$20 Million Saudi Cup Contender: SAUDI CROWN

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.


Saudi Crown with jockey Florent Geroux win the 2024 Louisiana Stakes a Fair GroundsThis need-to-lead type entered the Breeders’ Cup Classic two noses short of being 5-for-5. Saudi Crown lost photo finishes in the mile Dwyer and the 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy in which reigning 2-year-old champion Forte prevailed in the slop in a roughly run race. Saudi Crown prepped for the Classic by hanging on by a half-length over an unimpressive field in the 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby, also over a wet track.

Saudi Crown’s one-dimensional style caught up with him in the 1¼-mile Classic, his first time going that far as well as his debut against older horses. He couldn’t beat fellow speedster Arabian Knight for the early lead and had to stalk wide in second through a fast half-mile (45.73 seconds). Saudi Crown weakened approaching the stretch and backed up to 10th, beaten 12¾ lengths by Saudi Cup rival White Abarrio, prompting the chart comment “Pressed outside, caved.”

From Louisiana to Riyadh: A Champion’s Journey to the Saudi Cup

He prepped for the Saudi Cup with a wire-to-wire romp by 5¾ lengths (unchallenged and geared down late) in the 1 1/16-mile Louisiana Stakes on Jan. 20 at the Fair Grounds.

“Big run. Proud of him,” trainer Brad Cox said after the race. “Hopefully, we can build off this.

“Obviously, this was a setup for the Saudi Cup. We’re hoping he’ll handle one turn. He showed ability around one turn early in his career, and we’re excited to take him to Riyadh.”

2024 Saudi Cup Contender Odds and Post Position: Saudi Crown

Betting advice: Saudi Crown will be a juicy price, and if he can make the early lead, he could stay there for a long way. Problem: Should have competition up front, especially from National Treasure. Verdict: Live longshot.     

Post position: 5

Odds: 8-1

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Trainer: Brad Cox

Owner: FMQ Stables

Age: 4

Career record: 7-4-2-0

Career earnings: $982,085

Last race: Louisiana Stakes, Jan. 20 (1st)

Top Equibase speed figure: 114

Pedigree: Always Dreaming-New Narration, by Tapit

Color: Gray/roan

Running style: Frontrunner

Notes: FMQ Stables, in only its second year, is the nom de course of Saudi Arabian industrialist Faisal Mohammed Alqahtani … Saudi Crown breezed 5 furlongs in 1:00 4/5 Feb. 9 at Fair Grounds … Earned first Grade 1 victory (Pennsylvania Derby) for his sire, 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.

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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