Emblem Road scores 99-1 upset in Saudi Cup, Baffert runs 2nd

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Emblem Road rallied with a wide, sweeping move on the outside to win the $20 million Saudi Cup at 99-1 odds, beating Bob Baffert-trained Country Grammar by a half-length.

Ridden by Wiggy Ramos, Emblem Road ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.52 in the world’s richest horse race at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh.

It was a huge win for Saudi-based trainer Mitab Almulawah and owner Prince Saud Bin Salman Abdulaziz. Their other entry, Making Miracles, finished fourth.

U.S.-bred Emblem Road has seven wins in nine career starts. His sire, Quality Road, was a standout who won the Florida Derby and other Grade 1 races in the U.S. Emblem Road earned $10 million for the win.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, 5-year-old Country Grammar was coming off a 270-day layoff. He had not raced since winning the Hollywood Gold Cup last May. He earned $3.5 million for finishing second.

Baffert was handed a 90-day suspension by Kentucky racing officials that is set to begin March 8. He plans to appeal.

U.S.-based Midnight Bourbon was third.

Mandaloun finished ninth in the 14-horse field, snapping his three-race winning streak. The colt was declared the winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby this week after Baffert’s Medina Spirit was disqualified by Kentucky racing officials as the result of a failed post-race drug test.

Defending champion Mishirff was last.

Baffert and Prat teamed to win the $2 million Saudi Derby by a half-length with Pinehurst.