Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs

Mathea Kelley

Daddy Long Legs is Derby Wildcard

Ballydoyle trainer will send UAE Derby winner Daddy Long Legs to the Kentucky Derby.

What do we really know about Aidan O'Brien's latest Kentucky Derby (gr. I) invader, Daddy Long Legs, other than he has a whimsical name and was a bust in last year's Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I)?

A son of the red-hot Scat Daddy out of the Meadowlake mare Dreamy Maiden, Daddy Long Legs certainly is bred for the dirt, and O'Brien attributes his 12th-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile to a bad start more than an inability to handle the dirt.

"The Breeders' Cup was more about the start than it was the dirt," O'Brien said from his office at Ballydoyle. "He lost it out of the gate and wasn't as quick enough and sharp enough in the first furlong as we would have liked. But we'll know a lot more in a couple of weeks.


"We have to try anyway. You can't win if you're not in the race. He seems to be fine. He was in Dubai and we obviously were happy with him there, so I suppose we'll just have to wait and see, won't we?"


O'Brien was thrilled with Daddy Long Legs' 1 1/4-length victory in the 1 3/16 miles UAE Derby (UAE-II) over the Tapeta surface in his 3-year-old debut. The colt showed good speed, tracking the pace, then took over the lead in midstretch and maintained his margin to the wire, holding off the French colt Yang Tse Kiang and his own stablemate, Wrote , winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT).


"That was a very good first run in Dubai," O'Brien said. "I know it might not be up to (American) standards, and he probably needs to improve, but he’s in good form and that's all we can ask for.


"So, we'll try again. He'll leave either Monday or Tuesday, probably Tuesday."


O'Brien will saddle the favorite for the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I), Camelot, on Derby Day, so he likely will not attend the race. O'Brien said Colm O'Donoghue, will ride Daddy Long Legs.


Daddy Long Legs, bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds, was a $100,000 yearling purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale. Prior to his trip to the Breeders' Cup he captured the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Eng-II) at Newmarket with O’Donoghue aboard.


O'Brien will be trying to top last year's fifth-place finish by Master of Hounds in the Run for the Roses, in which the colt closed fast to be beaten only five lengths.