March 25, 2023

Mubtaahij cuts back for Lone Star Park Handicap

Mubtaahij winning the Awesome Again (G1) last September © BENOIT PHOTO

Grade 1 winner Mubtaahij will make his first attempt at 1 1/16 miles when he lines up for Sunday’s $200,000 Lone Star Park H. (G3). Last seen finishing third in the 10-furlong Dubai World Cup (G1), the classy 6-year-old will bring Mike Smith along from California and has been installed as the even-money favorite over four rivals.

Runner-up in the Santa Anita H. (G1) two back, Mubtaahij broke his maiden and captured an allowance at shorter distances in the winter of 2014-15 but has raced at exclusively longer trips since an unplaced finish in an about one-mile Group 3 event in February 2016. He was transferred to Bob Baffert last year and has now earned more than $5.7 million.

Fear the Cowboy is the early 5-2 second choice. After a fourth in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), the 6-year-old recorded thirds in the Santa Anita H. and Charles Town Classic (G2) and the multiple Grade 3 victor should appreciate the cut back in trip here, winning the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) by a 2 ¼-length margin last December in his last try at 8 ½ furlongs. Luis Negron retains the mount for Efren Loza Jr. and Fear the Cowboy has registered triple-digit BRIS Speed ratings in four of his five starts.

Chilean Group 1 winner Full of Luck will make his third North American appearance for Jerry Hollendorfer following a fourth to Dr. Dorr in his dirt debut, the April 28 Californian (G2) at Santa Anita. Flavien Prat will be in to guide the 5-year-old son of Lookin at Lucky and Full of Luck is listed at 7-2.

Completing the field are Grade 3 scorer Shotgun Kowboy, who must improve upon a non-threatening third in the Steve Sexton Mile (G3) over the track; and 20-1 outsider South Beach.