Race of the Week 2017

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Zipse At The Track

I’m all for Mahbooba

While a record field of 16 horses will compete in the $1.5 million Pattison Canadian International, it is far from the only huge race on a great card Sunday at Woodbine. Also part of the richest day of thoroughbred racing in Canada, will be the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes. Contested over 1 ¼ miles over Woodbine’s excellent turf course, the prestigious filly and mare races has attracted a loaded field of eleven.  Despite the depth of quality in the Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ race, there is one filly in there who for stands above the rest to me, and her name is Mahbooba.

Listed as the 9-2, third choice on the morning line, Mahbooba is not only one of the most interesting fillies in the world; she is my strong selection to visit the winner’s circle on Sunday. 

After getting her career off to a flying start on the turf last year in South Africa, including a win in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes, Mahbooba took her show on the road for one of the finest trainers in the world, Michael de Kock. Now in this part of the world, we might not hear too much about racing in South Africa, but I’m here to tell you that horses that can win against the best over there can compete against the best anywhere in the world. Leaving South Africa, the Australian bred daughter of all-universe sire, Galileo, quickly showed her class on the synthetic surface of Meydan in Dubai.

First she just missed in the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial while carrying 137 pounds. She turned the tables on that loss with an easy win in the UAE 1000 Guineas a few weeks later. Keeping her good 2011 form going, Mahbooba finished a solid second to Khawlah in the UAE Oaks, and then third to that same rival and Master of Hounds in the UAE Derby. It should be noted that as a Southern Hemisphere 3-year-old she gave the winner 10 and 11 pounds respectively in each of those Dubai classics.

























After a freshening, Mahbooba returned to turf racing with three races in the UK. In the first she finished third against the males, while just beaten half-a-length by Joshua Tree, the colt who will attempt to defend his crown in the Canadian International. Most recently, she scored over males in the Aqlaam Stakes by six easy lengths, three weeks ago at Newmarket.

Trained by de Kock, and to be ridden by world class rider, Jamie Spencer, clearly the now 4yo (by Southern Hemisphere standards) filly is in fine fettle, has been racing against top competition, and has proven to travel well.

My friend and the man behind the excellent Dubai Race Night website, Patrick Cummings further buoyed my hopes for Mahbooba in the E.P. Taylor this morning when he told me, "I know Mike de Kock is very happy with the way she is progressing. They think she is best between 10 and 12 furlongs, and expect her to race close to the action, so the draw in post two should suit her well. She's had her last four races against males and really loved the going at Newmarket last time. I think she will be dangerous."

Win, lose, or draw, do not expect to see Mahbooba in next month’s Breeders’ Cup. Her connections will bring her back to Europe, with a choice of a few rich races in Hong Kong among her possible goals before the end of 2011. That is too bad, because a filly of this quality would be a welcome addition at Churchill Downs. We’ll have to settle for watching her on Sunday in the E.P Taylor, a race I fully expect her to win.



































Photo courtesy of Patrick Cummings


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Older Comments about I’m all for Mahbooba...

I backed Mahbooba in the E P Taylor. I thought she was traveling strong out on the lead. But she just flatly ran out of gas in the stretch. Great effort from Miss Keller to get home first in that 3 horse photo.
How did Sarah Lynx win with all the weight of you guys on her back?
wasn't going to put a bet down on Miss Keller, but I decided at the las minute to put something to win on her because I always bet her. That was luck. Sarah Lynx was my bet from the beginning! As it was for others, lol.
I hope everyone was a big winner today!
Yeah, and Quest for peace
and Quest for Peace
I know. Hopefully we are the only three. I'll couple her with Treasure Beach, who's Arc run I'm throwing out.
There go the odds!
I like her as well in the International!
Ummm, Mike ... my pick in the International is also the longshot filly, Sarah Lynx ... You are truly starting to scare me!
We have to stop picking like this, Brian. She's my top pick as well. I know...kiss of death. Check out Sarah Lynx in the Canadian. It has been 23 years since a filly won it but any filly that can finish close to Midday and Galikova (Goldikova's half sister) needs to be considered at a price. Can you imagine the exotic pay offs in this wide open field of 16? Could be Kentucky Derby-like monster payoffs.
I think Adventure Seeker could be an improving sort.
She definitely raced well in Dubai. That UAE Derby was a helluva race
Sea of Heartbreak is a solid filly, but I think Mahbooba will open some eyes Sunday.
I like Sea of Heartbreak for the win but your horse will be on my tickets

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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