06/12/2006 11:00PM

Museeb up next for Maktoums


ELMONT, N.Y. - The Maktoum family won seven races at Belmont Park last weekend, three of them stakes. Of course, the biggest prize was Jazil's win in the Belmont Stakes for Sheikh Hamdan bid Rashid al-Maktoum's Shadwell Stable and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. They are also the connections of , who heads Thursday's feature race.

The first-level allowance for 3-year-olds and up is scheduled for the inner turf at 1 1/8 miles, and goes as race 8. Nine were entered for turf, and two more were entered for dirt only.

Museeb will break from the far outside in post 9 if the race remains on the grass, but wide draws are something he has gotten used to in two starts since coming over from England to begin his 4-year-old season, each of them competitive efforts from post 9.

But after being outfinished going one mile at Gulfstream Park, and again at 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland, the main handicapping consideration may be whether Museeb can stay 1 1/8 miles.

"He was unlucky last time to lose a three-horse photo," said McLaughlin. "We were hoping to run him a little shorter, but that race hasn't gone. We need to run him, and he's doing very well."

A 4-year-old colt by Danzig, Museeb has a regal pedigree. He is a full brother to Elnadim, winner of the Group 1 July Cup, and his dam has produced several other stakes winners, including 1000 Guineas winner Mehthhaf.

Museeb looks like the class of the field based on a fourth-place finish in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes exactly one year ago. Among the 17 horses that finished behind him that afternoon at York were Luas Line and Aragorn, each of whom has since won a Grade 1 stakes in the United States. Luas Line won the Garden City Breeders' Cup last September, and Aragorn won the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile at Hollywood Park on Memorial Day.

"He's very well bred," McLaughlin said of Museeb. "We're hoping to get through this condition and move on to black type soon."

Among the contenders drawn inside Museeb are Federal Number, Operation Red Dawn, Church Service, and After Market.

After Market was an impressive maiden winner at Aqueduct last fall in his first and only start as a juvenile. He has had three workouts on the turf in May for trainer Bill Mott, and he is bred to handle dirt, important if the race moves to the main track.