Fresh off a dominating maiden victory at Gulfstream, Elmutahid is
likely to return in the $400,000 Besilu Fountain of Youth (G2) on Feb.
“We’re going to work him one more time and make the decision, but
right now we’re planning on it,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said.
The Shadwell homebred had run his first four career races on turf
before McLaughlin entered him in a 1 1/8-mile maiden special weight
event on Gulfstream’s main track on Jan. 19. The son of Street Cry
assumed the lead right from the start to set an uncontested pace before
scoring by 4 ¾ lengths over a sloppy track.
“It was a surprise how he did it and how much he liked the dirt.
He’s out of a Grade 1 mare on the turf and he’s by Street Cry,”
McLaughlin said. “We just did it because he trained well on the dirt. It
was a surprise in the fashion that he won.”
Elmutahid’s triumph was somewhat reminiscent of the
McLaughlin-trained Soldat’s allowance victory over a sloppy Gulfstream
track in 2011 prior to winning the Fountain of Youth. But McLaughlin
wasn’t taking a shot in the dark with Soldat, who was a graded-stakes
turf horse when he was switched to dirt.
“Soldat had run his first two starts on the dirt. We knew he liked
it OK,” McLaughlin said. “We just totally guessed (with Elmutahid) and
it worked out.”