01/06/2011 4:00PM

2010 Eclipse Awards: Dubai Majesty

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Barbara D. Livingston

Like fine wine, Dubai Majesty is improving with age, and her progress has been steady.

Dubai Majesty, bred in Florida by Harold J. Plumley, raced three times in 2007 as a 2-year-old and won once, a victory in a $50,000 maiden claiming race.

Dubai Majesty improved with experience and ran in her first stakes races as a 3-year-old. She somehow managed to enjoy more success in the three graded stakes races she ran in that year than she did in the two ungraded stakes races in which she competed. She finished second sprinting in the Grade 3 Azalea at Calder, then was third in consecutive races, the Grade 2 Indiana Oaks and the Grade 2 Raven Run at Keeneland.

Curiously, she settled for fourth in the ungraded Sandy Blue at Del Mar and was fifth in the ungraded Esplanade at Fair Grounds.

She ran in stakes races often in 2009 as a 4-year-old, and five of her nine starts were made in graded stakes. She improved on her 3-year-old form by winning her first Grade 3 race, the Winning Colors at Churchill. She also tackled Grade 1 company for the first time. She was a contending fourth in the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland and dead-heated for third in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill. One of the keys to her success in 2010 was that midway through her 2009 races she learned to rate kindly off the pace more consistently than she had been able to previously.

Trained by Bret Calhoun for owners Martin Racing Stable LLC and Dan Morgan, Dubai Majesty ran well enough as a 5-year-old during the first four months of 2010, but she really blossomed beginning in May. She began the year by losing two win photos in ungraded stakes races. She was freshened with a gap of nearly seven weeks between races and then finished second in the Grade 1 Madison. She must not have cared for the sloppy track when she finished last on it at Churchill in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff, the only race this year in which she didn’t finish among the top three.

She rebounded decisively when she dueled through a hot pace and won the six-furlong Winning Colors going away by 4 1/2 lengths in a sizzling 1:08.07.

Dubai Majesty finished third in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney at Calder, won an ungraded turf sprint stakes, and then missed by only a head behind synthetic-track specialist Informed Decision in the Grade 3 Presque Isle Masters at Presque Isle Downs.

She finished this year with a flourish. Dubai Majesty won the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland and then was the convincing winner of the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Churchill.

Her connections didn’t go easy on her by selecting soft spots versus weak fields in most of her races. Beginning with the Madison and continuing through her last eight starts this year, she wasn’t favored in any of her races, despite her good efforts.

With the weight of those two wins at the end of the year – especially in the Filly and Mare Sprint – four wins from her last six races, her durability with 10 starts this year at age 5, and the versatility she showed by winning stakes sprint races on dirt, a synthetic track, and turf on seven different tracks at sprint distances ranging from 5 1/2 to seven furlongs, Dubai Majesty will loom large in the minds of Eclipse voters in the filly and mare sprint category.

PAST PERFORMANCES: Dubai Majesty's 2010 season PPs (PDF)

KEY RACE REPLAY: Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs >>