Daddy Long Legs, winner of the UAE Derby Sponsored by the Saeed & Mohammed al Naboodah Group (UAE-II), will travel from his base at Ballydoyle in Ireland early next week for the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brand (gr. I). His Derby status was confirmed via a Twitter message from Ballydoyle.
He will be ridden in the Run for the Roses by Colm O’Donoghue.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Daddy Long Legs will be making his second journey to Churchill Downs. The son of Scat Daddy finished 12th behind Hansen and Union Rags last fall in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) under Ryan Moore.
Out of the stakes-winning Meadowlake mare Dreamy Maiden, Daddy Long Legs was bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds. Ashford Stud purchased him for $100,000 out of the 2009 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale.
Racing for Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, Daddy Long Legs broke his maiden at first asking last Aug. 10 during the Goodwood meeting, and then finished fourth behind Trumpet Major in the One Call Insurance Champagne Stakes (Eng-II). Trumpet Major just won the Novae Bloodstock Insurance Craven Stakes (Eng-III), a major prep for the May 5 Qipco One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I).
Daddy Long Legs next won the one-mile Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Eng-II) in late September before the Breeders’ Cup.
In his lone start this year, he stalked the pace before taking over the lead after a mile in the 1 3/16-mile UAE Derby under O’Donoghue. The UAE Derby, with a $2 million purse, was run over Tapeta.
With the win at Meydan in Dubai, Daddy Long Legs joins Hansen, Union Rags, Creative Cause , Dullahan, Take Charge Indy , Drill, Alpha, and Prospective as graded stakes winners coming out of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
With a 3-0-0 slate from five starts, Daddy Long Legs has $1,308,909 in earnings, and is second only to Hansen on the list of Derby contenders with $1,294,030 in graded earnings.