When I think Malibu, I immediately go to “The Big Lebowski.” STAY OUT OF MALIBU, LEBOWSKI! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have a movie to add to your watchlist immediately. If only for the quotes,
The GI Malibu is the final graded stakes for 3YO. It’s the final race that is restricted to foals of 2014. It’s sort of like prom, or maybe a reunion. In an open year, it can be pivotal to settling arguments, such as who is the best 3YO in the country. It is a final grade one for the division — often times used to bolster a HOY or divisional campaign. By this time, everybody has been facing older for months, but this is one last time for kicks.
Notice the distance — it’s at 7 furlongs — hard to sprinters, hard for milers and longer. Both types of horses win this race — the classy ones can usually handle the drop down in distance from other graded stakes. The less classy ones can’t. The same thing with the sprinters, although to a lesser degree — it’s about class, that intangible quality that makes an animal able to compete at high levels and have a knack for winning.
Let’s take a look at the Malibu field with an eye toward class:
City of Light: Sprinter. Has competed at allowance level, losing as the favorite twice. Speed is there, but he might not be ready for these types of horses — class mismatch.
Edwards Going Left: Sprinter: He’s 6 for 9 in his career, and 4 for 6 at Santa Anita. He has won California Stakes and an open N2X. He might just be a daymaker, if he’s gotten used to winning (3 of 4).
Irish Freedom: Router. Baffert. Graded-Stakes placed. Keep an eye on how Prime Attraction runs against Collected. This one doesn’t win all that much.
Favorable Outcome: Sprinter. Chad Brown.Won the Swale, a 7f GII race for young 3YO. He’s got to be on your ticket.
Pavel: Router. Has kept strong company with an aggressive campaign.Not sure about the cutback.
Heartwood: Sprinter; Minor League horse. Making a huge step in class, even though the last win was nice, this needs even bigger. Outclassed.
Dabster: Miler/7fer. Baffert. Inexperienced, part of the reason for the odd designation. Seems over his head right now, but the horse is rolling and has a huge ceiling. Tough call.
C Z Rocket: Sprinter/Router/Winner. 3 nice winsm inlcuding the overnight stake like non-winners of 3 at Churchill downs, Still, gut say it’s too much, too soon. Horse debuted in September. Tough pass.
Edwards Going Left is the pick in the Malibu. He likes to win on the track and at the distance. And he’s shown some class, willing the Cal-bred staeks and open 1st level and 2nd level allowances.