Mubtaahij Draws Rail For Native Diver; Hollywood Derby, Jimmy Durante Also On Tap At Del Mar Saturday

Mubtaahij, a 5-year-old Irish-bred trained by Bob Baffert for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, drew the No. 1 post and was tabbed for 2-1 morning line favoritism in Saturday’s Grade 3 Native Diver, a 1 1/8-mile main track event at Del Mar carrying a $100,000 purse.

Mubtaahij won the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita in September in his first start for Baffert but was never a factor in the Grade 1, $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar on Nov. 4.

Among the six challengers to Mubtaahij are Vladimir Cerin-trained Top of the Game and Jim Cassidy-trained Prime Attraction.

Top of the Game, a Kentucky-bred son of Street Party, has notched three straight wins at lower levels in starts since December of last year.

“He’s trained well coming into this race and we expect a good effort,” Cerin said. “This race is tougher than his last ones and it’s going to take a better effort.”

Cassidy opted for the shorter distance, and change of surface with Prime Attraction for the Native Diver over Friday’s Hollywood Turf Cup.

“There’s a question about the mile and a half (Turf Cup) and while he’s been on turf lately, he’s bred for the dirt,” Cassidy said.

The Native Diver field from the rail: Mubtaahij (Drayden Van Dyke, 2-1), Top of the Game (Kent Desormeaux, 5-2), Curlin Rules (Flavien Prat, 10-1), Prime Attraction (Victor Espinoza, 5-1), Irish Freedom (Rafael Bejarano, 3-1), Wild About Deb (Tiago Pereira, 15-1) and Irish Surf (Gary Stevens, 15-1).

The Grade 1, $300,000 Hollywood Derby goes as the seventh race Saturday. Sharp Samurai, the top 3-year-old of the Del Mar summer meeting via wins in the La Jolla Handicap and Del Mar Derby, takes a four-race winning streak – the last three of them graded stakes – into the 1 1/8-mile turf event for 3-year-olds.

The field from the rail: Ann Arbor Eddie (Mario Gutierrez, 20-1), Bowies Hero (Kent Desormeaux, 6-1), Channel Maker (Javier Castellano, 5-1), Sharp Samurai (Gary Stevens, 5-2), Ritzy A.P. (Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1), Souper Tapit (Jose Lezcano, 12-1), Mo Town (John Velazquez, 3-1), Just Howard (Fergal Lynch, 12-1) and Big Score (Flavien Prat, 4-1).

The Jimmy Durante Stakes, a mile turf go for two-year-old fillies, is the nightcap to the Saturday card.

Fatale Bere, an import from France who won the Surfer Girl in October at Santa Anita and was fifth to Rushing Fall in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf here on November 3, drew the outside post in a field of 13 and was established as the narrow 4-1 morning line favorite in a deeply contentious race.  

The field from the rail: Casino Red (Rafael Bejarano, 12-1), Daddy Is A Legend (Joe Bravo, 9-2), One Fast Broad (Corey Nakatani, 12-1), Lexington Grace (Gary Stevens, 15-1), Raucous (Flavien Prat, 5-1), Multiplayer (Tyler Baze, 20-1), Ever So True (John Velazquez, 12-1), Deep Breath (Tiago Pereira, 20-1), Sappho (Kent Desormeaux, 15-1), Just A Smidge (Drayden Van Dyke, 15-1), Data Dependent (Javier Castellano, 6-1), Thewayiam (Fergal Lynch, 6-1) and Fatale Bere (Mike Smith, 4-1).

The post Mubtaahij Draws Rail For Native Diver; Hollywood Derby, Jimmy Durante Also On Tap At Del Mar Saturday appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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