It was a third Grade 1 win of the year for TAIBA in the Malibu Stakes (G1) one start after finishing a strong third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in November.
TAIBA was ready to go to war from the time they broke from the gate and settled just behind Forbidden Kingdom in the seven-furlong dirt race. First Perfect Flight and then Straight No Chaser stuck close to TAIBA as TAIBA made his bid with just over a quarter left to run. TAIBA took over the lead in the turn, but Straight No Chaser wasn’t letting him get away that easily and battled to the eighth pole.
TAIBA decided he’d had enough of that game in the final furlong and left him behind before romping home to a 4 ¼ length win in 1:21.75 for his fourth win from seven 2022 starts with two other top three finishes.
A flagship runner for Zedan Racing Stables, TAIBA eclipsed the $1.7 million Zedan Racing Stables purchased him for in 2021 during his 2022 campaign. After breaking his maiden on debut in March, he raced exclusively in Grade 1 company with three wins, a head loss in the Haskell Stakes (G1), and just missed finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
It was the second stakes winner of the day for Zedan Racing Stable after Grade 1 winner Country Grammer won the San Antonio Stakes.