Arabian Knight As Advertised in Southwest


Arabian Knight | Coady Photo

'TDN Rising Star' Arabian Knight (Uncle Mo), a devastating debut winner for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert going seven furlongs on Breeders' Cup Saturday at Keeneland, successfully stretched to two turns with a stylish 5 1/2-length victory as the 2-5 chalk in a sloppy renewal of the GIII Southwest S. at Oaklawn Park.

The $2.3-million OBSAPR topper broke like a shot from post six and led the field around the clubhouse turn. He splashed his way up top through fractions of :22.98 and :46.82, kicked for home as the one to catch, and, after briefly drifting out slightly down the lane, drew off impressively once straightened with a single right-handed strike from Johnny Velazquez to report home as a much-the-best winner.

For the second straight year, Churchill Downs has banished trainer Baffert related to his under-appeal equine drug DQ from the 2021 Derby, and his trainees are prohibited from earning qualifying points. The Southwest carried 40 total points towards eligibility.

Runner-up Red Route One (Gun Runner), however, earned eight points and Frosted Departure (Frosted) received six points while finishing third.

“When he got away and got in that high cruising [speed] down the backside I thought, 'Well, if he's as good as I think he is, there's no excuse,'” Baffert said. “If he got beat today, the distance was going to get him. These good horses are hard to come by. We've had a lot of luck here at Oaklawn, so it was nice to have a horse like this. What he did today, he ran 1:43 and change, that's racehorse time and he did it without taking a deep breath. This was a big effort, so he needs time in between [races]. We'll play it by ear [regarding his next start].”

Velazquez added, “He made it look easy. He broke well and I took advantage of it. At the quarter pole, I went after him, and he opened up and he saw the tire track [from starting gate]. I said, 'Come on buddy, don't do something stupid.' I hit him once, right before we got to the tire track. He kind of hesitated and then he sees the light and I hit him one more time and all of a sudden, he takes off on me. Going to the wire I was like, 'OK, that's what I wanted to see.'”

Arabian Knight received top billing on TDN Top 12 earlier this month.

Pedigree Notes:

A 91st stakes winner and 47th graded winner for the outstanding Uncle Mo, Arabian Knight is out of Borealis Night, herself a $450,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling, who was fourth in a lone racetrack appearance for owner/trainer Ralph Nicks in late 2018 and was scooped up by Nathan McCauley's River Oak Farm for just $50,000 at the Fasig-Tipton February a few months later.

The mare had some pedigree underneath her as a half-sister to the three-times graded-placed Kinsley Kisses (Congrats) and GSP Spooky Woods (Ghostzapper) and that helped earn her a date in the breeding shed with Uncle Mo. Consigned to the 2019 Keeneland November Sale, Borealis Night was hammered down to Corser Thoroughbreds for $285,000 and the operation recovered a fair bit of that outlay when Scott and Evan Dilworth paid $250,000 for the colt at Keeneland September in 2021. Prepared by Top Line Sales, agent, for last year's OBS April Sale, the bay breezed an eighth of a mile in :9 4/5 and went on to top the event on a bid of $2.3 million from Gary Young, agent for Zedan Racing Stable. The latter also purchased Princess Noor (Not This Time) off Top Line for a sales-topping $1.35 million at OBSAPR in 2020.

The first daughter of Astrology to be represented by a stakes winner, Borealis Night is the dam of a yearling colt by Quality Road and is due to Curlin for this season.

Saturday, Oaklawn Park
SOUTHWEST S.-GIII, $750,000, Oaklawn, 1-28, 3yo, 1 1/16m,
1:43.50, sy.
1–ARABIAN KNIGHT, 117, c, 3, by Uncle Mo
          1st Dam: Borealis Night, by Astrology
          2nd Dam: Winter Forest, by Forestry
          3rd Dam: Shivering Six, by Saratoga Six
Star' ($250,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP; $2,300,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR).
O-Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.; B-Corser Thoroughbreds LLC (KY);
T-Bob Baffert; J-John R. Velazquez. $458,250. Lifetime Record:
2-2-0-0, $544,275. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus* Click
for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the
free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Red Route One, 117, c, 3, Gun Runner–Red House, by Tapit.
O/B-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen.
3–Frosted Departure, 117, c, 3, Frosted–Undeterred, by More
Than Ready. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($50,000 Wlg '20
KEENOV; $100,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-C&H Diamond Racing
LLC & Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek); B-Alastar
Thoroughbred Company, LLC (KY); T-Kenneth G. McPeek.
Margins: 5HF, 2, 1 3/4. Odds: 0.40, 15.50, 46.10.
Also Ran: Sun Thunder, Jace's Road, Corona Bolt, El Tomate,
Western Ghent. Scratched: Hit Show.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO,
sponsored by TVG.

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