UAE Derby 2022 Entries: KYD148 Points are still out of reach for Baffert

The UAE Derby is one of several international races with KYD148 'Points' implications. When it comes down to it, 4 runners will receives 100-40-20-10, respectively. Check out this preview below ...
The UAE Derby is one of several international races with KYD148 "Points" implications. When it comes down to it, 4 runners will receives 100-40-20-10, respectively. Check out this preview below ...

Race 5: 1 3/16ths, 1900m (Dirt), UAE Derby (G2), Purse $1 Million, 3 (Saturday)

There are many paths to the 148th Kentucky Derby, but they are dwindling as we head towards April. The Dubai World Cup Carnival is a “last ditch” opportunity, especially for international runners. Specifically, the Group 2 UAE Derby represents one of the last opportunities for Outside-the-U.S. colts to earn that all-important ticket to Churchill Downs. At stake are “Points” that include… 100-40-20-10, which are slated for those that finish 1st through 4th. The 1 3/16th Dirt distance is specially structured in preparation for the “Run for the Roses.” Last year, it was Charlie Appleby’s Rebel’s Romance who won nicely. But this Godolphin-owned router never made an appearance along the Triple Crown Trail … will this year’s winner be different? What we do know is that only 13 of the 16 runners that are entered in the 2022 race are eligible for KYD “Points.” The other 3 were bred in the Southern Hemisphere, and are considered to be already 4-yrs-old. They will carry 10 lbs. (4.5kg) more for those from the Northern Hemisphere, and will be pointed out below.

Let’s find out about this field…


* Number denotes gate position ...

#1 Reiwa Homare (JPN) (Jky: C. Lemaire/Trn: T. Daisuke): (16/1)

After 1 career race, it is hard to see this young colt coming to Dubai and winning a race as tough as this one. With an expansive field, and a big crowd on-hand, it will be a pretty jarring experience, I would imagine. Luckily, Christophe Lemaire, a jockey with undeniable international talent, gets the call.

Grade: C+


#2 Quality Boone (ARG) (Jky: V. Leal/Trn: A.C. Pereira): (12/1)

Part of an uncoupled entry for Pereira, a South American-based conditioner, there are pros and cons to be found here. To the good … this 4-yr-old has major local experience on the MT at Meydan. In 4 career races in Dubai, he owns a pair of wins. This will be the stiffest test yet (especially carrying the extra weight), but with Leal aboard once again, he could be a great pick at a double-digit price.

Grade: B-


#3 Island Falcon (IRE) (Jky: P. Cosgrove/Trn: S. bin Suroor): (25/1)

One of a pair of Godolphin entries, the last time we saw this colt it was against Pinehurst #6, the victor in the Saudi Derby (G3). The 2 colts will square off again, and I am not sure that the result will be any different. Clearly, this is the weaker of “Blues,” and I would not back this one without understanding that there is a certain amount of risk. Advice … come to America and try the turf at Belmont and Saratoga during the summer.

Grade: C


#4 Azure Coast (Jky: A. Fresu/Trn: P. Vashchenko): (6/1)

This son of the great Street Sense is a perfect 3/3 in Dubai, and he really showed his stuff last time in the UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) against a pair of rivals that are drawn-in for this race. Trainer Vashchenko is looking to usurp the current international situation, and get a win for owner Vladimir Kazakov. The sporting culture of the world continues to spin on, I suppose. A chance, if this one can take a step forward …

Grade: B


#5 Bendoog (Jky: T. O’Shea/Trn: B. Seemar): (16/1)

One of several charges from the Seemar Barn, this well-bred son of Gun Runner was 3rd behind Quality Boone (ARG) #2 last time out at Meydan. On the dam side, he has Mineshaft in his bloodline, so it is safe to say that this one should be able to have a great routing career. With a high-level of fitness coming into this race, I would say this could be a great sleeper pick at a price.

Grade: B-


#6 Pinehurst (Jky: F. Prat/Trn: B. Baffert): (4/1)

The ace of the field, and one of 4 that cannot “earn” Derby “Points.” Bob Baffert continues to fight for his life in the American courts. The state of Kentucky, and Churchill Downs Inc. do not seem to want him in their neck of the woods. So, what do you do? Continue to race this colt in the Middle East … Last month, SF/Starlight/Madaket’s investment won nicely with Flavien Prat in the Saudi Derby (G3). Now, it is time to see just how good he truly is against a big field of cohorts. The son of Twirling Candy lost to Forbidden Kingdom in the San Vicente S. (G2) at Santa Anita, so he is vulnerable to early speed. If Prat can get him to the lead, then Baffert wins the cash … but not the “Points.”

Grade: A-


#7 Combustion (JPN) (Jky: W. Buick/Trn: I. Keizo): (9/2)

The Japanese are setting records when it comes to their brood mare bands, and here is another example of a “future star.” This Godolphin homebred is by Discreet Cat, out of a Smoldering mare, and trainer Keizo has brought him along nicely. Back in February at Tokyo Racecourse, he bested a field of 13 others enroute to a Listed score. The ante gets upped coming to Dubai, but I think he is ready to take the stage. A top pick that I will be betting with gusto …

Grade: A


#8 Summer Is Tomorrow (Jky: M. Barzalona/Trn: B. Seemar): (33/1)

More from the Seemar establishment … this colt by Summer Front has bumped along in the lower ranks primarily at Meydan. It is hard to see this one measuring up against such tough competition as this … way more to do. Will be a boxcar price come Saturday, for sure.

