Wonderwherecraigis successful the Fire Plug Stakes
Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables’ Laurel Park-based a number of stakes winner Wondrwherecraigis has settled in at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai forward of his greatest project thus far in Saturday’s $2 million Golden Shaheen (G1).
Winner of the six-furlong Fire Plug Jan. 29 at Laurel in his most up-to-date begin off a three-month layoff, Wondrwhereraigis left for Dubai March 13 within the care of assistant coach Amanda Olds. Traveling with out their two younger kids, coach Brittany Russell and her husband, champion Maryland jockey Sheldon Russell, arrived in Dubai Wednesday.
“It’s amazing. It’s really nice. So far it’s been wonderful,” Brittany Russell stated. “I used to be a very good traveling assistant, but since I stopped doing that maybe not so much. Leaving the kids was hard, but Dubai is amazing and this is the experience of a lifetime so we’re going to enjoy it.”
Russell, 32, has been impressed with how effectively Wondrwherecraigis has adjusted to his new environment.
“There’s so much that goes into how they travel and all those things. I think sometimes we want to talk ourselves into saying they’re doing well because they kind of need to be doing well, but I genuinely believe he is doing well,” she added. “He seems very happy. He hasn’t missed an oat, he’s drinking well, the heat doesn’t seem to bother him – all those little things I think go a long way. I guess we won’t know until race day.”
Wondrwherecraigis drew Post 11 in a subject of 14 and is co-fourth alternative on the morning line at 8-1 with Red le Zele from Japan. The 3-1 program favourite is Dr. Schivel, with fellow Grade 1 winner Drain the Clock subsequent at 5-1 and Meydan-based Group 3 winner Meraas at 7-1.
Jockey Luis Saez, who received the 2021 Dubai World Cup (G1) aboard Mystic Guide, will experience Wondrwherecragis within the six-furlong Golden Shaheen. Saez was aboard for the 5-year-old gelding’s front-running triumph within the 2021 Tale of the Cat at Saratoga.
“It’s huge. It’s one of the biggest positive-type things we have on our side,” Russell stated of Saez. “He’s been high on this horse for a long time. He’s excited to ride this horse. He’s 8-1 but I believe he’s live, just with the confidence that Luis gives us. That goes a long way.”
Wondrwherecraigis has completed first in 5 consecutive races, a streak that started final July at historic Pimlico Race Course, however was disqualified to second for interference within the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) at Laurel. He earned the primary graded win for himself and his coach subsequent out within the Bold Ruler (G3) at Belmont Park.
“Craig’s fantastic. Everything about Craig is good. Knock on wood, he’s well. He enjoys traveling. He seems to enjoy a change of scenery and he’s doing well. Amanda has done a great job with him. He’s galloping and she’s been holding him together. He’s been on the bridle, so that’s sort of all you can ask,” Russell stated. “Hopefully all the pieces kind of lay right by Saturday.”
Laurel will open its doorways at 8:45 a.m. Saturday to permit followers to observe and wager on the Dubai World Cup Day program beginning with Race 3, the Dubai Gold Cup (G2), which has a publish time of 8:55 a.m. EST. Coverage contains the Golden Shaheen in Race 6 (10:45 a.m.) and ends with the Dubai World Cup in Race 9 (12:30 p.m.).