03/31/2012 11:48AM

UAE Derby: Win by Daddy Long Legs may propel him to Kentucky Derby

Andrew Watkins
Daddy Long Legs, under Colm D'Donoghue, captures the $2 million UAE Derby for trainer Aidan O'Brien.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Trainer Aidan O’Brien said he brought 3-year-olds Daddy Long Legs and Wrote to Dubai with the idea that if they ran well in the UAE Derby they would be considered for the Kentucky Derby.

O’Brien and the Coolmore team for which he trains may be Louisville-bound after Daddy Long Legs rolled to a 1 1/4-length victory over the French-bred - and Triple Crown nominee - Yang Tse Kiang in Saturday’s $2 million UAE Derby at Meydan. Wrote finished third, beaten only two lengths.

O’Brien, who marked his first Dubai win on World Cup Night, said afterward that both Daddy Long Legs - who finished 12th in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs - and Wrote - would be “a strong possibility” for the Derby.

 “Obviously both ran lovely races,” said O’Brien, who brought Master of Hounds to last year’s Derby after he finished second in this race. “Wrote just got a little bit tired the last 50 yards, but I’d imagine they’re a very strong possibility for it.”

Daddy Long Legs, a Group 2 winner at a mile on turf in Europe, was making his first start since finishing 12th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on dirt at Churchill last November.

Under Colm O’Donoghue, Daddy Long Legs broke alertly and was forwardly placed inside of Helmet, who was content on the lead through a quarter in 26.13 seconds, a half-mile in 50.54, and six furlongs in 1:15.19.

Daddy Long Legs made the front in upper stretch and was never seriously threatened through the lane as Yang Tse Kiang rallied for second.

Daddy Long Legs, a Kentucky-bred son of Scat Daddy, covered the 1 3/16 miles in 1:58.35 and returned $22.80 in U.S. betting pools.

 “He’s a beautiful action horse, great mover isn’t he, and got the trip well, didn’t he?” O’Brien said “He obviously is [by] Scat Daddy, the Scat Daddy’s you’d imagine that they’re all speed, but they seem to be improving from 2 to 3 - the ones we’ve been watching in America - and they seem like they’re going to get the trip, which is exciting really.”

 O’Brien said he thought Daddy Long Legs was “lost”  first time on the dirt at the Breeders’ Cup.

 “We worked on that a little bit and he was stronger and more on the bridle today,” O’Brien said.

  Lucky Chappy finished seventh, beaten eight lengths. Trainer Graham Motion said he felt that his horse was compromised by the slow pace.

 “It looked like he didn’t kick but I think it was hard to make ground on those kind of fractions,” Motion said. I think he probably ran his race, but there was no pace for him.”


charles More than 1 year ago
all depends on post position somtimes long legs got a clear shot to the rail but was not challenged. I would think someone will run past him in the derby or be in front and he will have to chase. Alot of speed in the derby
Mark Paterson More than 1 year ago
It was a slow though technical race. What I would like to say is that I hope Aiden p has been putting some fast work into him since the race. Like the way he went on turn of showing turn of foot.
OwenJ More than 1 year ago
Daddy Long Legs (DLL) beat a great international field in the UAE Derby and may do well in the Kentucky Derby. I hope Adian O'brien takes him to Churchill Downs early to get him familiar with the track. If he starts in the KD, he could give Creative Cause some competition. Union Rags and Hansen are milers in good company and they should be no threat to the stayers in the KD. I am looking forward to next week's nine furlong trials and the graded-earnings scenario should make things interesting!
neil More than 1 year ago
Those horses that run in Dubai seldom come home and win a race in the next several months. Would love to see Goldolphin get off the shnid, just don't believe Daddy Long Legs or his other entry are the ones who will win the Run for the Roses.
Olivia More than 1 year ago
save the airfare. no shot in kentucky.
neil More than 1 year ago
I agree Olivia.
David Craighead More than 1 year ago
Ok, I watched the replay video of the race and it was impressive for what it is, now, comes the recoup period and how he'll come out of that effort..stalked and pressed the pace from the out set...Now, he'll have to face faster runners in the Kentucky Derby G-1 run for the roses On the 1st Saturday in May! . Don't think he'll ll run the same on that day! .
OwenJ More than 1 year ago
If the Ballydoyle people are serious about the Kentucky Derby they should take Daddy Long Legs to Churchill Downs at least three weeks before so he may get familiar wih the track. Very often these UAE Derby types fail in the Kentucky Derby because their owners/trainers do not give them conditioning on the American surface. Having said that my FIRM choice for the Kentucky Derby at this time (Saturday March 31, 2012) is still Creative Cause. I will be watching Gemologist closely in his 9-furlong prep next Saturday.
neil More than 1 year ago
My pick for the Derby is Gemologist. Loved his last race, he seems to be improving. He is a big strong colt that should improve as the distances get longer.. Besides, you know Todd Pletcher wants to party in Louisville...