It has been one year and seems like only yesterday that the two best dirt horses in the world came storming down the stretch in the Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1). Arrogate collared Gun Runner and drove past to an epic victory, but the latter's connections – trainer Steve Asmussen and part-owner Winchell Thoroughbreds – look to 'fly the W' (that's the 'W' on their famous maroon and white silks) this year in the $2 million UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2).
Just like Gun Runner, Reride is a son of Candy Ride, and also like his famous former stablemate, he makes up for his smaller stature with formidable grit. He put the signature on such constitution last out in the $100,000 Mine That Bird Derby in Sunland Park, defeating well-regarded Runaway Ghost and earning a 91 Beyer Speed Figure. It was his second stakes win in a row at an off-the-beaten-path track, having also taken the January 13th Big Drama Stakes at Delta Downs in rural Louisiana five weeks prior. Now, five weeks break again, from one desert to another, he steps up in trip by about 200m and ships across the world to Dubai.
“We just thought that there was an undiscovered road to the (Kentucky) Derby that runs Delta-Sunland-Meydan,” joked David Fiske, racing manager for Winchell Thoroughbreds. “Reride, to this point, has shown himself to be reliable, undeterred by distance and able to ship. We thought his running style would suit the UAE Derby and the purse is very attractive. Mr. Asmussen has demonstrated he can successfully take a horse to Dubai.”
Asmussen also trained 2008 Dubai World Cup winner Curlin.
The UAE Derby offers 170 qualification points for the Kentucky Derby (G1) in early May. One-hundred of those go to the winner.
In other UAE Derby news, Al Bastakiya (Listed) winner Yulong Warrior has been reclaimed via purchase by Zhang Yue Sheng and will run under his Yulong banner on Dubai World Cup night. He remains a Satish Seemar trainee.
UAE Derby Likely Runners: Mendelssohn, Gold Town, Seahenge, Threeandfourpence, Taiki Ferveur, Rayya, Ruggero, Reride, Yulong Warrior
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