Forbidden Kingdom Could Prove A Tough Foe In The Malibu

December 24, 2022

Forbidden Kingdom, The San Felipe (Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Stable Notes By Victor Ryan

ARCADIA, Calif.—This past winter at Santa Anita, Forbidden Kingdom bagged a pair of graded-stakes wins before he was upended as the even-money favorite in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby and subsequently sent to the sidelines. Following a nearly six-month break, the Grade I, $300,000 Malibu on Monday will be the American Pharoah colt’s third start on the comeback trail for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella.

Kingdom returned in the GII Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 2 where he dueled on a fast pace before fading to fifth. He took a step forward last month when narrowly defeated in a classified allowance at Del Mar by Get Her Number, who would come back to run second in the GI Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.

Following those two encouraging efforts, Mandella is looking forward to a top performance from Forbidden Kingdom on Monday.

“He ran well (at Del Mar), that was a good horse in that race,” Mandella noted. “I think he’s actually moved up a notch and is even better right now.”

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