06/26/2007 11:00PM

Makderah looks the real deal

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LAS VEGAS - Watch out, Citronnade, Wait a While, and Honey Ryder - there is a new player in the filly-and-mare turf division. While there are dozens of fillies imported from overseas every year, Makderah may be something special.

A listed stakes winner at Ascot, Makderah was also Group 3-placed at Goodwood and has finished out of the money only once in 10 lifetime starts. She was good at 3 last year, but the addition of Lasix, which is banned in Europe and most other countries, has turned her into a different kind of animal. Second in her U.S. debut at Keeneland on April 27, she turned the corner in her second stateside effort in a nine-furlong allowance on May 31, blowing her field away in the stretch with a devastating turn of foot.

This past Saturday at Belmont in the New York Breeders' Cup, Makderah looked equally impressive, winning as she pleased over a watered-down field after the scratches of Vacare and Barancella. Despite the lack of serious competition, this race was a showcase for Makderah, who will certainly move on to bigger things.

Makderah has the kind of pedigree to drool over. She has nothing but class throughout her pedigree, starting with her late sire, Danehill, the most successful son of a renowned sire of sires, Danzig.

Kin to Nashwan, Unfuwain, Alwasmi

It is always about class in the dam, and Makderah's female family is as good as it gets. Her dam, Wijdan (Mr. Prospector), was only stakes-placed in England, but her female family made her an attractive broodmare the day she was born no matter what she did on the racetrack.

Wijdan is out of the Bustino mare Height of Fashion, often considered the most important racehorse that Queen Elizabeth II has ever owned and bred. A champion at 2 in England, Height of Fashion became a prodigious broodmare, producing a four-time Group 1 winner and champion Nashwan (by Blushing Groom), who sired more than 40 stakes winners, including two-time champion Bago, as well as champions Wandesta, One So Wonderful, Myself, Najah, and Nashatara. Height of Fashion also produced multiple Group 1 winner Nayef (Gulch); Group 3 winner Unfuwain (Northern Dancer); and Group 3 winner Alwasmi (Northern Dancer). Height of Fashion also is the dam of Manwah (Lyphard), the dam of Mustanfar.

Height of Fashion's dam, Highclere (Queens Hussar), won two Group 1 races, the English 1000 Guineas and the Prix de Diane, and placed in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes behind the great Dahlia. Most importantly, Highclere is the dam of Burghclere (Busted), the dam of Group 1 winner Wind in Her Hair, who underscored what class in the dam means by producing the Japanese sensation Deep Impact, who won the Japanese Triple Crown in 2005 and was Japan's Horse of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

This is obviously a pedigree of the highest class, and by year's end, we may look back to the New York Breeders' Cup victory as the race that catapulted Makderah into prominence. Not originally nominated to the Breeders' Cup, Makderah no doubt will be supplemented to the races by her owner and breeder, Shadwell Stable, if she continues to develop for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Short field for Suburban

This Saturday's Suburban Handicap was supposed to be the first start for last year's Horse of the Year, Invasor, since he won the Dubai World Cup in March, and a return to glory for the talented but brittle Harlington. But Invasor was retired after fracturing a sesamoid bone in his right hind leg during a workout, and Harlington was withdrawn from consideration on Monday because of an unspecified foot problem. Invasor's departure leaves the older division up for grabs, and Corinthian, who has emerged as a serious player this year at age 4 with victories in the Metropolitan Handicap and Gulfstream Park Handicap, can strengthen his case with a victory in the Suburban, a race that has a rich history. The winners of the Suburban are a who's who of the sport and include Equipoise (1933), Assault (1947), Nashua (1956), Kelso (1961, 1963), Buckpasser (1967), Dr. Fager (1968), Forego (1975), Easy Goer (1990), Skip Away (1997), and Invasor (2006).

Hesanoldsalt, second in five consecutive races against the likes of Invasor, Corinthian, Flashy Bull, and Papi Chullo, looms as Corinthian's biggest threat, particularly at 1 1/4 miles. A full brother to Donn Handicap winner Mongoose, Hesanoldsalt, who is a Grade 3 stakes winner, has developed into a Grade 1 runner and deserves to win one of these big races. Hesanoldsalt's third dam, Jungle Mythologic, is a half-sister to Gold Sun, the second dam of a two-time Horse of the Year, Cigar.

Others expected for the Suburban include Malibu Moonshine, a 5-year-old son of Malibu Moon (A.P. Indy) whose fifth dam is the 1953 2-year-old filly champion, Evening Out; Fairbanks, a half-brother to Keats by Giant's Causeway (whose son Mike Fox won last weekend's Queen's Plate); and Political Force, a son of Unbridled's Song and multiple stakes winner Glitter Woman who was second in the Metropolitan Handicap but who may find 1 1/4 miles a furlong too far.