Mubtaahij (IRE) and American Pharaoh are the best of the crop.Personally, it's really hard for me to type that sentence given the overall horrible performance record in the Kentucky Derby for colts traveling from Duabai (with regards to Mubtaahij), and the fact that it's hard to take the Derby gate-to-wire (with regards to American Pharaoh).
As is the case every single year during the three-year-old colt spring stakes season, we really don't have a good clue as to the level of talent these horses were facing. Typically, these races are short on actual bona fide stakes horses, at least when we look ahead to the summer and fall. But, really, that's not the most important thing when looking for a Derby winner (at least in my mind). What really matters are horses that are running at a high level while still possessing room for improvement. It's also nice to find a horse that's dealt with some trouble but when you deal with as chalky of a prep season as this one, sometimes you have to make exceptions.
With Mubtaahij and American Pharaoh, I think we have the two most talented three-year-old colts in the crop, as well as a couple of colts with room to grow. Additionally, I think Mubtaahij displayed a lot of professionalism during his romp in the UAE Derby.