Question: Who is the best racehorse in the world?

Answer: I dunno?

Question: How in the world do we figure it out?

Answer: Think worldly and start with watching the $20 million Saudi Cup on February 20

Question: How do we cash in on our share of some of that Saudi Cup Cheddar?

Answer: play the superfecta box and wear your lucky underwear

As a hillbilly turf writer, I am naturally prejudice towards the runners from right here in these parts of the world. Fourteen horses from all across the globe will assemble in Saudi Arabia and run for the richest purse in the game. Five travel from right here in the USA and I think two of those runners can certainly lay claim to the top dog title. We will most certainly have them in our box and likely include a couple others with some foreign flavor.

Knicks Go is fresh off two outstanding runs and appears to be in top form for trainer Brad Cox. His Breeders Cup Dirt Mile run was a record setter and he followed that up with a dominating win in the Pegasus Cup, which is run at this same mile and an eighth distance. Unbeaten in four starts for his current conditioner, this five-year old son of Paynter has speed to burn. If he gets loose on the front end look out.

Yes, Knicks Go has been ultra-impressive, but before we make out the check to him let’s talk about another U.S. based runner that will have a say in the outcome. Charlatan has crossed the finish line first in all four of his career starts. He was disqualified from his Arkansas Derby win for a medication violation, but nevertheless he has hit the wire first EVERY time. His last start was supposed to be a real test in the Malibu Stakes when he faced a four-legged meteor named Nashville. This four-year old son of Speightstown aced the exam as he blew past the front-running Nashville and galloped home 4 1/2 lengths the better under a hand ride. The other kicker for Charlatan is his trainer, Bob Baffert. Nobody is better in the game today than Big Race Bob when it comes to getting a horse ready.

I am taking these two in an exacta box because I have not decided just which will win. Both have some huge positives going in and it may depend on who handles the travel thing the best. Charlatan has drawn outside (post 9) of Knicks Go (post 5) and that is likely better for him. Knicks Go will take off from the gates no matter what and play catch me if you can.

So if we want some worldly spice, where does it come from? How about Chuwa Wizard to start with. Japanese bred and trained, this six-year old has won 9 of 18 career starts and is the leading money-winner among all the entrants. Three second place finishes and 4 thirds means he is usually there at the end if you do the simple math.

We want another global guy and we are thinking Mishriff. Four wins in eight lifetime starts for world renowned trainer John Gosden speaks well for this Irish bred four-year old. A second and third place finish tells us he has been in the money 75% of the time. Wow…we calculated that without taking our shoes off!

We are saying play the 1,5,9,12 in your 10 cent superfecta box. That $2.40 investment could yield a nice return… or not… play and enjoy and you are a winner no matter who comes home first!

Charlatan and jockey Mike Smith win the Grade I, $300,000 Malibu Stakes, Saturday, December 26, 2020 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.