$20 Million Saudi Cup Contender: DERMA SOTOGAKE

A likely field of 14 has been announced for the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) on Feb. 24 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – the world’s richest horse race.  usracing.com will post profiles for all the starters, with post positions, odds, and updates provided when available.


Japan’s globe-trotting Derma Sotogake makes a return trip to King Abdulaziz Racecourse, well-rested and perhaps ready for one giant step into the winner’s circle in the world’s richest race.

Derma Sotogake at King Abdulaziz RacecourseA year ago (Feb. 25), the chestnut colt began his world tour with a third-place finish in the Saudi Derby – his first race outside Japan after six starts (three of them wins). A month later, a victory in the UAE Derby qualified him for the Kentucky Derby.

Derma Sotogake’s Resilient Journey

Highly touted and sent off as the third betting choice at 7-1, Derma Sotogake had a tough trip most of the race but finished sixth and running well. He was returned to Japan and was prepped for the Breeders’ Cup Classic six months later (a slight hoof issue kept him from a prep in Japan before the Classic).

Back in the U.S., the son of Mind Your Biscuits stalked the leaders under Christophe Lemaire, made a strong run in the stretch, and finished second, one length behind White Abarrio.

“The winner was tiring but this one couldn’t catch him,’’ Lemaire said after the race. “It was his first race in six months, and I was happy that he was in good shape and able to perform, thanks to his team having done a fantastic job.”

2024 Saudi Cup Contender Odds and Post Position: Derma Sotogake

Betting advice: A clean start and a forward placing could bode well despite a tough field and likely a quick pace. Hard to envision a win but should be used in exotics.

Post position: 13

Odds: 6-1

Jockey: Christophe Lemaire

Trainer: Hidetaka Otonashi

Owner: Horayuki Asanuma

Age: 4

Career record: 10-4-1-2

Career earnings: $2,182,164

Last race: Breeders’ Cup Classic, Nov. 4 (2nd)

Top Equibase speed figure: 115

Pedigree: Mind Your Biscuits-Amour Poesie, by Neo Universe

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Stalker

Notes: One of five Japan-based horses set for the race … Japan-bred Panthalassa won last year’s Saudi Cup … Purchased for $163,397 by Horayuki Asanuma in 2021 at the JRHA yearling and foal sale … Beaten in first three starts in Japan, then won three straight before road trips began … Longtime owner Asanuma, after his horse won the UAE Derby and qualified for the Kentucky Derby: “I have been in this business for 30 years and this is my first big horse.” … It’s pronounced DER-ma so-da-GEG. Asanuma is a dermatologist who uses derma in all his horses’ names. Sotogake is a wrestling move.


2024 Saudi Cup Odds and Contenders
PP Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Odds
1 White Abarrio Irad Ortiz, Jr Rick Dutrow, Jr. C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable, LLC 3-1
2 Isolate Joel Rosario Doug Watson RRR Racing 15-1
3 Lemon Pop Ryusei Sakai Hiroyasu Tanaka Godolphin 15-1
4 Senor Buscador Junior Alvarado Todd Fincher Joe R. Peacock, Jr 10-1
5 Saudi Crown Florent Geroux Brad Cox SFMQ Stables 8-1
6 Crown Pride Joao Moreira Koichi Shintani Teruya Yoshida 20-1
7 National Treasure Flavien Prat Bob Baffert F Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Masterson, Robert E., Stonestreet Stables LLC, Schoenfarber, Jay A., Waves Edge Capital LLC and Donovan, Catherine 9-2
8 Hoist the Gold John Velazquez Dallas Stewart Dream Team One Racing Stable 30-1
9 Defunded Luis Saez Abdulaziz K Mishref Pegram, Michael E., Watson, Karl and Weitman, Paul 25-1
10 Power in Numbers Adel Alfouraidi Ahmed Mohamoud Klaravich Stables, Inc. 30-1
11 Ushba Tesoro Yuga Kawada Noboru Takagi Ryotokuji Kenji Holdings Co. Ltd. 10-1
12 Meisho Hario Suguru Hamanaka Inao Okada Yoshio Matsumoto 20-1
13 Derma Sotogake Christophe Lemaire Hidetaka Otonashi Hiroyuki Asanuma 6-1
14 Carmel Road Camillo Ospina Abdullah Albadah SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Masterson, Robert E., Stonestreet Stables LLC, Schoenfarber, Jay A., Waves Edge Capital LLC and Donovan, Catherinetd> 25-1
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