Hibaayeb, victorious in last term’s Group 2
Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot and Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon during Hollywood Park’s
Oak Tree meet, will make her New York debut in the Grade 2, 1 3/8-mile
Sheepshead Bay on May 28, Godolphin Racing assistant trainer Rick Mettee
Eighth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf,
Hibaayeb has made one start so far in 2011, finishing third in a 1 1/16-mile
optional claimer on turf at Gulfstream
Park on April 2.
“It was a good race,” said Mettee. “Eight-and-a-half
furlongs we knew was going to be too short. She stalked the pace and got a
little tired towards the end, which we knew she would coming off the layoff.
She had a good winter down at Palm Meadows. The idea was to get a race in her,
and the Sheepshead
Bay was a logical place
to run her back.”
Mettee believes Hibaayeb, whose victories in the Ribblesdale
and the Yellow Ribbon respectively came at 1 ½ miles and 1 ¼ miles, will
appreciate the Sheepshead Bay’s 1 3/8-mile distance.
“We thought 11 furlongs would be about right,” said Mettee.
“Hopefully it’s firm ground next week. They say she’s much better on firm
ground than soft.”