Tipsheet: 2024 UAE Derby

March 28th, 2024

A very good cast of 13 sophomores from across the globe will travel about 1 3/16 miles at Meydan in the UAE Derby (G2) on Saturday. The Road to the Kentucky Derby contest will reward the top five finishers with 200 qualifying points (100-50-25-15-10) towards the Run for the Roses in Louisville on May 4. 

2024 UAE Derby Picks

  • #6 George Tesoro
  • #5 Forever Young
  • #10 Mendelssohn Bay
  • #8 Henry Adams

2024 UAE Derby Wagers

2024 UAE Derby Contenders

#1 AUTO BAHN (25-1): Asiatic Boy colt fell just short in the Al Bastakiya on the oval last time out and could improve in his third run off the layoff. The chestnut will likely have to make a nice move forward to compete with the top runners in the cast, but he’s not impossible with Mickael Barzalona in the stirrups. 

#2 OASIS BOY (30-1): Chestnut finished fifth in the UAE Guineas (G3) here in his seasonal debut prior to checking in eighth in the lucrative Saudi Derby (G3) most recently. The Argentine retains the brilliant Christophe Soumillon, but his chances seem dicey following the initial two starts of the season. 

#3 ROCK WALK (16-1): Uruguayan import has won or placed in each lifetime try to date, with a Grade 1 second preceding his first run at Meydan. The Group 3 victor has experience running long so the distance will not be an issue, and he has upset appeal with Joao Moreira in the silks. 

#4 BALLON D’OR (40-1): First of the Japanese contingent finished a well-beaten sixth in the Hyacinth S. at Tokyo in his latest endeavor and will need much better to have a say in the outcome on Saturday. The son of New Year’s Day would be a surprise. 

#5 FOREVER YOUNG (9-5): Unbeaten son of Reel Steel showed a lot of courage in getting up on the wire in the Saudi Derby (G1) for training magician Yoshito Yahagi. The sophomore colt will appreciate the added ground after going a one-turn mile in his most recent run, and the stout closer will be the major danger in the lane beneath regular pilot Ryusei Sakai. 

#6 GEORGE TESORO (8-1): Takayuki Kato trainee has put in a pair of good races in succession and gets the upset nod in the contest. The Best Warrior colt is a major question mark at the distance, but he possesses a lot of talent and I’m expecting him to handle the stretch out in distance with aplomb with Yuga Kawada taking the reins. 

#7 GUNS AND GLORY (10-1): Son of the dynamic Gun Runner won with ease at the distance on the course in his latest venture but faces a much more demanding task on Saturday. The Bhupat Seemar trainee is not without a chance, obviously, but I feel that the class rise could lead to his undoing in the stretch under Jamie Spencer. 

#8 HENRY ADAMS (8-1): The world-class Ryan Moore will guide the No Nay Never colt for his dirt debut on this occasion. The Irish-bred three-year-old is a very good one who can be any kind going forward, but I have concerns about his potential on this surface and would demand a bigger price on the Aidan O’Brien pupil. 

#9 KILLER COLLECT (12-1): Al Bastakiya victor, who was second in the UAE Guineas two prior, has progressed nicely at Meydan and is a sure top-four contender in the heat. The Collected colt has moved forward with each run of the season, and he is proven at the 1 3/16 miles, as well. 

#10 MENDELSSOHN BAY (9-1): UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) star is bred for the trip and could excel with another step in the right direction for Seemar. The Mendelssohn colt surely looked the part at eight furlongs last time out, and the prime top-three contender will have a winning chance turning for home with a clear voyage under Pat Cosgrave. 

#11 NAVY SEAL (16-1): Aidan O’Brien trainee had a nice prep for the race when second at Dundalk in his 2024 bow and has exotics appeal in his second run off the break. The Coolmore color bearer might be close to the early pace today on the stretch out under the guidance of Wayne Lordan. 

#12 PANDAGATE (15-2): New York-bred son of Arrogate was powerful in a dominant Gander S. score at Aqueduct most recently and wouldn’t be a shocker on this occasion. This Christophe Clement trainee appears to be cut out to handle the distance in his local debut, and if he can avoid traveling wide throughout, then he will be a threatening presence in the lane with Dylan Davis riding. 

#13 SATONO PHOENIX (30-1): Henny Hughes colt was not overly sharp in Riyadh and was soundly beaten by Forever Young last season, too. The bay did put in a pair of promising races as a juvenile, however, and I will include him in some exotics wagers at a big price with Oisin Murphy in the irons.