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 ...