Some of the top international runners under consideration for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) should sort themselves out March 30 in the UAE Derby Sponsored by Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2) at Meydan.
Three runners of interest are based in Dubai with trainer Ahmed bin Harmash for owner Phoenix Ladies Syndicate. The connections said March 27 that should Walking Thunder win or run well, he'll go on to compete in the Kentucky Derby. A Florida-bred son of Violence, Walking Thunder won his first three starts before finishing second to Godolphin's Estihdaaf in the UAE Two Thousand Guineas Sponsored by Al Naboodah Ashok Leyland Partnership (G3).
Phoenix Ladies Syndicate's Golden Jaguar will not go on to Kentucky regardless of the outcome, and the connections will make a decision after the race should Al Bastakiya Sponsored by Emirates.com runner-up Superior earn a Kentucky Derby spot.
The field also features 3-year-olds who have already earned points in either the European or Japanese Road to the Kentucky Derby points races. Derma Louvre (JPN), a Pyro colt, has connections interested in going to Louisville for the first Saturday in May, and he currently leads the Japanese points race. The UAE Derby should give them a feel as to where they stand.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Jahbath (GB), who is not nominated to the Triple Crown, picked up 20 Derby qualifying points with his March 6 victory in the Road To The Kentucky Derby conditions stakes at Kempton. Van Beethoven, a Triple Crown nominee for his Coolmore-affiliated owners, finished fourth in the March 6 BetVictor Patton Stakes at Dundalk, earning two points.