Arabian Lion (Justify) Wins Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico

Arabian Lion Romps to Sir Barton Victory

It was a first stakes victory for Arabian Lion (3c Justify x Unbound, by Distorted Humor) on Saturday when he romped to victory in the Listed Sir Barton Stakes.

Racing on the Preakness undercard, Arabian Lion bobbled out of the gate as the favorite but was quickly back into stride. Taking command from there, he easily handled the pressure thrown at him around the far turn in the 1 1/16 mile race before starting to build his margin.

None of the horses were a serious challenge for the Justify son, who won by four lengths with the third placed runner 10 ½ lengths back.

Trained by Bob Baffert for Zedan Racing Stables, Arabian Lion has finished in the top two in four of his six starts with a second-place finish in the Grade III Lexington Stakes last out as well. The Bonne Chance Farm-bred was purchased by his racing owner for $600,000 from Hidden Brook at last year’s OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds as the third most expensive Justify juvenile of the season.

“He is like a smaller version of Justify and I think he is just starting to wake up,” Baffert said. “What I saw today, and that time was pretty impressive, I think he [belonged] in the Preakness the way he ran today … the Belmont is a possibility with him.”

Arabian Lion is one of four winners out of the stakes placed Unbound, who herself is a half-sister to stakes placed Mary Rita. Mary Rita produced multiple graded stakes winner Major Dude with the pair out of a daughter of bluehen mare Personal Ensign.

Under Personal Ensign’s name on Arabian Lion’s page is her Grade I winning daughter My Flag, who produced champion Storm Flag Flying with that one the granddam of two Grade II winners. Grade I winners Seeking the Soul, Miner’s Mark, Mr. Speaker and Traditionally all descend from Personal Ensign as well.

Justify’s 10 Northern Hemisphere-foaled stakes performers leads all second crop stallions while his eight stakes winners puts him in second in his crop.