Last week it was confirmed that Calumet Farm's D. Wayne Lukas-conditioned Bravazo will be lining up in the $12 million Dubai World Cup and this week, banner-mate True Timber, trained by former Lukas assistant Kiaran McLaughlin, was confirmed for the $1.5 million Godolphin Mile (G1). Like Bravazo, True Timber is Grade 1-placed, has tackled some of the best dirt horses in the world and will ship to the UAE off a loss in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
“We are planning to run him in the Godolphin Mile and he's doing really well,” McLaughlin confirmed. “He's training great and we will breeze him weekly before we ship in. He'll be based at Meydan with the rest of the American horses.
“He came out of the Pegasus in good shape,” he continued. “He's probably better at a mile and I'm happy to try him back at one there. He's a very nice horse and other than the Pegasus, he has been running really well. He was very wide the other day and that really hurt his chances.”
True Timber is a four-time winner from 18 starts and has been consistent, no matter the level, in his career. He has placed in four graded stakes, including a fine second in Aqueduct's Cigar Mile (G1) in November over a similar one-turn trip as the Godolphin Mile. Last out, when seventh in the Pegasus, he finished behind four horses expected to line up in the Dubai World Cup—Seeking the Soul (2nd), Bravazo (4th), Audible (5th) and Gunnevera (6th)—as well as recently retired superstars City of Light (1st) and Accelerate (3rd).
McLaughlin, a former champion trainer in UAE before shifting base back to America, is no stranger to success in Dubai. He owns five wins on Dubai World Cup night, including a victory in the main event with Invasor in 2007. Winless in the Godolphin Mile, his seven runners have accounted for a pair of runner-up efforts, Fahim (1997) and Jarah (1999), and a fourth from Marking (2016).
“(True Timber) is the right kind,” McLaughlin said. “We're excited about coming with him. I came back a couple years ago and I'm excited about it, myself, as well. I spent 10 years there, so Dubai is like a second home.”
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