Saturday, March 31, 2012
Daddy Long Legs eyes Ky. Derby
By David Grening Daily Racing Form
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."