Sweet Ducky to Russia with Love and Loathing

Sweet Ducky to Russia with Love and Loathing
Photo: Eric Kalet/Eclipse Sportswire
Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 52

One of my favorite dark horses for this year’s Kentucky Derby is long gone, literally. It has been reported that Sweet Ducky has already been flown out of the country after been sold by owner’s George and Lori Hall to Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya, for an undisclosed sum. The selling price, described as only ‘a lot of money’, will be put to an almost immediate test. Job one for the son of Pulpit will be to compete in the $2 million U.A.E. Derby in eleven days.

Win or lose in Dubai, do not expect to see Sweet Ducky back to run in America. While Kadyrov has become an influential owner in the last few years, running such horses as last year’s Dubai Duty Free runner-up Bankable and 2009 3rd place finisher in the Melbourne Cup, Mourilyan, he has yet to send any of his horses to run in the United States.

So while Sweet Ducky jets off across the globe to run for a man accused of numerous human rights violations, American fans are left wondering whether we will ever see him again.

Sweet Ducky first attracted my attention last summer at Monmouth Park. A sharp win against the highly thought of duo of Curlinello and Astrology in the Garden State Stakes in his first two-turn race put him on my radar. A return win in the Seton Hall made me think he was one of the best juveniles in the nation that few were talking about. A failed attempt at the bullring of the Delta Jackpot was a setback, but some horses just do not do their best on a track like that.

This year, he only ran once, and it was a very promising performance. In the January 30 Holy Bull Stakes, Sweet Ducky faced an excellent field. Holding his own against the likes of Dialed In, Gourmet Dinner, and Mucho Macho Man, the bay, Kelly Breen trainee looked every part of a Kentucky Derby contender. Now we will never know.

Farewell Sweet Ducky. I was a fan. Best of luck to you in your big race next week, and whatever your future may hold. As for your new owner, well, I was taught if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all ... 


Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. 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. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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