Trainer Jose D’Angelo’s whirlwind campaign with Jesus’ Team will take him to Dubai this week. Who better to call than Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to get the skinny on running a horse in the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1)?
“I talked to Bob Baffert three times last week, and he told me a lot of things about going to Dubai,” D’Angelo said. “He’s helped me a lot.”
D’Angelo is scheduled to fly to Dubai Monday, while Jesus’ Team will leave Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, Tuesday for his scheduled start in the March 28 Dubai World Cup.
The 30-year-old former leading trainer in Venezuela struck up a friendship with Baffert, a three-time Dubai World Cup-winning trainer, during Preakness Week around the stakes barn at Pimlico last fall. He also has been in contact with trainer Chad Summers, who saddled Mind Your Biscuits for a victory in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) in 2018.
In his first full year of training in the United States, D’Angelo took a tour of the East Coast and Midwest while driving the truck towing Jesus’ Team to several major-stakes engagements. Along the way, the former $25,000 claimer finished third in the Preakness (G1) and second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland before returning to South Florida to finish second in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream in January. Horse and trainer, by necessity, will have separate travel arrangements for the first time for the Dubai World Cup.
Jesus’ Team breezed seven furlongs in 1:31.60 Sunday morning at Palm Meadows to compete his local preparation for the Dubai World Cup.
“I’m very happy with the work,” D’Angelo said. “He finished very strong and his gallop-out was amazing. I’m very confident now that Jesus will run a great race with a chance to win the Dubai World Cup.”
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