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E Dubai Still Flying Under the Radar

A couple of recent observations drew our attention to E Dubai (TrueNicks,SRO), who we've noted before as a very good value-for-money sire. One was the upset victory last weekend of the progressive 3-year-old filly My Gi Gi in the Honeymoon Handicap (gr. II).

The other was a look at the leading Beyer speed figures, where we noticed that in among some of the current 3-year-old and handicap stars, as one of only two horses with two figures in the top eight at a mile or up was the relatively unheralded Fort Larned, who has run a pair of 108s, one when breaking the 9½-furlong track-record in Gulfstream Park's Skip Away Stakes (gr. III). Fort Larned runs Saturday night in the grade I Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs.

This prompted us to take a fresh look at E Dubai, who now stands at Northview PA in Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania. Initially retired to Darley in Kentucky, E Dubai had the race record and pedigree to be any sort of sire. On his day he could be a spectacular runner. He broke his maiden at 2 over five furlongs, setting fractions of :21.8, and :44.9, and at 3 he took the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) in a track-record time of 1:40.38 after leading through fractions of :22.2, :44.1; 1:07.9; and 1:33.54. Second that year in the Travers Stakes (gr. I)—to Point Given (TrueNicks,SRO)—and the Super Derby (gr. I), E Dubai proved that he could carry that front-running speed 10 furlongs with a win over Lido Palace, Macho Uno (TrueNicks,SRO), Pure Prize (TrueNicks,SRO), and Evening Attire in the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at 4.

The pedigree matched the performance: one of the last top-class performers sired by Mr. Prospector, E Dubai, is out of the Lord At War mare Words of War. A multiple stakes winner of over $680,000, Words of War is also dam of the Del Mar Oaks (gr. I) victress No Matter What (herself dam of three stakes winners, including European champion 2-year-old filly Rainbow View). Words of War is also a sister to Ascutney, a graded stakes winner and dam of English champion 3-year-old and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) captor Raven's Pass (a grandson of Mr. Prospector).

E Dubai started his stud career with a stutter-step, and due to initial hesitance in the transition from racehorse to stallion had only 45 named foals in that first crop. However, that limited first crop produced grade II winners High Heels and Buy the Barrel, grade III winners Desert Code and Dubious Miss, and stakes winners Barilko and Spark of Dubai. Although his career never quite regained commercial momentum, E Dubai has gone on to sire 27 stakes winners, including 13 graded in his first six crops.

Like any good son of Mr. Prospector should, E Dubai has crossed well with Northern Dancer, and nine of his 24 Northern Hemisphere-sired black-type winners are products of matings with sons or grandsons of Northern Dancer, three more by great-grandsons, and one out of a great-great-grandson. The cross with mares from the Danzig branch has produced five stakes winners, including the New Zealand-born graded scorer Ego (TrueNicks A) out of a mare by Redoute's Choice (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO) (by Danehill), as well as other black-type scorers from daughters of Pine Bluff, Langfuhr (TrueNicks,SRO) (two), and Dayjur (giving a 2x4 inbreeding to Mr. Prospector).

Recent graded scorer My Gi Gi is out of a mare by Sadler's Wells (three-parts-brother to Nureyev, who is the sire of the grade I-winning No Matter What out of the dam of E Dubai, as well as being broodmare sire of an E Dubai stakes winner). Other sons or grandsons of Northern Dancer to appear as broodmare sire of E Dubai stakes winners are Night Shift (responsible for the dam of grade II winner Skysurfers, who is TrueNicks A), Dixieland Band (broodmare sire of grade II winner Aggie Engineer, who is TrueNicks B) and Dancing Brave (by Lyphard). The other branch of Northern Dancer that has done well under E Dubai is that of Storm Cat, and there are stakes winners by E Dubai out of daughters of Mountain Cat (graded scorer Dubious Miss), Cat Thief, and Tabasco Cat (all TrueNicks A++). Barilko, a standout at 2 in Canda, is out of a daughter of Greinton (by Green Dancer, a son of Nijinsky II).

While none are as prolific as the cross with Northern Dancer line mares, there are some other strains for which E Dubai has shown a very strong affinity. The clearly very talented Fort Larned, and Once More Dubai—champion 3-year-old colt in Italy—are two stakes winners from only five starters sired by E Dubai from daughters of Broad Brush (a cross that TrueNick rates A++). There are only eight starters by E Dubai out of mares by Timeless Moment and his sons and grandsons, and that has resulted in grade II winner High Heels (TrueNicks A++), who is out of a Gilded Time mare, and Spark of Dubai (also TrueNicks A++), out of a mare by Timeless Moment himself. Broad Brush's sire, Ack Ack, also appears as broodmare sire of Lost Code, and from a Lost Code mare comes E Dubai's multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Desert Code (TrueNicks A).

E Dubai might never hit the heights that seemed possible when he retired to stud, but at his 2012 stud fee of $9,000, he is a horse who offers breeders in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region an awfully good value-for-money shot at a stakes, or even graded stakes, class horse.

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