It appears that trainer Todd Pletcher may be planning to send a Kentucky Derby contender to contest the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-I) on March 26th at Meydan, as Pletcher has nominated an impressive contingent of eight horses to the 1900-meter race.
The UAE Derby offers Kentucky Derby qualification points to the top four finishers on a 100-40-20-10 basis. In recent years, it has been held over a synthetic Tapeta track, making it less appealing as a prep for the Kentucky Derby, but Meydan’s return to dirt last year has sparked more interest in the race from U.S.-based Derby contenders.
Here’s a quick rundown of the colts that Pletcher has nominated to the UAE Derby:
- Battery–runner-up to Cherry Win in an 8.5-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream.
- Destin–fourth in the LeComte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds.
- Donegal Moon–fifth in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct.
- Mongolian Prince–New Zealand-bred runner now in training with Pletcher at Palm Beach Downs.
- Outwork–winner of an April maiden race at Keeneland; on the comeback trail.
- Pinstripe–Gulfstream maiden winner that finished sixth in the OBS Sprint Stakes.
- Rally Cry–winner of a one-mile maiden race at Gulfstream.
- Zulu–unbeaten maiden and allowance winner at Gulfstream.
Other U.S.-based horses that have been nominated to the race include Frank Conversation, winner of the California Derby; Vorticity, runner-up in the Jerome Stakes (gr. III); and Z Royal, fifth in the LeComte Stakes (gr. III).
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to sign up for email newsletters and special offers from The Turf Board! Also, if you’re a fan of horse racing history, please check out my upcoming book Lost to the Ages: 10 Forgotten Champions of U.S. Horse Racing, scheduled for release later this year!