Derma Sotogake – Kentucky Derby Context

May 6th, 2023

One of two Japanese horses in the Kentucky Derby field, Derma Sotogake established himself as a contender recording a fast win in the UAE Derby (G2), leading all the way to score by 5 1/2 lengths.

The chestnut colt didn’t break as smoothly in previous starts, recording back-to-back stakes wins in Japan before opening 2023 with a third in the Saudi Derby (G3), but Derma Sotogake appears to be coming to hand at the right time for connections. Former UAE Derby contestants have fared poorly at Churchill Downs, but Derma Sotogake brings a different vibe to this year’s Run for the Roses.

His experience appears beneficial. Derma Sotogake owns the most starts (eight) in the Kentucky Derby field, along with Two Phil’s, and if he can avoid being too far back in the early stages, the international raider is eligible to play a major role in the outcome.

Owner: Derma Sotogake will provide Hiroyuki Asanuma with his first Kentucky Derby starter.

Trainer: Hidetaka Otonashi will send out his first Kentucky Derby runner.

Jockey: After making his debut last year, finishing 13th aboard UAE Derby winner Crown Pride, Christophe Lemaire will make a second consecutive Kentucky Derby appearance. The French jockey was the leading rider by wins at Japan Racing Association tracks from 2017-21.

Breeder/Sales: Bred in Japan by Teruya Yoshida’s Shadai Farm, Derma Sotogake sold for $163,397 at the 2021 Japan Racing Horse Association Yearling and Foal sale.

Sire: Derma Sotogake is from the first crop of Mind Your Biscuits, the all-time leading New York-bred with more than $4.2 million in earnings. Mind Your Biscuits, who was campaigned in partnership by Shadai, captured six graded stakes, including back-to-back runnings of the six-furlong Golden Shaheen (G1) in Dubai and the seven-furlong Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita. He’s by multiple graded-winning sprinter Posse, and the 10-year-old stallion stands at Shadai Farm in Japan.

Dam: Derma Sotogake receives a hearty dose of stamina from his dam, Amour Poesie, who won three races on dirt for Shadai. She is by Neo Universe, the 2003 Japanese champion three-year-old colt and a son of 1989 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Sunday Silence.

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