09/28/2009 11:00PM

Honour Devil set for U.S. debut

Dubai Racing Club
Honour Devil, a stakes winner in Dubai, will make his North American debut Wednesday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - It's later than planned, but the multiple group stakes winner Honour Devil finally makes his North American debut Wednesday in the $65,000 Mr. Right Stakes at Belmont Park.

In 2008, when recognized as a Southern Hemisphere-bred 3-year-old, Honour Devil won the UAE 2000 Guineas and the UAE Derby when trained by Michael de Kock. He did not race for 11 months before returning to action in Dubai during the winter, when he finished third in an allowance comeback and second in the Grade 3 Buri Nahaar on March 5.

In early April, Honour Devil was shipped to the United States and placed in the barn of trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Honour Devil was entered to run in the James Marvin overnight stakes at Saratoga on opening day but scratched after being diagnosed with a temperature. The James Marvin was won by Gold Trippi, who narrowly defeated Pyro. Pyro came back to win the Grade 1 Forego later in the meet.

Honour Devil, who will get Lasix for the first time, shows a sharp work tab leading into this race, run at 1 1/16 miles around one turn.

"He's training well, we need to get him going," McLaughlin said. "Seven furlongs would have been a better distance to bring him back at, but we'll get him started and see where we stand."

This race is full of horses who will tell their connections where they stand. Graded stakes winners Timber Reserve and Mint Lane both came back off lengthy layoffs at Saratoga with clunkers. Timber Reserve finished seventh to Etched in a classified allowance race, while it was another 18 lengths back to Mint Lane in that same race.

Timber Reserve, the 2007 Pennsylvania Derby winner, was coming off a 10-month layoff due to a suspensory issue and really needed that first start back, according to trainer John Kimmel.

"He blew pretty hard after the race. He ought to be tighter for this," Kimmel said. "He had two nice breezes."

Mint Lane was away for more than a year with a condylar fracture to his left hind leg, an injury he suffered in the 2008 Jim Dandy. Normally forwardly placed, Mint Lane broke poorly and tired after attempting to make a move down the backside.

Coal Play was sharp winning a third-level allowance race here in June before taking the Grade 3 Salvator Mile. However, Coal Play finished a rather lackluster fourth in the Philip Iselin at Monmouth last out over a sloppy track. He has worked extremely well over Saratoga's Oklahoma training track for trainer Nick Zito leading up to this race.