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Horse Racing

Saudi Cup: Meisho Hario is scratched; Scotland Yard draws in



Meisho Hario, one of the four Japan horses who was entered
for Saturday’s Grade 1, $20 million Saudi Cup, was scratched from the race Thursday.

Saudi Cup draw: Posts, odds for worlds richest race.

A spokesperson for the Japan contingent said she could not comment
on the exit of the 7-year-old son of Pyro before owner Yoshio Matsumoto or
trainer Inao Okada made a formal statement. A Thursday post on X by Keibalab reported that Meisho Hario arrived in Saudi Arabia with muscle stiffness that did not resolve, leading to him being scratched from the race.

Also-eligible entrant Scotland Yard, a
5-year-old horse formerly
trained by Steve Asmussen, moved into the main draw. Filling the spot
vacated by Meisho Hario, he will start from post 12 in the field of 14
for what will be his second consecutive Saudi
Cup after finishing in last place a year ago. Local jockey Luis Morales,
native of Panama, will ride Saturday for trainer Moutaib Almulawah.

Since Saudi Arabia prince Saud bin Salman Abdulaziz bought him for
$300,000 at a July 2022 Fasig-Tipton sale, Scotland Yard has done all his racing at the King Abdulaziz course in Riyadh.

Bred in Florida by Leslie and John Malone’s Bridlewood Farm,
Scotland Yard is an entire son of Quality Road out of the Curlin mare Leslie’s
Harmony. He raced four times in 2022 for Siena Farm and WinStar Farm, finishing
in the money three times without winning.

Including his maiden breaker Dec. 31, 2022, and then two
stakes, Scotland Yard won his first three races in Saudi Arabia in a four-week
span in the buildup to last year’s Saudi Cup. After a nearly 10-month break, he
came back Dec. 15 to win an allowance race. Last month he finished sixth in the
King Faisal Cup and second in the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup, the
two stakes he won last year.

A two-time Grade 3 winner, Meisho Haro has competed mostly in
Japan’s second level of racing since the summer of 2022. His most recent start
was Dec. 3, when he moved up in class to finish fifth in the Champions Cup (G1)
at Chukyo.

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