04/04/2014 2:14PM

Kentucky Derby: Toast of New York unlikely to ship

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Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club
Toast of New York wins the UAE Derby at Meydan.

Michael Buckley, owner of Toast of New York, the winner of the UAE Derby, told the British racing channel Racing UK on Friday that it was unlikely Toast of New York would come to the United States for the Kentucky Derby on May 3.

“No decisions have been made, but I think it’s fair enough to say I don’t think the concept of going off to Kentucky on the other side of the world and slogging around on the dirt is a fair thing to do with a horse like him,” Buckley said.

“It’s a time when 3-year-olds are growing and maturing, and he’s been hard training the whole year. I just think it will be unfair to do that. I think he might develop even more. He’s a horse with a lot of potential. He’s very good, and we think it’s right to give him the time to prove how good he is.”

Toast of New York has never raced on dirt. He has made all his starts on synthetic or turf, and his only wins have been on synthetic.

If Toast of New York does not come to the Derby, that would be welcome news for horses currently on the bubble in terms of making the Derby field, which is capped at 20 runners and is based on points earned in races designated by Churchill Downs. Toast of New York earned 100 points for his UAE Derby victory, which guaranteed him a spot in the field, so if he does not run, that opens a spot for another horse.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]