Derma Sotogake owner: ‘Of course’ UAE winner will run in Ky.

Derma Sotogake owner: ‘Of course’ UAE winner will run in Ky.


Sue Kawczynski / Eclipse Sportswire

Derma Sotogake cruised to a UAE Derby triumph Saturday, ensuring the Japan-based colt a spot in the Kentucky Derby 2023 starting gates.

Under jockey Christophe Lemaire, Derma Sotogake covered the 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.81 at Meydan Racecourse. After going off at 6-1 odds, the 3-year-old Mind Your Biscuits colt assumed the lead into the first turn and never surrendered it, returning $14.50 on a $2 win bet.

The Group 2, $1 million UAE Derby awards Kentucky Derby points to its top five finishers on a 100-40-30-20-10 scale.

“Of course,” owner Hiroyuki Asanuma said when asked on the Dubai World Cup (G1) card world broadcast feed whether Derma Sotogake’s next stop would be the Kentucky Derby.

Hidetaka Otonashi trains Derma Sotogake for Asanuma. The colt also sports two Japan stakes wins on his ledger and was third Feb. 25 on the Saudi Cup (G1) undercard in the Saudi Derby (G3).

Following Derma Sotogake were runner-up Dura Erede, third-place runner Continuar and fourth-place finisher Perriere. Those 3-year-olds, who all hail from Japan, are all Triple Crown-nominated and therefore collected Kentucky Derby points with their efforts Saturday.

The UAE Derby has been unproductive as a Kentucky Derby prep. None of the 18 Derby starters who prepped in this event have ever hit the board at Churchill Downs.

2022 UAE Derby graduates Crown Pride and Summer Is Tomorrow finished 13th and 20th, respectively, last year in Kentucky. Those Japan-based runners were both part of the rapid early pace that opened the door for Rich Strike’s late-running upset.

Hours after the UAE Derby, two other Kentucky Derby preps will run Saturday afternoon. The $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds and $700,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park both award Derby points on a 100-40-30-20-10 scale.

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