FORMER Mike de Kock-trained Mubtaahij, who is in the care of Kiaran McLaughlin in New York, will make his seasonal debut in the Gr2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park on Saturday. He will be re-united with jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Horseracing Nation reports: “As part of the Stars & Stripes card at Belmont Park, the historic Suburban Handicap will hold its own with any of the six graded stakes carded on Saturday. In fact, top to bottom, it is the most interesting out of any of them. While true there is no California Chrome, nor Frosted in this one, there are still no less than five top ranked older males in the nation set to duke it out for the top prize.
“They’ll all be going for the winner’s share of the $500,000 purse in the ten-furlong affair, as well as the honour of adding their name to a roll call of winners that includes such names as; Tom Fool, Nashua, Kelso, Buckpasser, Dr. Fager, Forego, Easy Goer, Skip Away, Mineshaft, Invasor, and Mucho Macho Man.”
Analyst Brian Zipse writes about 5-2 chance Mubtaahij: “He ran a very solid second to California Chrome in the world’s richest race. Since that effort in the Dubai World Cup, the Irish-bred globetrotter has moved to America and taken up residence in the barn of Kiaran McLaughlin. Best on dirt, the shift should be good for the romping winner of last year’s UAE Derby. It’s been 3 ½ months since that last race, but he seems to be to settling in to his new surroundings well, with a series of solid morning moves at Belmont. Keep in mind, he does have experience over the track, having finished a decent fourth in last year’s Belmont Stakes. On his best, he certainly can win this, but with the layoff, and the fact that he has not actually finished first in a race in more than a year, I think it is worth it to take a shot against as the most likely favourite. Rating: Respected Invader