Preakness profile: Mongolian Wind
It remains to be seen whether Mongolian Wind has the class to compete against the best of his generation in the Oct. 3 Preakness (G1) at Pimlico. But at least the 1 3/16-mile distance shouldn’t be any issue.
Bred by Ganbaatar Dagvadorj, Mongolian Wind is a son of Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Mucho Macho Man, out of the Afternoon Deelites mare Heckuva Good Time, which gives the bay gelding a pedigree geared toward success over classic distances.
Mongolian Wind has thrived racing a mile or farther. Owned by Mongolian Stable and Andrew Stronach, Mongolian Wind debuted under the care of trainer Enebish Ganbat. The gelding broke slowly in a $20,000 maiden claiming race at Santa Anita and rallied mildly to finish seventh. A month later, he stepped up to the $40,000 level and rallied with determination to win a 1-mile event at Los Alamitos by a neck, with the next-out winners Beaumont Beaux and Big Cheddar among his beaten rivals.
Mongolian Wind then traveled northeast to Assiniboia in Canada, where new trainer Wade Eno prepared the improving gelding for a run in the 1 1/8-mile Manitoba Derby.
He flashed more early speed in the Manitoba Derby, settled a couple lengths off the pace, and rallied gamely to prevail by a head in 1:54.00.
Mongolian Wind reiterated his affinity for Assiniboia when he employed similar tactics to comfortably defeat older rivals in the 1 1/8-mile Gold Cup S. After he rated in mid-pack, about 2 1/2 lengths behind the early tempo, Mongolian Wind drew away in the homestretch to prevail by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:52.00.
Now that he has conquered the best of Assinoboia, Mongolian Wind is slated to try his hand against much tougher competition in the Preakness. Although not currently a Triple Crown nominee, his connections have confirmed Mongolian Wind will be supplemented to the 1 3/16-mile race at a cost of $25,000.
It’s an ambitious goal. Mongolian Wind has never run in a graded stakes races, let alone a classic. With a career-best 82 Brisnet Speed rating, he’ll need a big step forward to vie for victory.
On the other hand, Mongolian Wind is improving at the right time, and he figures to appreciate the added distance of the Triple Crown’s restructured third jewel. He’ll be a longshot in the betting, but this is horse racing. Anything can happen.