The UAE Derby Tipsheet
A huge and talented field of 14 will travel 1 3/16 miles at Meydan in Saturday’s $750,000 UAE Derby (G2). A total of 170 qualifying points (100-40-20-10) are on the line for the top-four finishers in the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series tilt.
UAE Derby Picks
- #14 Soft Whisper
- #10 Rebel’s Romance
- #6 Mouheeb
- #13 Mnasek
UAE Derby Wagers
- $15 win and place: 14
- $2 exacta box: 6,10,13,14
UAE Derby Contenders
#1 EL PATRIOTA was a Group 1 hero in Uruguay in his juvenile finale, and has performed well from a pair of outings at the carnival, as well. Al Bastakiya S. third was a bit flat late most recently, but he drew well near the inside to save ground early, and the son of Ecologo could peak in his third off the layoff. Top-four threat will stalk the pace early on.
#2 AMBIVALENT broke his maiden in a turf dash at Santa Anita last time out for O’Neill. Speedy son of Constitution has vast stakes experience, but he is a major question mark at the distance in his local debut.
#3 FIRE GROUP has failed to hit the board in three straight at the meeting and would be a big surprise. The Kentucky-bred maiden will need a lifetime best to challenge for a minor award.
#4 FRANCE GO DE INA is a highly regarded Japanese import who has dominated two fields in succession while going a route of ground. Chestnut son of Will Take Charge makes his seasonal debut in a very tough spot, but he might be up to the task with Joel Rosario taking the call.
#5 LUGAMO finished third in a sprint stakes at Laurel Park in his latest endeavor for Sano. The son of Chitu has obvious ability, but he looks to be in deep in a field with a lot of class and depth.
#6 MOUHEEB is a head shy from being unbeaten from three tries for Bachalard. The Kentucky-bred son of Flatter, who bagged the UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) most recently, has displayed versatility in his running style and will be tough if he can handle the distance.
#7 NEW TREASURE impressed in his first run on the dirt when third in the Saudi Derby. Gosden-trained son of New Approach stretches out from a mile for the initial time on Saturday, and he can’t be taken lightly while running for expert connections. Frankie Dettori will be up.
#8 PANADOL came away victorious in the Al Bastakiya S. to remain unbeaten from a pair of lifetime tries to date. New York-bred son of Flatter has displayed big early foot in both races to this stage of his development, and he could be the one to catch as the field straightens for home under Barzalona.
#9 PINK KAMEHAMEHA displayed a new dimension in his dirt debut last out when surprising in the Saudi Derby for Mori. Japanese-bred bay had questionable form prior to that victory, and he still must prove to me that his latest was not an outlier.
#10 REBEL’S ROMANCE suffered his first setback when fourth in the Saudi Derby, but will do better in his return to Meydan. Dubawi gelding from the mighty Appleby barn was a smart winner of the 2000 Guineas Trial here in January, and he might peak in his third try off the layoff, too. Regular pilot Buick stays in the controls.
#11 SPEIGHT’SPERCOMETE is still a maiden but comes in off a sharp runner-up performance at the distance in the recent Al Bastakiya S. for Watson. Charles Fipke homebred has rounded into nice form this campaign, and he has to be considered a top-four contender with another move in the right direction.
#12 TAKERU PEGASUS has gone off at short prices at Tokyo in three straight for Kato. Gray son of Dunkirk was a decent fourth in the Hyacinth S. off the layoff in his 2021 debut, and he gives the impression of a colt who will appreciate the distance on Saturday. Ryan Moore riding adds to the intrigue.
#13 MNASEK was much the best when posting a 6 1/2-length score in the UAE Oaks (G3) most recently. Daughter of Empire Maker appreciated the stretch out in distance last time out, and she wouldn’t be a surprise for Doug Watson.
#14 SOFT WHISPER dazzled in her two starts during the carnival prior to finishing a flat fifth in the Saudi Derby last time out. Classy filly from the bin Suroor shedrow is eligible to improve in a big way on her return to Meydan, and the UAE 1000 Guineas queen should offer great value with Cosgrave riding.