04/08/2014 11:24AM

Kentucky Derby: Toast of New York will not travel to Churchill Downs

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Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club
United Arab Emirates Derby winner Toast of New York will not travel to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, his trainer, Jamie Osborne, said Tuesday.

Trainer Jamie Osborne on Tuesday made official what he and owner Michael Buckley had insinuated for the past week: Toast of New York, the winner of the United Arab Emirates Derby, will not travel to the United States for the May 3 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Toast of New York’s withdrawal will be welcome news for the connections of horses currently on the bubble on the points list for a berth in the Derby, which has a maximum field of 20. Toast of New York earned 100 Derby qualifying points for his UAE Derby victory, which guaranteed him a spot in the Derby field under the system used by Churchill Downs. By not coming, that will open a slot for a horse who would have been excluded.

“He came out of the UAE Derby well, but we just don’t feel that at this stage of his life, it would be fair to put him on a plane and go to another continent to run over a surface he’s never been on,” Osborne said by telephone Tuesday from Great Britain. “It’s a difficult question to ask of him.”

Toast of New York has never raced on dirt. All of his races have been on turf or synthetic, and all of his victories have been on synthetic.

“We think we’re doing the right thing for the horse,” Osborne said. “It’s the timing – within five weeks’ time having him on three different continents.”

Osborne said Toast of New York would be pointed to the June 7 Epsom Derby. He said he would strongly consider bringing Toast of New York to the United States later this year, mentioning the Grade 1, $500,000 Secretariat Stakes, a 1 1/4-mile grass race Aug. 16 at Arlington Park, as a possible target.

“That could be ideal for him,” Osborne said.

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

There will be plenty of scoreboard watching this weekend because the Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass Stakes are worth 170 points each – with 100 for first and 40 for second – and their results could have a significant impact on who’s in and who’s out with three weeks to go until the Kentucky Derby.

The top two finishers in the Blue Grass Stakes will leap into the top 15 on the points list and push down anyone below them. The only horse in the Arkansas Derby already high on the points list is Tapiture, who has 42. Those on the bubble need him to do well. Hypothetically, if he runs third behind Bayern and Commissioner, that will knock the bubble horses back more, since Bayern (currently zero points) and Commissioner (10 points) would leapfrog past them.

Ring Weekend, who earned 50 points for his Tampa Bay Derby win but was a distant second in the Calder Derby last Saturday, is returning to trainer Graham Motion’s base in Fair Hill, Md., where Motion said he’ll “see how he does in the next week or so” before a decision is made on whether to run in the Derby.

zkid9914 More than 1 year ago
This site has become useless. Off to BloodHorse.
Bob More than 1 year ago
I couldn't agree more. he Blood Horse is far better journalism and the BRIS PPs are vastly superior to the tired, worn out drivel that the DRF is selling for outrageous prices!
Raymond Hackinson More than 1 year ago
The UAE derby is a waste to give points to. Why waste valuable points to on a race where the winner is highly unlikely to be competitive or even run in the KY Derby? Give the points, at least some of them, to the Illinois Derby winner
Bugsy Anderson More than 1 year ago
Hardly a waste... how can you be the best in the world if you exclude the world? You already stack the cards against the world with your "World Championships" which is raced on concrete like dirt that 90% of the world doesnt use.... and cement like bull ring tirf courses unlike anywhere else in the world. Letting a horse in from the Illinois Derby just waters down these great horses more options to avoid each other
Bob Fritz More than 1 year ago
I don't mind giving points to the UAE Derby winner. Just one more horse for me to bet against. Although I agree that the Illinois Derby should get some points.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
The UAE Derby should give points and the connections have every right to decide that they will not travel if they do not feel like it. My only issue with the race is the fact that there were 4 year olds in it and that not every one of the horses are nominated. If you have plans to enter this race, at least have a horse that you can travel to kentucky with if he is special enough. Toast of New York is way out of his league.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Not sure how he would have been out of his league?....
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
4 year olds only because they were southern hemisphere.
Joseph Malatesta More than 1 year ago
I do agree with the decision to not send Toast to Kentucky (whatever's best for the horse), but if the winner of this stakes race does not consistently run at Churchill the first Saturday in May, this race should not give qualifying points towards the Derby.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
The Derby would sure be the wrong choice for Toast. Motion is prone to look wishy-washy at times but with AK, don't forget the role of Team Valor. Ring Weekend is a different case altogether and should declare out. He just isn't good enough (at this time) and is blocking the path for others who are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I remember when Motion said "see how he does in the next week or so" then decided to run Animal Kingdom in the Derby. I had $0 on Animal Kingdom, because I figured if the trainer wasn't sure, why would I waste my money...
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A hole!
Philip Conforti More than 1 year ago
Both well said!
martymar . More than 1 year ago
I was drunk in vegas woke up late in the afternoon and totally forgot it was 3 hours behind. I had money on Shackleford so I lost too
Edward Nelson More than 1 year ago
You da man
Tom Temple More than 1 year ago
I have the Shack also. But hit the Preakness Tri with him, AK, and, Astrology. I got lucky.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
I had Mucho Macho Man.
Bob Fritz More than 1 year ago
Trainers always say "let's see how he comes out of the race" or some such because 1) they don't really know, and 2) they don't want to speak for the owner. I remember when Leroy Jolley said, right after the Wood, that Genuine Risk wasn't going to the Derby. Problem was, it wasn't his call to make. The Firestones overruled him and the rest is history.