Juddmonte's Laurel River Thrashes Foes In Godolphin Mile Prep

Laurel River | Dubai Racing Club


Juddmonte Farms' Laurel River (h, 6, Into Mischief–Calm Water, by Empire Maker), favored for the 2022 GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile before being ruled out on the eve of the race, flashed some of the form that saw him win the 2022 GII Pat O'Brien S. with a towering, front-running victory in Saturday's G3 Burj Nahaar at Meydan Racecourse, the course-and-distance prep for the G2 Godolphin Mile Mar. 30.

The result represented a complete turnaround from his local debut Jan. 26 when he was an early factor in the G3 Al Shindagha Sprint over 1200 metres, but faded tamely from 2 1/2 furlongs out and finished a distant seventh behind Mouheeb (Flatter).

Drawn wide in 14 for this contest over the mile, the homebred was well into stride and was restrained a bit through the opening exchanges before being allowed to stride into the lead by Tadhg O'Shea after the first 400 metres. Full of run at every stage of the race thereafter, Laurel River had amassed an imposing advantage turning them in and kept on very nicely to take it by eight lengths in good time.

Previously trained by Bob Baffert, the bay won four of his seven starts in the U.S., capped by his 3 3/4-length success in the seven-furlong Pat O'Brien at Del Mar in August 2022. Trainer Bhupat Seemar served as a Baffert assistant for some time.

“He's a high-class horse and, to be fair to him, he hadn't run in 18 months when we ran him over six furlongs,” said O'Shea. “We weren't disappointed the last time, but they're racehorses and not computers; sometimes they just need a run to get back on their A-Game.

“Hats off to Bhupat and the team and to Juddmonte for keeping the faith with him.”

Pedigree Notes

A predominantly breed-to-race operation, Juddmonte purchased Laurel River's second dam Soothing Touch for $550,000 at the 2005 Keeneland September sale, and while she didn't work out as a racemare, she's excelled in the breeding shed.

The mare is the dam of six winners from 10 to race, including her first foal Emollient (Empire Maker), victorious in the 2013 GI Central Bank Ashland S. and the Juddmonte-sponsored GI Spinster, and her four winners as a broodmare include G2 Prix de Malleret winner Raclette (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and French listed winner Ardent (Frankel {GB}). Soothing Touch has also accounted for Hofburg (Tapit), a stakes winner and third in the GI Belmont S; and SW Courtier (Tapit).

The second foal from Soothing Touch, Laurel River has a 2-year-old half-sister by Constitution, a yearling half-brother by the Tapit son and is due to foal a full-sibling to Laurel River this term.

The cross of Into Mischief over Empire Maker mares has resulted in 29 winners from 43 starters and six stakes winners, including GI Kentucky Derby hero Mandaloun, the Grade II winners Occult and Center Aisle and Juddmonte's sadly departed multiple stakes-winning 'TDN Rising Star' Taraz. When extending the cross to Unbridled-line mares, offspring include MGISW champion Covfeve, Grade I winner Gina Romantica and the additional graded scorers Largent and Maximus Mischief.

Saturday, Meydan, Dubai
BURJ NAHAAR SPONSORED BY EMIRATES SKYCARGO-G3, AED1,200,000, Meydan, 3-2, 3yo/up, 8f, 1:36.90, fs.
1–LAUREL RIVER, 126, h, 6, by Into Mischief
                1st Dam: Calm Water, by Empire Maker
                2nd Dam: Soothing Touch, by Touch Gold
                3rd Dam: Glia, by A.P. Indy
O-Juddmonte; B-Juddmonte Farms Inc (KY); T-Bhupat Seemar;
J-Tadhg O'Shea. AED720,000. Lifetime Record: GSW-US, 9-5-1-
0-1, AED1,034,620. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*.
   Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the
   free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Qareeb, 126, h, 6, Speightstown–Flip Flop (Fr), by Zieten.
($360,000 Wlg '18 KEENOV; 50,000gns HRA '21 TATAUT).
O-Abubaker Kadoura; B-Lynch Bages Ltd (KY); T-Musabbeh Al
Mheiri. AED240,000.
3–Everfast, 126, g, 8, Take Charge Indy–Awesome Surprise, by
Awesome Again. ($47,000 Ylg '17 KEEJAN). O-Kildare Stud –
Frankie O'Connor; B-Extern Developments (KY); T-Doug
Watson. AED120,000.
Margins: 6 3/4, 3, 2 1/4.
Also Ran: Al Jaddaf (GB), Swing Vote (GB), Asad Zabeel (GB), Celtic Prince (GB), Justice Protecol (GB), King Ottoman, Thegreatcollection, Quality Humor, Southern Artist, Western Writer (Ire), Vagalame (Ire), Hypothetical (Ire), Royal Mews (Fr). Scratched: Sound Money. Click for the ERA chart and video.


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