In Derbies held half a world apart from each other on Saturday, two horses making their stakes debuts earned enough points to run in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3.
Over the synthetic surface at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, the Kentucky-bred Toast of New York, racing for English connections, won the UAE Derby, worth 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner. The victory put him in a tie for second place in the Kentucky Derby points standings; the top 20 points earners will earn a place in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Whether Toast of New York comes to the U.S. remains to be seen. Though he is Triple Crown nominated, he has never run on a dirt surface; beaten in his first start on turf when racing in England, he has won three of four races on synthetic surfaces, which bears more resemblance to turf than it does dirt, the surface at Churchill Downs. In comments after the Meydan race, neither Toast of New York’s trainer, Jamie Osborne, nor his owner, Michael Buckley, would commit to a U.S. start, though nor did either rule one out.