UAE Derby and Derma Sotogake 2023 Prep Race Recap

UAE Derby and Derma Sotogake 2023 Prep Race Recap


The Championship Series races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby featured eight major prep races that awarded 100 points to the winner and a spot in the starting gate for the May 6 Kentucky Derby.

The March 25 UAE Derby at Meydan in Dubai was won by Derma Sotogake (6/1) by more than 5 lengths in an impressive wire-to-wire win. Jockey Christophe Lemaire will ride him again in the Kentucky Derby for his US debut at Churchill Downs for trainer Hidetaka Otonahsi.

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Derma Sotogake Kentucky Derby Contender

Derma Sotogake will be one of the main challengers behind the leading favorites Forte, Tapit Trice and Practical Move in the 2023 Kentucky Derby, according to FanDuel Racing odds.

The UAE Derby has been run since 2000, and the race has never produced a Kentucky Derby winner. Only four horses bred outside the US have won the Kentucky Derby since 1917. But with racing becoming so much more prominent in Japan, the chances are a Japanese-bred runner like Derma Sotogake is more likely to break through.

The UAE Derby is run at the distance of 1900 meters which falls 33 feet short of a true 9.5 furlongs distance. That's a half furlong longer than most the final Derby preps at 1 1/8 miles. According to Horse Racing Nation, Derma Sotogake raced through estimated fractions of 48 3/5; 1:13 2/5; 1:38 and final time of 1:55 4/5 in the UAE Derby. To compare, the winner of the Louisiana Derby, Kingsbarns, ran a similar slow early/fast late race shape going close to the same 9.5 furlongs distance and his fractions were 49 3/5; 1:14 3/5; 1:39; 1:57 1/5.

Kingsbarns also came home in the final 3/8 mile in 36.51 seconds -- the fastest final 3 furlongs of any horse in their final Kentucky Derby prep race. Derma Sotogake also raced home the final 3/16ths of a mile in the UAE Derby in :17 4/5 seconds versus the :18 1/5 submitted by Kingsbarns in the Louisiana Derby.

Derma Sotogake has also won two other races at 1 1/8 miles. He's already shipped into Louisville and has a pair of morning works over the Churchill Downs track ahead of the Kentucky Derby post position draw on May 1.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.