UAE Derby 2015: Overseas Horses Looking for Kentucky Derby Position
UAE Derby 2015; Overseas Horses Looking for Kentucky Derby Position: The Grade II UAE Derby, the final jewel of the United Arab Emirates Triple Crown, is to be contested on Saturday, March 28, 2015, on the Dubai World Cup undercard. The race is an opportunity for overseas horses to earn a spot in the Kentucky Derby as it offers 100 points to the winner and 40, 20, and 10 points for the following top finishers. The race is open to both Northern Hemisphere three-year-olds and Southern Hemisphere three-year-olds and is run over 1-3/16 miles (1900 meters) on the dirt. Last year, the race was won by Toast of New York, a horse who did not participate in the Kentucky Derby but months later almost won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, losing by a nose to Bayern. Fortunately, this year there are many horses with genuine Derby aspirations.
The favorite Mubtaahij, trained by Mike de Kock, looked strong winning the Al Bastakiya on March 7, 2015, on the Super Saturday Undercard in beating the Uruguayan champion Sir Fever by 2-½ lengths. The horse is well acclimated to the desert and is the one to beat, and if he wins he’ll be eligible to ship to Kentucky. Mubtaahij is a son of Dubawi, a sire that has produced mostly turf horses, but, curiously enough, this horse is doing very well on the dirt.
Maftool, the Godolphin hope to make the Kentucky Derby, beat Mubtaahij in the 2000 Guineas (GIII) over one mile but gave the impression that 1-3/16 miles could be too much distance for him. However, he skipped the Al Bastakiya and will thus be a fresh horse.
The Land of the Rising Sun, Japan, is also sending its artillery commanded by the Kentucky-bred Golden Barows, a Tapit progeny who looked impressive in winning the one-mile Hyacinth Stakes by several lengths. On paper, his pedigree looks too short, and he may not want to run two turns, but the way he won his last start scares even the bravest competitor. Golden Barows is yet another horse with public Kentucky Derby aspirations.
Trying to truncate Derby dreams, the Uruguayan Triple Crown horse Sir Fever is eligible to turn the tables in the UAE Derby. He finished a stubborn second in the Al Bastakiya even though he was returning from a four-month layoff and had only a short time to acclimate to the desert climate. Sir Fever is wearing blinkers for the first time, so he will be a central character of the race from the start. However, Sir Fever can’t compete in the Kentucky Derby since he is technically a four-year-old.
From America comes My Johnny Be Good, an Eoin Harty trainee who incredibly finished last in the Tampa Bay Derby (GII) on March 7. This colt is trying to bounce back in this spot and will be using his speed as a weapon.
This year, the UAE Derby is one of the most exciting and competitive races of Dubai World Cup night, and plenty of people will be keeping an eye on this race.
Although Mubtaahij is the horse to beat and the well-deserved favorite, Sir Fever has the ability to turn the tables in this spot if he improves as expected. Golden Barows has been on the radar lately, but this will be his first race going further than a mile. Does he want to run 1-3/16 miles? That mystery will be unveiled on March 28 during the running of the race.
UAE Derby 2015 Post Position & Odds
Race #4 (17:55 Dubai) 09:55 AM ET
1. Mubtaahij 9-4 C. Soumillon/M.de Kock
2. Motaa 33-1 J. Lezcano /B. Al Shainani
3. Alnajem Alfaiz 20-1 M.Barzalona/B. Al Shainani
4. Sir Fever 6-1 W.Buick /C.Appleby
5. Faithful Creek 14-1 K.Fallon/B.Meehan
6. Tap That 14-1 J.Moreira/Y.Ikee
7. Golden Barows 7-2 R.Moore/N.Hori
8. My Johnny Be Good 25-1 V.Espinoza/E.Harty
9. Maftool 4-1 P.Hanagan/S. Bin Suroor
10. Dear Domus 14-1 K.Miura/Y.Takahashi