©2014 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The “Road To The Kentucky Derby” takes us overseas Saturday to the emirate of Dubai in the country of the United Arab Emirates where Giovanni Boldini heads a field of 12 young Thoroughbreds as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the 14th running of the $2 million UAE Derby (G1) at Meydan Racecourse.
Television coverage of Dubai Racing can be seen Saturday on HRTV and TVG beginning at 9 a.m., ET. You can also watch Dubai Racing online here.
Of the 12 horses entered in the UAE Derby (G1), Giovanni Boldini, stablemate Sir John Hawkins (12-1) and Toast of New York (20-1) are the only horses that have been nominated to run in the Triple Crown. If one of those three wins this race, he will receive 100 points and a guaranteed spot in the starting gate of Kentucky Derby 140, provided that the connections want to run him the Derby.
For the past two years, the connections of Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, owners of Giovanni Boldini and Sir John Hawkins, have won the UAE Derby (G1) with Daddy Long Legs (2012) and Lines of Battle (2013) and both horses competed in the Kentucky Derby. So, it’s a good bet that if either of their two horses wins the UAE Derby (G1), he will probably run in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
I think that Giovanni Boldini and Sir John Hawkins will be competitive in this race. But, of those two, I like Sir John Hawkins the best and he’s my long shot pick to win the UAE Derby (G1).
Sir John Hawkins, a son of Henrythenavigator, has yet to run in a route race for trainer Aidan O’Brien and he comes into the Derby with 1-0-2 record in four starts. But, you can bet that O’Brien has run Sir John Hawkins over a route of ground many times in training and the connections have a good idea of his potential in this race.
And, Sir John Hawkins is the best-bred colt in this race with many magnificent Ancestral Herd influences which I will elaborate about later if he wins and runs in the Kentucky Derby.
One never knows how these young colts will fare as three year olds, but if Sir John Hawkins lives up to his breeding, I look for him to be tough in the UAE Derby (G1).
Argentinian import Cooptado (8-1) comes into the Derby with a 3-3-1 record in seven starts including a second-place finish in the Polla De Potrillos (Argentine Two Thousand Guineas, G1) and a win in the Gran Premio Nacional (Argentine Derby, G1) and looks like he could be very tough in this race.
Long John (3-1), winner of the UAE Two Thousand Guineas (G3), is a fast horse who should be able to handle the stretch out in distance and I look for him to be competitive.
A Toast of New York also has good breeding and he’s another long shot I like in this race.
Only three horses that have been entered in the UAE Derby (G1) are nominated to run in the Triple Crown – Giovanni Boldini, Sir John Hawkins and Toast of New York. If either of them finish in the top four they will receive 100 points for the win, 40 points for second-place, 20 points for third-place and 10 points for fourth-place. Here’s a look at the current top 20 list:
2014 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Individual Leaders ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. We Miss Artie, 60, Todd Pletcher, $544,000
2. Samraat, 60, Rick Violette, Jr., $450,000
3. Hoppertunity, 55, Bob Baffert, $376,000
4. Chitu, 54, Bob Baffert, $440,000
5. Intense Holiday, 53, Todd Pletcher, $327,500
6. Midnight Hawk, 52, Bob Baffert, $320,000
7. Wildcat Red, 50, Jose Garrofalo, $410,000
8. Ring Weekend, 50, Graham Motion, $210,000
9. California Chrome, 50, Art Sherman, $182,250
10. Tapiture, 42, Steve Asmussen, $420,738
11. Albano, 24, Larry Jones, $150,000
11. Uncle Sigh, 24, Gary Contessa, $150,000
13. Vinceremos, 20, Todd Pletcher, $190,000
14. Vicar’s in Trouble, 20, Mike Maker, $160,000
15. General A Rod, 20, Mike Maker, $140,000
16. Ride On Curlin, 15, Billy Gowan, $154,387
17. Havana, 14, Todd Pletcher, $660,000
18. Cairo Prince, 14, Kiaran McGlaughlin, $470,000
19. Kristo, 14, John Sadler, $56,000
20. Coastline, 13, Mark Casse, $129,679
DUBAI WORD CUP
A field of 16 horses will go to the starting gate Saturday in the 18th running of the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) at Meydan Racecourse.
I took a quick look at this race and landed on the 9-2 morning-line favorite, Ruler of the World. He was my long shot pick to win the Epsom Derby (G1) and I like him in this race, too.
Hokko Tarumae (12-1) is a long shot I like and think that he’ll be tough in this race.