By Dick Downey
Updated 11:09 a.m.
Mubtaahij (IRE) earned 100 Kentucky Derby points with an easy win of the UAE Derby and is now on his way to Louisville, trainer Mike de Kock said.
Under Christophe Soumillon, Mubtaahij broke from post 1 and was settled on the rail behind a pack of four front-runners. Patiently handled around the far turn, Mubtaahij waited as only Tap That (JPN) and Golden Barows (KY), two of three Japanese runners in the race, emerged in front at the top of the lane.
Asked by Soumillon, Mubtaahij switched to the outside, ran ahead of them easily and drew off to win by eight lengths. The time was 1:58.35 for the 1 3/16 mile UAE Derby.
Maftool, who trailed the 10-horse field in the early going after breaking poorly, got up to finish second and garner 40 Derby points. Like Mubtaahij, he's Triple Crown-nominated. My Johnny Be Good, the other nominee in the race, was never part of the early pace and finished out of the top four.. Golden Barows finished third and Motaa (KSA) was fourth.
"He had perfect position just behind the leaders and just cruised. When I looked at big screen I could see he had won easily," Soumillon said.
The win caps off a successful stint at Meydan Racecourse for Mubtaahij. He won the seven-furlong UAE 2000 Guineas Trial, was beaten a head in the one-mile UAE 2000 Guineas, and won the Al Bastakiya at the same distance as the UAE Derby.
Favored at 6-5 in U. S. betting Mubtaahij paid $4.40 to win.
The winner is owned by Sheik Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and was bred in Ireland by Dunmore Stud Ltd. A son of Dubawi (IRE), he's out of Pennegale (IRE), by Pennekamp.
Mubtaahij was foaled fairly late, April 28, 2012, and fetched $599,760 at the Arqana August 2013 sale at Deauville.