Last updated: 3/25/13 5:10 PM
Derby points up for grabs in Dubai; Rain opts for Godolphin
|He’s Had Enough will try to rebound from three disappointing losses
(Breeders’ Cup Ltd.)
The Kentucky Derby Championship Series kicks into high gear with Saturday’s
Group 2, $2 million U.A.E. Derby at Meydan, the first race in the new scoring
system to offer a 100-point bonanza to the eligible winner. American rooting interests
revolve around He’s Had Enough and Dice Flavor, while Aidan O’Brien dispatches
Lines of Battle from Ireland, and Godolphin’s Secret Number tops the local
He’s Had Enough and Lines of Battle are the only American Triple Crown
nominees in the field, however, and therefore they are the only two eligible to
pocket points on Saturday.
He’s Had Enough, who briefly threatened Shanghai Bobby in the Breeders’ Cup
Juvenile, hasn’t run up to that level in three subsequent starts. Only fifth in
the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity, Tapit colt was no match for Flashback when third
in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis, and he wound up fifth in the Grade 2 Fountain of
Youth. He’s Had Enough represents the team responsible for last year’s Kentucky
Derby-winning champion, I’ll Have Another, but must step up to the plate here
for owner Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill.
Dice Flavor, a Paddy Gallagher
pupil, warrants respect off his 3 3/4-length score in the Grade 3 El Camino
Real Derby. Significantly, that came over the Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields, the
same synthetic surface he will encounter in Dubai.
Lines of Battle is launching his second global venture, having jetted in for
last November’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. The beautifully-bred
son of War Front was compromised by his far outside post 14 at Santa Anita, and wound up
seventh. In his only start on synthetic, however, Lines of Battle scampered to a
good-looking win in the Star Appeal at the Irish track Dundalk in October. He
makes his sophomore bow here, just like former stablemate Daddy Long Legs, who
won the 2012 U.A.E. Derby in his comeback.
Adding to the international presence are Law Enforcement and Keiai Leone. Law
Enforcement, based in England with Richard Hannon, won the Group 1 Gran
Criterium in Italy in October, while Keiai Leone won three straight in Japan
before finishing unplaced in his latest.
|Secret Number rolled past Zahee in the Al Bastakiya
(Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)
The undefeated Secret Number went to the head of the local class by taking
the March 9 Al Bastakiya at this track and about 1 3/16-mile distance.
Overcoming a slow start and a wide trip, the Saeed bin Suroor pupil reeled in
Zahee and won going away by two lengths.
The second through fifth in the Al Bastakiya will try again in the U.A.E.
Derby — Zahee, a New Zealand-bred from the Mike de Kock yard; Snowboarder,
trained by Mahmood al Zarooni; Irish-based Elleval; and the Argentinean-bred Emotif, another de Kock
Zahee and Emotif are four-year-olds according to Northern Hemisphere
reckoning and thus ineligible for the Kentucky Derby.
Zahee and Snowboarder had earlier placed in the Group 3 U.A.E. Two Thousand
Guineas. They are the only two who will have competed in all three legs of the
2013 U.A.E. Triple Crown.
Aside from Snowboarder, al Zarooni will also send out Now Spun, who switches to Tapeta after getting up in time in
the Meydan Classic on turf.
Bin Suroor is likewise double-handed, with the filly Shuruq joining Secret Number.
Shuruq was a close second in the U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas Trial, and in the
Guineas itself, before breaking through with a four-length victory in the Group
3 U.A.E. Oaks. She seeks to emulate Khawlah, a bin Suroor filly who turned the
Oaks/Derby double in 2011.
Conspicuously missing from the U.A.E. Derby field is the winner of the first
jewel of the Triple Crown, the undefeated Soft Falling Rain. His connections —
de Kock and owner Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum — have always insisted that he
wasn’t likely to stretch out for the Derby. True to their word, they have opted
to tackle older horses in Saturday’s Group 2, $1 million Godolphin Mile instead.
|Soft Falling Rain will put his unbeaten mark on the line in the Godolphin Mile
(Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)
Soft Falling Rain, the champion two-year-old colt in his native South Africa,
has impressed in his two outings in Dubai. A 2 1/2-length winner of the Guineas
Trial, he was nearly as dominant in the Two Thousand Guineas at a metric mile,
where he set a new stakes record. The National Assembly colt will now put his
perfect mark on the line in his first try versus elders.
De Kock has two others in the mix, Master of Hounds and Rerouted. Master of
Hounds, the near-misser to the filly Khawlah in the 2011 U.A.E. Derby, was most
recently fifth as the defending champion in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta on turf.
Rerouted, a two-time winner at the Carnival in handicap company, takes a class
As might be expected, Godolphin always holds a strong hand in this race. The
team’s prime contender is al Zarooni’s Moonwalk in Paris, who captured one local
prep, the Group 3 Firebreak, and finished third in another, the Group 3 Burj
Nahaar. Stablemate Time Prisoner, a French Group 3 winner on turf, figures to
enjoy stepping up in trip off a fourth in the Group 3 Mahab al Shimaal.
Bin Suroor rounds out the Godolphin quartet with Alpha, last year’s Grade 1
Travers dead-heater who showed little in his Meydan debut, and Saamidd, another
who needs to move forward here.
The Satish Seemar-trained Surfer shortens up after two solid efforts behind
World Cup threat Hunter’s Light. Second in the Group 2 Maktoum Challenge Round
2, he tired to fourth in the Group 1 Maktoum Challenge Round 3, and should enjoy
the cutback to a metric mile.
Other Carnival regulars looking to take their chance are Capital Attraction,
a much-improved second in the Burj Nahaar; Barbecue Eddie, whose form has gone
the other way since his victory in the Group 2 Maktoum Challenge Round 1 in
January; and the Ali Rashid al Raihe pair of Haatheq and Mufarrh, runner-up in
the 2011 edition of this race.
The international invasion for the Godolphin Mile includes German highweight
Zazou, fifth in last year’s World Cup; multiple Group 2 victor Penitent, last
seen finishing second in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret in October; Sarkiyla, a
distant third to Moonlight Cloud and Farhh in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin last
campaign; and Red Jazz, the third-placer in the past two Godolphin Miles who was
unplaced in the Burj Nahaar.
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