IRISH-BRED MUBTAAHIJ RALLIES TO WIN GRADE I, $300,000 AWESOME AGAIN STAKES BY 1 ½ LENGTHS UNDER VAN DYKE; TRAINED BY BAFFERT, HE GETS 1 1/8 MILES IN 1:51.32

 

RACE IS ONE OF FIVE GRADE I BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE STAKES

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2017)–Fifth, but attentive to the pace leaving the half mile pole, Irish-bred Mubtaahij embarked upon a protracted run into the far turn, rallied three-wide turning for home and was up to win Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes by 1 ½ lengths over Midnight Storm.  Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke and trained by Bob Baffert, Mubtaahij got a mile and one eighth in 1:51.32.

Idle since running fourth, beaten nine lengths, behind his superstar stablemate Arrogate in the Group I Dubai World Cup on March 25, Mubtaahij was winless in 10 starts since taking the Group I UAE Derby in March, 2015.  Off at 3-1 in a field of seven 3-year-olds and up, he paid $8.20, $4.80 and $4.20.

Owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, 5-year-old Mubtaahij improved his overall mark to 18-4-4-1.  With the winner’s check of $180,000, he increased his earnings to $4,529,332.

Ridden by Tyler Baze, Midnight Storm relinquished the lead in mid-stretch, but kept to his task gamely, finishing second by a head over longshot Win the Space.  Off at 8-1, Midnight Storm paid $6.00 and $4.80.

With Joe Talamo up, Win the Space finished a half length in front of Baffert’s Cupid, who had little to offer through the stretch drive as the 6-5 favorite.  Off at 25-1, Win the Space paid $8.00 to show.

Fractions on the race were 23.20, 47.06, 1:11.56 and 1:37.75.