Defending champion Mind Your Biscuits arguably faced a tougher challenge in Saturday’s $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) than in last year’s edition, but rose to the occasion to make history twice over. Defying the track bias favoring speed, the closer flew late to nip X Y Jet, become the first since Caller One (2001-02) to repeat, and overtake Funny Cide as the all-time richest New York-bred.
Co-owned by a partnership including J Stables, Head of Plains Stables, and trainer Chad Summers, Mind Your Biscuits was unsurprisingly outpaced early, and a patient Joel Rosario bided his time in last. Heavily favored Roy H found himself out of position after getting off a beat slow, but regrouped in the chasing pack.
Meanwhile, X Y Jet was unexpectedly outgunned by the wide-drawn Jordan Sport, who blazed to the fore and angled over to the fence. X Y Jet came around to prompt the leader, increasing the pressure into the stretch and finally putting his pace foe away.
As X Y Jet edged clear, the gray appeared on the verge of winning the Shaheen that had eluded him so narrowly two years ago. Roy H, the nearest danger, was gamely trying but never quite getting on terms, and the finish line was in sight.
Then Mind Your Biscuits whipped up a furious rally. Bursting into the picture in deep stretch, he inhaled the leaders in a track-record time of 1:10.12 on the fast track. The prior mark of 1:10.18 was set by Jordan Sport a mere three weeks ago, in Super Saturday’s Mahab al Shimaal (G3).
X Y Jet suffered another heartbreak, this time by a head on the wire. Roy H reported home another three-quarter of a length away in third to round out the Team USA trifecta. American expatriate Wild Dude trudged home for fourth, followed by Japan’s Matera Sky, who was in the hunt until late; Jordan Sport; 12-year-old Reynaldothewizard, the 2013 Golden Shaheen winner whose retirement was announced immediately by trainer Satish Seemar; and the tailed-off My Catch. Muarrab, who denied X Y Jet here in 2016, was scratched along with Shillong.
Mind Your Biscuits has now bankrolled $3,719,286, relegating New York-bred champion Funny Cide to second on the state’s all-time earnings list with $3,529,412. The son of Posse first achieved fame for trainer Robert Falcone Jr., winning the 2016 Malibu (G1) and Amsterdam (G2) and placing in that season’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) and Gallant Bob (G3). Mind Your Biscuits switched to Summers ahead of his 2017 campaign.
Aside from his Golden Shaheen trophy, he rolled in the Belmont Sprint Championship (G2), just missed in the Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3), placed in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint for the second straight year (this time to Roy H), and took runner-up honors in the Cigar Mile (G1). In his five-year-old debut in a Gulfstream allowance, Mind Your Biscuits was a head second to Conquest Windycity, an effort that set him up for his title defense.
Quotes from Dubai Racing Club
Trainer/co-owner Chad Summers: “We had lost four in a row but we had reasons for all four. He’s a horse that knows where the wire is and he just never gives up. For my staff in New York and Florida and internationally it’s such an unbelievable thing for them – the team that gets everything done. It’s never about the trainer and never should be about the trainer. For the horse, it’s important he showed who the real Mind Your Biscuits was.
“We respect the international community so much. We’ve seen what Wesley Ward has done as an ambassador for the sport and not be afraid to ship out. To ship and do it and overcome everything, and Lasix free, it’s important. To have a horse peak on the right day and the right time, this is the race we pointed for and it took to the wire but he came through for us.”
Jockey Joel Rosario: “I have a lot of faith in this horse every time I ride him. I just let him be ‘Biscuits’ and do what he wanted. He always gives 100 percent. I’m so happy, Chad did a very good job.”
Jockey Emisael Jaramillo on runner-up X Y Jet: “I was told to break on terms but the horse to my outside was much faster away. He showed plenty of speed and I thought I had the race won. He ran great.”
Trainer Peter Miller on Roy H’s third: “The start cost him the race. He got left at the start and if he doesn’t get left, he wins. That’s horse racing.”
Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux, who rode Roy H: “He stumbled leaving the gate and after one length we were eight lengths back. He made up five lengths quite quickly but then got hit across the head by a neighbor’s whip and it was all too much for him. He was the best horse in the race.”
Trainer Hideyuki Mori on Matera Sky in fifth: “He didn’t take the lead and I was worried about the kickback. The pace was pretty fast, but he ran pretty well.”
Jockey Yutaka Take on Matera Sky: “The track felt a bit firmer than usual. He was able to follow the speed well, he moved nicely during the trip. This was a stronger field than he has been up against in the past so this was a good race for him. He keeps improving.”
Jockey Adrie de Vries, who guided sixth-placer Jordan Sport: “He had to do a lot to get the lead, it was not the same as last time (when he kicked on. It was not the case today.”
Trainer Satish Seemar on seventh Reynaldothewizard: “That was his last race. He will now be retired. He just could not go with the younger horses tonight. He is the most popular horse in the UAE and doesn’t owe anyone anything. The good thing is that we will retire him 100 percent with everything healthy. It’s the fair thing to do for the horse.”