Grade: C


#9 Gilded Age (Jky: L. Saez/Trn: B. Mott): (10/1)

The Grade 3 Withers Stakes ended up being a very important “key” race because it has produced such a good group of runners. How about Early Voting, Un Ojo, and Grantham? Well, this Bill Mott-trainee was 3rd in that contest, and ended up with 2 “Points” to his credit. Now, the HOF conditioner rolls the dice, and comes to a place he has been to before—Meydan. With a recent workout at Mott’s base (Payson Park) on 11 March, the only real question is, how did the colt ship? Expert rider, Luis Saez, the jockey who won the DWC last year, gets the call. Big chance … great barn … son of Medaglia d’Oro …

Grade: B+


#10 Crown Pride (JPN) (Jky: D. Lane/Trn: S. Koichi): (14/1)

The wonderful colors of yellow, black, and yellow will once again come calling in the UAE. The Yoshida name is synonymous with victory, and solid training. Speaking of conditioner Koichi, he has this son of Reach The Crown angling for a victory. But with only 1 career race under his saddle, his colt is going to have to be ready to run. He was 6th behind Godolphin ace, Combustion #7. Is it time for some redemption? We shall see …

Grade: B-


#11 Withering (GB) (Jky: A. de Vries/Trn: F.A. Nass): (16/1)

Here is a son of the great Mondialiste that is trying to move markedly up the class ladder. Last out, she was runner-up to Quality Boone (ARG) #2, which based on the tote, was a bit of a miss. I am not sure that coming into the UAE Derby (G2) he really has the opportunity to improve. Losses to Azure Coast #4 and Bendoog #5 do not reflect well, especially when it comes time to decide who is ready, and who is not … this is a “not” for me …

Grade: C


#12 Get Back Goldie (Jky: I. Ortiz/Trn: D. O’Neill): (33/1)

Trainer Doug O’Neill does not just have Hot Rod Charlie running on Saturday … This colt by Goldencents is looking to outrun his own odds. His record is highly-circumspect, considering that he was not able to raise his game last out in the Al Bastakiya (the same race that Quality Boone (ARG) #2 won on 5 Mar). Of course, the best news is that the SoCal-based conditioner hires Irad Ortiz to ride. He just happened to be hanging around the “jock’s room.” Lucky … I would say … Way more to prove against this tough field …

Grade: C+


#13 Irwin (ARG) (Jky: F. Goncalves/Trn: A.C. Pereira): (20/1)

Here is the other “half” of Pereira’s uncoupled entry (weight added … being from the Southern Hemisphere), and even though this son of Seek Again has not been seen on-track since last fall, he was pretty impressive. Winning the Gran Premio Nacional (G1) at Palermo was certainly a feather in the connection’s cap. However, coming to the UAE, and running in a spot like this one, will not be easy. More to do … but this barn has moxie, sprinkled with some desire to score on one of the world’s greatest Thoroughbred stages.

Grade: C+


#14 Seiku (JPN) (Jky: C. Demuro/Trn: T. Koshiro): (4/1)

Here is a well-bred son of Henry Hughes that comes to Meydan after running 2nd to Baffert’s entry in the Saudi Derby (G3). Regular rider Cristian Demuro retains the mount, which is an excellent move. This colt really surprised in that contest, and at odds that hovered around 12/1, it is safe to say that he ended up a major overlay. If he can move the ball forward, and somehow keep up with Prat and his on-the-engine-type, then this could be a “win” for Japan at Meydan. Lookout for this late runner …

Grade: A-


#15 Kiefer (BRZ) (Jky: H.F. Lazo/Trn: R. Columbo): (14/1)

Trainer Columbo sent this colt by Drosselmeyer over to the Saudi Derby (G3), and the result was less than successful. It all depends though on how you look at it. Sure, he ended up 6th, well behind Pinehurst #6, but he was 16/1. Now, with the weight adjustment because of his Southern Hemisphere roots, it is another chance to make a splash. This is probably another long shot attempt though …

Grade: C+


#16 Arabian Gazelles (Jky: R. Mullen/Trn: B. Seemar): (20/1)

Breaking from the extreme outside, against a big field like this one, is never an easy task. If you are a need-the-lead-type, then your opportunity can close very quickly. The last of the Seemar Stable runners, here is a colt by Mastery with only a pair of races under his saddle. That would not be so bad if they were not lower-level contests at Meydan. It is going to take a monumental effort by Rich Mullen to get this one out of the gate, and on the lead. Simply too big an ask …

Grade: C


The DWC22 is here! Should be a great set of races from Meydan in the UAE! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter … Horseracing_USA !!!

Kentucky Derby 2022