UAE Derby (UAE-II) winner Mubtaahij breezed yet again over the Arlington International Racecourse Polytrack April 25 on an unseasonably cool morning in the Chicago suburbs, following up on an April 21 work there in preparation for a start in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The April 25 work was missed by clockers on course, with the circuit's main clocking crew still at Hawthorne Race Course. Trainer Mike de Kock employs Fine Equinity, a GPS-based training management tracking system, to record morning work times, heart rates, and more. Their system recorded Mubtaahij working four furlongs in :49.70, with a final three furlongs in :35.30. The last quarter of the work was timed in equal splits of :11.50 seconds, home in :23 flat.
"I was very happy with both pieces of work," assistant trainer Trevor Brown said, also alluding to Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) hopeful and stablemate Umgiyo. "They had a good blow out and were a bit more intense than on Tuesday. They seemed to come out of it in good order and got right into their food mangers afterward."
De Kock, with a phalanx of runners at Turffontein Racecourse Saturday, the richest day in South African racing, pushed his flights back a day and will arrive in Louisville April 27.
"We had too many runners in big races today and it would have been much too rushed," de Kock said from Johannesburg. He was rewarded with two group I wins, a group I second, and a group II victory on the lucrative program.
"I'm really looking forward to getting to Louisville now," the trainer added