Irish-trained Lines of Battle, who earned his ticket to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) via a win in the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II), arrived at Churchill Downs at 2:25 a.m. May 1 after a trip from Ireland.
The Kentucky-bred War Front colt is owned by his breeder, Joseph Allen, in partnership with Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, and trained by Aidan O'Brien. Lines of Battle, out of the Arch mare Black Speck, has won three of six starts overall while earning $1,276,204.
Assistant trainer T.J. Comerford estimated the trip from O'Brien's Ballydoyle training center to Churchill Downs took 14 hours. Lines of Battle was flown by charter from Shannon Airport in Ireland to Chicago and then on to Louisville.
Comerford said the trip went smoothly and that the colt handled it well. Lines of Battle is scheduled to go to the track on the morning of May 3 after clearing quarantine.
"It was quick enough," Comerford said. "We're used to traveling our horses. There's not a problem. He's 100%."
Lines of Battle won the UAE Derby over 1 3/16-miles of Meydan's Tapeta main track by 1 1/2 lengths with jockey Ryan Moore March 30, overcoming a slow pace to defeat a stubborn Elleval. He will be the fifth Derby starter for O'Brien.
"Aidan tries to have a go every year," Comerford said. "Every horse we've brought here has won the same race in Dubai. Aidan would like to win it because it's a major race, one of the biggest races."
In 2011, the O'Brien-trained Master of Hounds was fifth. Last year, Daddy Long Legs was pulled up and did not finish.
"It's not easy," Comerford said. "We've come out here more than most and we've tried. God loves a trier."
Moore is scheduled to ride Lines of Battle in the Derby.
Information for this article came from Churchill Downs' communications department.