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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Kentucky Derby 2013: Lines of Battle is Up Against it

Will a horse coming from Dubai ever win the Kentucky Derby

This year it will be the Joseph Allen and Coolmore runner, Lines of Battle who will line up to do battle on the First Saturday in May. A solid winner of the Group 1 UAE Derby at a mile and 3/16ths five weeks ago, the Aidan O’Brien trained colt makes his way to the Derby having already won a longer race than any other entrant has even run in. Unfortunately for the European runner, that may be where the positives end.

Now let’s take a look at some of the reasons why another year will come and go without success for the UAE Derby winner. Lines of Battle has never run on dirt, he's only had one start in 2013, his win at Meydan was the slowest in its short history, and he's just this morning arrived to Churchill Downs. The son of War Front already has made one trip to America, and it did not particularly end well, as he faded to seventh behind fellow Aidan O’Brien trainee George Vancouver, while sent off as a 27-1 long shot in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

Clearly none of that bodes well for the latest arrival to Churchill Downs, and that is how it has always been. Horses that have raced in Dubai and then come over to run for the roses, have consistently missed the mark. Whether it be the lack of winter work for horses abroad compared to their U.S. counterparts, the distance of ten furlongs, the unfamiliar dirt surface, the raucous crowd, or the serious travel, and all the inconveniences that come with it, horses coming from Dubai, more well thought of than Lines of Battle, have been unable to come close to winning America’s most prestigious race.

This year’s victory in the UAE Derby was the second consecutive for O'Brien, who despite his amazing worldwide success, has yet to make a real dent in the Derby. 2012 saw his Daddy Long Legs parlay his big win in Dubai to finish last in the Kentucky Derby. Also a turf horse able to handle the Tapeta strip at Meydan, Daddy Long Legs actually had a pretty similar form as Lines of Battle comes in with this year. Both colts had some success on turf in Europe as juveniles, before failing in the Breeders’ Cup, although Daddy Long Legs BC attempt came on dirt at Churchill Downs. Despite all of the negative signs, Lines of Battle does have that one main selling point.

Not only does he have that one win running long, but his female family suggests class and the ability to handle classic distances. His broodmare sire, Arch produced last year's Derby winner, I'll Have Another, as well as the 2010 juvenile champion, Uncle Mo. Moreover, Lines of Battle’s dam, Black Speck is becoming a star through her offspring. She has produced five winners from only five starters, including three graded stakes performers. 

Make no mistake, with a lifetime record of 6-3-1-0 and more than a million in the bank, thanks in large part to his lone race this year, Lines of Battle is a quality race horse, but still, this coming from Dubai to win the Derby thing is one daunting task. 

Will a horse from Dubai ever win the Kentucky Derby? Maybe, but my opinion is that it appears highly doubtful that Lines of Battle will be the one to get it done.

 

 

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Older Comments about Kentucky Derby 2013: Lines of Battle is Up Against it ...

It would be great to see Auguste Rodin (Ire) give it a shot next year>>Anyone know if Tabor still has this Galileo / Rags to Riches colt?
Well at least he has a head start, boots on the ground, on Giant Finish. He has been training on dirt up to the Derby. Still I am always surprised at how O'Brien ships last minute to US...
I was considering using LOB for minor awards as lng as they got him to CD at least 2 weeks before the KD. He is arriving May 1st. This late getting here tells me the owners nor trainer think he stands any chance of winning or placing . A total pitch!
me thinks not to many either, me thinks if they did maybe they would realize Camelot and other horses could have a shot in America. I understand why they don't send Camelots over of course, but the best horse in their second string is not going to cut it
not too many me thinks
travel_vic, how many irish horses try dirt?
quotre: If the irish actually sent good horses..How many good dirt horses comes as Irish breds and then how many turfers. They won ALL but one Arc day and fro two years running the big closing weekend turf grade ones at Woodbine.
If the irish actually sent good horses
Sincerely doubt we will see a derby winner come from the UAE Derby, unless that horse happens to be an absolute monster.
Lines of Battle has proven himself a pretty classy horse and his pedigree suggest he should go okay on conventional dirt. With this year's crop of American 3yo not being necesarily a group of world beaters, I think Lines of Battle certainly stands a much better chance of winning or at least getting a piece of the Ky. Derby than Master of Hounds or Daddy Long Legs did for Coolmore in 2011 & 2012.
It will happen one day but I agree, 2013 won't be it. Don't like betting what I haven't seen enough of either so I"m going to have to leave him out of any exotics as well.
Haha, thanks Mary...I guess if you are gonna make an audacious pick like Lines of Battle you might as well have an audacious user name to go with that pick.
I had to burst out laughing at the audacious username. I like that.
He seems to like the synthetics more than turf, and with all that American dirt horse in his pedigree especially on the bottom it kinda makes me think he may like dirt even more than synthetics. Ill be using him on derby day.
me either
I will not be using the UAE Derby winner!

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.