We didn’t think that much about his time at the time because we were trying to get to the winner’s circle,” Nuckols said. “It didn’t hit us until an hour afterward.”

Monarchos went on to finish sixth in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes. He closed his career as a 4-year-old with a third in an allowance race at Gulfstream.

The Kentucky-bred did not sell until his 2-year-old season when John C. Oxley bought him for $170,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida February sale. Monarchos retired to stud at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky before moving to Nuckols Farm. He sired winners of over $19 million including 2009 Eclipse Award champion female sprinter Informed Decision.

“He was as happy as he could be,” Nuckols said of the horse’s years at his farm. “He was so friendly and easy to get along with. We ran out of guest books because so many people wanted to see him. He was a great horse.”

Nuckols said Monarchos was buried at his farm next to Mr. Leader, another stakes winner.

Baffert hoping Arrogate gives him third Dubai World Cup win

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Having taken over the mantle as the world’s best racehorse from California Chrome, Arrogate will attempt on Saturday to wear another crown that last fitted his illustrious American compatriot, the Dubai World Cup.

All eyes are on the 4-year-old Arrogate, who lost on debut 11 months ago but hasn’t lost since.

He’s won the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup this year to stretch his unbeaten streak to six. In both races, Arrogate defeated Chrome, who won the Dubai World Cup last year at Meydan Racecourse by five lengths despite jockey Victor Espinoza hanging on to a loose saddle for most of it.

Under jockey Mike Smith, Arrogate has forged a winning combination in his last three Group 1 races: Travers Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup.

In Dubai, they have drawn stall nine among 14 contenders, a position which fails to douse the confidence of his trainer Bob Baffert.

“Nine is fine,” said Baffert, who also trained 2015 U.S. Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

“He’s settled in pretty well. As long as he shows up, that’s the key. If he runs his race, we know what he can do.”

Smith was all praise for his mount, ranked the No. 1 racehorse in the world.

“I have been blessed with some really, really good horses, but I am not sure I have ever sit on one like this,” Smith said.

“Everything about him, his disposition, his mechanics, the way he gets over the ground … at times you feel as if you are running downhill instead of a level ground. What amazes me most is when the race is over, it looks as if he did not put much effort into it. His recovery time is so quick.”

Arrogate’s Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup wins came over 2,000 meters on dirt, the same distance and conditions as the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

Baffert hopes Arrogate can give him a third Dubai World Cup victory after Silver Charm (1998) and Captain Steve (2001).

He suffered a heart attack during his last visit to Dubai in 2012, and watched the World Cup five nights later with stents in two of his blocked arteries. He also watched from even farther afield last year as his other horse, Hoppertunity, finished third behind Chrome and Mike de Kock’s Mubtaahij.

He’s giving Hoppertunity another chance.

“Both my horses are happy and healthy,” Baffert said. “He (Hoppertunity) should be collecting a check again. That is what he does, picks up the pieces in these big races. He reminds me of Pac-Man, he just keeps going. A Dubai World Cup 1-2, that would be something.”

Mubtaahij is also back, although he will start under Christophe Soumillon from the widest of stalls.

“Like everyone, we wanted low,” the Belgian jockey said. “I will have to … hope for some luck.”

The Dubai World Cup features a nine-race card offering $30 million across six Group 1 and three Group 2 races on turf and dirt.

Six three-year-olds nominated late to Triple Crown series

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thunder Snow, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas, is among six 3-year-olds made eligible to compete in the Triple Crown series during the late nomination period.

The late nominees, which required a payment of $6,000 each, raise the total nominations to 425 for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. The late nomination period closed Monday. The early nomination window closed in January and required a payment of $600.

Ireland-bred Thunder Snow, owned by Godolphin Racing, is set to run Saturday in the $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai. The colt has three wins in seven career starts for trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

The other late nominees are Hollywood Handsome, trained by Dallas Stewart; More Than Words, trained by Charlie LoPresti; Parlor, trained by Eddie Kenneally; Rapid Dial, trained by Ingrid Mason; and Stretch’s Stone, trained by Bruce Levine.

Thoroughbreds that weren’t nominated to the Triple Crown have one final chance by paying a supplemental fee. The fee for the Derby is $200,000; $150,000 for the Preakness; and $75,000 for the Belmont.