Sweet Ducky's performance in the UAE Derby (UAE-II) on March 26 will likely determine whether he runs in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), his trainer said.
The Kentucky-bred horse was purchased two weeks ago by Chechnya president Ramzan Kadyrov from George and Lori Hall for an undisclosed amount. South African trainer Herman Brown, who took over from Kelly Breen after the purchase, said he would prefer to have several more months to work with him, but indicated a solid UAE Derby effort could be enough to send Sweet Ducky to the Kentucky Derby on May 7.
“We will have learned a lot from watching the horse run here,” Brown said. “It is asking a lot of a young horse to do what we are asking. If he runs in the first three it would be good effort for him.
“Though I think the horse would appreciate some time off to mature and grow, if he ran in the first two or three, we would have to think about sending him back and maybe running him in the Kentucky Derby.”
Brown said it's hard to say how Sweet Ducky will fare Saturday, since he is new to his stable and has never run on the Tapeta surface at Meydan Racecourse.
“Looking at the horse, we are happy with him,” he said. “But as far as knowing how he will run, it's difficult for us. He is sort of an unknown quantity.”
Sweet Ducky, by Pulpit, last raced in January when finishing second to Dialed In at the $400,000 Holy Bull (gr. III). He has three wins in six career starts.