City Of Light's 'Mimi' Crowned Queen In The UAE Oaks

Mimi Kakushi | Dhric/AK/DRC


  A winner of the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas when last seen, MIMI KAKUSHI (City Of Light-Rite Moment, by Vicar) turned in a game effort to wear down California shipper Ami Please (Goldencents) and win the G3 UAE Oaks by 1 1/4 lengths at Meydan on Friday. She is the eighth filly to complete the Guineas/Oaks double, and first since subsequent American graded winner Shahama (Munnings) in 2022, who was also trained by Salem bin Ghadayer.

Racing for Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the bay stalked from second as Ami Please crossed over to lead heading into the clubhouse turn. Rival Asawer (Nyquist), fourth in the UAE 1000 Guineas, exchanged some bumps with Mimi Kakushi on the backstretch as they chased the pacesetter. By the far turn, it was a line of three with Mimi Kakushi sandwiched between foes, but pilot Mickael Barzalona did not panic in the tight quarters, which began to ease as Asawer faded leaving the bend.

Mimi Kakushi locked horns with Ami Please at the quarter-pole, and the pair battled hammer and tongs until midstretch. At the 150-metre mark, Mimi Kakushi inched ahead of Ami Please, and eventually crossed the wire about a length to the good of that filly. Asawer hung on for third, a distant four lengths back.

Fourth in her first two local tries in November and December, the Woodford Thoroughbreds-bred graduated by two lengths over Asawer in the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial on Dec. 23. She increased her winning margin to 4 1/2 lengths in the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas on Jan. 20.

“She's a very classy filly and she does everything we ask her to,” said Barzalona. “The longer trip was in her favour. [Ami Please] was much faster away than us and my filly was happy to sit behind. At the end I felt like I had plenty in hand.”

Bin Ghadayer added, “She was my favourite filly and she improved again tonight,” he said. “To be honest, I thought this race would be even easier than the Guineas as she wouldn't be under pressure the whole way.

“She was a professional filly from the beginning, especially in her mind, and she's very easy to train. She knows she must give everything in a race.”

“The [G2] UAE Derby and the [GI] Kentucky Oaks for sure will be on her agenda but we need to discuss it with [owner] Sheikh Hamdan [bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.]”

Pedigree Notes

The first graded/group winner for her Breeders' Cup-winning sire who stands at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky, Mimi Kakushi is one of four stakes winners overall. City Of Light's eldest foals just turned three. Wild Again stallion Vicar, a winner of the GI Fountain Of Youth S. and GI Florida Derby in 1999, has sired 15 stakes winners as a broodmare sire, with Mimi Kakushi joining Vicar's In Trouble (Into Mischief) and Sandbar (War Pass) as graded/group winners.

A $180,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select yearling turned $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile (breeze video), Mimi Kakushi is a half-sister to three-time stakes winner Moment Is Right (Medaglia d'Oro), and the stakes-winning Laudation (Congrats). Her dam, who won both the Bed o' Roses H. and Distaff H. at Aqueduct at Grade II level, has a yearling filly by Cajun Breeze. Her 2023 offspring, by Khozan, was born dead.

Friday, Meydan, Dubai
UAE OAKS-G3, $150,000, Meydan, 2-17, 3yo, f, 9 1/2f, 2:00.01, fs.
1–MIMI KAKUSHI, 126, f, 3, by City Of Light
1st Dam: Rite Moment (MGSW-US, $399,303), by Vicar
2nd Dam: Moments Of Joy, by Lost Code
3rd Dam: Valiant Sweetheart, by Danzig
1ST GROUP WIN. ($180,000 Ylg '21 FTKJUL; $250,000 2yo '22
FTIMAY). O-Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum;
B-Woodford Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY); T-Salem bin Ghadayer;
J-Mickael Barzalona. $90,000. Lifetime Record: 5-3-0-0,
$213,073. Werk Nick Rating: B+. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the
   free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Ami Please, 126, f, 3, Goldencents–Bellezza Rosso, by Tapit.
1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. O-W C Racing & Wonderland Racing;
B-Glenn Sorgenstein (KY); T-Doug O'Neill. $30,000.
3–Asawer, 126, f, 3, Nyquist–How My Heart Works, by Not For
'21 FTIOCT; $450,000 2yo '22 FTIMAY). O-Al Rashid Stables
LLC; B-Bowman & Higgins Stable (MD); T-Doug Watson
Margins: 1 1/4, 3 3/4, NK.
Also Ran: Priyanka, Awasef, Solaire (Fr), Habooba. Click for the Video.




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