Which Horses Should You Avoid Betting in the Kentucky Derby?

Plus Que Parfait wins the UAE Derby (DRC/Neville Hopwood) When it comes to handicapping the Kentucky Derby and playing complex wagers like the trifecta and superfecta, eliminating horses from consideration is often just as helpful as identifying the horses you like. Simply qualifying to the Derby is an accomplishment in and of itself, so it goes without saying that the 20 horses who will line up in the Churchill Downs starting gate are all talented individuals. But in [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby: Will Frustrations Continue for Dubai Shippers?

Plus Que Parfait winning the UAE Derby - © Dubai Racing Club/Mathea Kelley It’s safe to say that few (if any) major Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races have had less of an impact on the annual outcome at Churchill Downs than the UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. Held five weeks before the first Saturday in May, the UAE Derby seems like an event that should produce major Kentucky Derby contenders. With a rich [...]

Plus Que Parfait Rebounds in UAE Derby

Plus Que Parfait winning the UAE Derby - © Dubai Racing Club/Mathea Kelley After being soundly defeated in two Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races at Fair Grounds this winter, it seemed as though the Derby trail had come to an end for Plus Que Parfait. But his undaunted connections persevered and set their sights on another target—the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, offering 100 Kentucky Derby qualification points to the winner. And [...]

Picks and Plays for Dubai World Cup Night

Almond Eye winning the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association By far the best race card in the world this Saturday will take place at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, where the eight Thoroughbred races on Dubai World Cup Night will pit high-class runners from around the world against each other in a series of rich stakes events. I’ve gone through the card and have put together a list of horses that interest me [...]

Why I’m Betting Walking Thunder in the UAE Derby

Meydan Racecourse - Coady Photography The international roads to the Kentucky Derby will heat up significantly this weekend, with the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai being the main highlight. A major Road to the Kentucky Derby steppingstone offering 100 qualification points to the winner, the UAE Derby has never produced a Kentucky Derby champion, but it has produced plenty of Derby starters through the years and figures to produce one or two more [...]

Godolphin Holds Strong Hand on Super Saturday at Meydan

Thunder Snow winning the 2018 Dubai World Cup - Coady Photography High-class racing action will kick off earlier than usual on Saturday thanks to a stakes-packed card at Meydan in Dubai that includes two Group 1 events. Billed as “Super Saturday,” these races serve as major steppingstones toward the March 30 Dubai World Cup program, and several prominent runners aiming for big races three weeks from now will be in action. First and foremost is Thunder Snow, who [...]

Jahbath, Playa Del Puente Prevail in European Derby Preps

The European Road to the Kentucky Derby took a couple of significant turns on March 6, as one noteworthy name lived up to expectations and another fell short in his first start of the season. Jahbath was a clear favorite to win the one-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes over the all-weather track at Kempton in England, which was hardly a surprise since he’d won his last three starts (including two course-and-distance victories) in decisive fashion. Securing a [...]

Kentucky Derby, Oaks Candidates Face Off in Japan’s Hyacinth Stakes

Tokyo Racecourse (Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association) If you’re a forward-looking handicapper already anticipating major spring races like the UAE Derby, Kentucky Derby, and Kentucky Oaks, then I encourage you to stay up late on Saturday night and check out the Hyacinth Stakes in Japan. Held over a metric mile at Tokyo Racecourse, the Hyacinth (which technically takes place at 12:25 a.m. Eastern on Sunday Morning) serves as the third leg of the Japan Road to [...]

Dubai Carnival Update: Walking Thunder Carries Derby Dreams for Dubai

Thunder Snow winning the 2018 Dubai World Cup - Coady Photography From the deserts of the Middle East to the bluegrass of Kentucky, who’s coming to Churchill Downs by way of Dubai? With 170 Kentucky Derby qualification points on the line in the March 30 UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, we're bound to see one or two horses use the desert challenge as a springboard to Churchill Downs. Although no UAE Derby starter has ever [...]

Mendelssohn Posts Breathtaking Victory in UAE Derby

Mendelssohn winning the UAE Derby - Coady Photography Breathtaking. Brilliant. Astonishing. Unprecedented. Take your pick, because any of these adjectives can be applied to the tremendous victory by Mendelssohn in Saturday’s $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan in Dubai, which earned him 100 qualification points for the 2018 Kentucky Derby while thoroughly stamping him as a horse to watch on the first Saturday in May. The fact that Mendelssohn prevailed in the UAE Derby was not surprising [...]