LEXINGTON, KY – Shadwell Stable’s Mutasaabeq exploded in the stretch and swept to a widening victory in Sunday’s $200,000 Bourbon Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
The Bourbon is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Mutasaabeq receiving an automatic berth in the Juvenile Turf at Keeneland this November.
Mutasaabeq broke from post 10 under Luis Saez as the 2/1 favorite and sat at the rear of the field heading into the clubhouse turn.
Into the Sunrise set the opening pace, posting fractions of :22.62, :47.09, and 1:12.24, then straightened for home still on the lead.
Mutasaabeq tipped out to the center of the lane at the top of the stretch and immediately took off when asked, drawing to the lead at the 1/8 pole before clearing away to win by 2 1/4 lengths.
The Todd Pletcher trainee completed the 1 1/16-mile firm turf route in 1:43.13.
“The distance was great for him,” Saez said. “He was working so good on the turf. We knew what we had. When we came to the 1/2-mile (pole), I was trying to (decide) where we were going to go – inside or out – but inside we had so many horses. I felt like I had the horse to go out and let him roll. When he came to the straight, he just took off. He did it easy.”
Abarta took second by 3/4 of a length over Nathan Detroit, while Into the Sunrise faded late and finished a head behind in fourth.
Arrest Me Red, Private Island (who stumbled badly out of the gate), Spyglass, Barrister Tom, Blame the Booze, Indy Tourist, and Really Slow completed the order of finish.
Hidden Enemy scratched after cross-entering and finishing fifth in Saturday’s Laurel Futurity at Pimlico.
Mutasaabeq’s win came in his turf debut and was the second of his career, following his debut victory at Saratoga on August 8. The Into Mischief colt, purchased for $425,000, was third last time out in the Hopeful Stakes (G1) and has now earned $189,600.
“His maiden win was very impressive and his gate work prior to his maiden win was as good as any 2-year-old we’ve had at Saratoga ever,” Pletcher said. “We felt that the Hopeful, they kind of ran away from him and he couldn’t really close the way we hoped he would. Kind of looking into his pedigree, the Into Mischiefs run on anything.”
Mutasaabeq returned $6 to win, $3.80 to place, and $3.60 to show. Abarta brought back $10.60 to place and $7.60 to show, while Nathan Detroit paid $7.60 to show.