It has been a big weekend at Gulfstream Park for Dubai’s Maktoum
family as Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum’s Darley Stud was voted Eclipse
Award breeder for the 2012 season and Godolphin Racing’s outstanding
filly Questing was named Eclipse Champion 3-year-old filly in ceremonies
held Saturday evening at the track.
The maroon and white Darley colors were in the Gulfstream winner’s
circle after the fourth race on Sunday after trainer Kiaran McLaughlin
sent out the stable’s 3-year-old Kentucky homebred filly With Sugar On Top for a game neck victory over Team Valor International’s Three Hearts
in the 1 1/8 miles turf allowance test.
With Sugar On Top is a daughter of Unbridled’s Song out of Fast
Cookie, a winner of $557,000 including the 2003 Cotillion Stakes (G3) at
Philadelphia Park. With Sugar On Top was making her first start since a
four-length maiden victory on turf at Monmouth Park on Aug. 12
following a sixth-place debut there sprinting on dirt.
“Johnny (Velazquez) gave her a great ride,” McLaughlin. “There
didn’t appear to be much speed and he let her sit right off the
one-horse (Casual Elegance) in front and had enough left to hold off the
closers. It was a big race off the layoff.
“We stopped on her after she broke her maiden with some minor
issues, nothing serious. Then she got sick with some mucous and it took a
little longer. She’s a 3-year-old so we probably will have to step her
up to a stakes from here.” The next stakes for her division on the
Gulfstream schedule is the $100,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) on
Sat., Mar. 2.
McLaughlin had visited the winner’s circle Saturday afternoon as
well with another promising Maktoum family horse in Shadwell Stable’s
Kentucky homebred 3-year-old colt Elmutahid, who broke his maiden going 1
1/8 miles in the third race in his fifth career start. The son of
Street Cry had made his previous four starts on turf, but took to the
‘sloppy’ main track Saturday leading wire-to-wire to score by 4 ¼
lengths under jockey Jose Lezcano for the 12-to-1 upset.
“We were not surprised but pleased with his switch to dirt,” said
McLaughlin “He’s out of a good turf mare (Alwajeeha) and he (Elmutahid)
had only run on turf. He’s always worked good on dirt so we decided to
switch over. We’ll look at either an allowance in February or the
Fountain of Youth (G2),” referring to the $400,000 test 1 1/16 miles on
Sat., Feb. 23.