Mubtaahij earned a top-level victory in the Sept. 30 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Mubtaahij earned a top-level victory in the Sept. 30 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Anne M. Eberhardt

Mubtaahij Back in Action in Native Diver

Awesome Again winner is the only grade 1 victor in the field.

Out of the four Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) runners from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, Mubtaahij is the first to get back to action.

While Arrogate  is retired, and Collected and West Coast are getting some rest, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum's grade 1 winner is heading back to Del Mar for the $100,000 Native Diver Stakes (G3) Nov. 25.

The 5-year-old son of Dubawi brought up the rear of the Baffert contingent in the Classic (eighth overall), but he figures to be the commanding favorite in the 1 1/8-mile Native Diver, where he's scheduled to face six challengers.

The Sept. 30 Awesome Again Stakes (G1) victor is one of two graded winners in the field and the second, Irish Surf , last won in the 2014 Cougar II Handicap (G3), when Del Mar's main track was synthetic. Off for two full seasons, Irish Surf has made two starts in 2017—sixth-place finishes in an optional-claiming allowance and the Tokyo City Cup Stakes (G3) last time out April 2.

BALAN: Mubtaahij Breaks Through in Awesome Again

Baffert will also bring a second entry to the Native Diver in Donegal Racing's Irish Freedom, who finished third in the Comma to the Top Stakes last time out Oct. 28.

The Comma to the Top Winner, Top of the Game, is also entered in the Native Diver. Holly and David Wilson's 4-year-old Desert Party  gelding is seeking his fourth straight victory, but his first graded score.

Entries: Native Diver S. (G3)

Del Mar, Saturday, November 25, 2017, Race 5

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 2:30 PM (local)
11Mubtaahij (IRE)Drayden Van Dyke125Bob Baffert2/1
22Top of the Game (KY)Kent J. Desormeaux121Vladimir Cerin5/2
33Curlin Rules (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat121John W. Sadler10/1
44Prime Attraction (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateVictor Espinoza121James M. Cassidy5/1
55Irish Freedom (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRafael Bejarano118Bob Baffert3/1
66Wild About Deb (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTiago Josue Pereira121Philip D'Amato15/1
77Irish Surf (KY)Gary L. Stevens121Dan L. Hendricks15/1