Five days after American-based 3-year-olds went seven furlongs in the Hutcheson and San Vicente Stakes, those based in Dubai will attempt the same distance in a prep for the UAE Two Thousand Guineas at Nad Al Sheeba Thursday. As Godolphin sends out three horses, the race may have some impact on the American Triple Crown scene.
Godophin's Ibn Al Haitham will race outside America for the first time while making his 3-year-old debut. Last time out, the son of English Guineas winner Zafonic finished ninth in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) while trained by Eoin Harty. Prior to that, Ibn Al Haitham finished second to stablemate Essence of Dubai in the Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita. Ibn Al Haitham is still a maiden, but has finished in the top three in every start except the Breeders' Cup.
Godolphin's top rider, Frankie Dettori, will be aboard Assaaf in the Guineas prep. A $275,451 weanling purchase, Assaaf is a son on Night Shift out of the Shirley Heights mare Wannabe. Unlike Ibn Al Haitham, Assaaf won twice as a juvenile, both on turf in races one mile or longer. In his lone stakes appearance – and his only loss – Assaaf finished third in the Tom McGee Autumn Stakes at Ascot in October.
Godolphin also sends out Class Leader (by Honor Grades), a maiden winner at first asking as a juvenile.
Two of the others entered are State City and Fueguino, who have been trading victories with each other of late.
State City is a son of Carson City bred in Kentucky by Darley Stud Management LLC. He lost his racing debut in early December in a race won by Fueguino, then came right back two weeks later to win a maiden race by 1 1/4 lengths at 7.95 furlongs. Last time out, he defeated second place Fueguino by 2 3/4 lengths in an allowance race at just under 6 1/2 furlongs. In between State City's last two starts, Fueguino won an allowance race by three lengths.
Fueguino, a South American foal of 1998, is a chestnut son of Luhuk out of the Salt Marsh mare Fontina.