Godolphin: Rebel’s Romance will not be in the Kentucky Derby

Godolphin: Rebel’s Romance will not be in the Kentucky Derby
Photo: Shamela Hanley/Eclipse Sportswire

Despite being fifth in the qualifying standings, Rebel’s Romance will not be shipped to Louisville to compete next month in the Kentucky Derby. Instead, he will target the Belmont Stakes.

“Having spoken to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, we feel he needs more time,” trainer Charlie Appleby said in a Twitter post Wednesday from Godolphin, the breeder-owner of Rebel’s Romance. “He will now be aimed at the last leg of the U.S. Triple Crown.

A winner in 4 of 5 career races, Rebel’s Romance is a Dubawi colt who qualified for the Kentucky Derby with his 5 1/2-length triumph March 27 in the UAE Derby (G2).

This marks the first time since 2014 that the UAE Derby winner has not taken part in the Kentucky Derby. This year’s runner-up, Panadol, was a late nomination to the Triple Crown and is still considered a candidate to take his place among the 20 horses running for the roses May 1.

Sixteen horses that raced in the UAE Derby also have started in the Kentucky Derby. None finished better than fifth. Rebel’s Romance is the ninth winner in the 21 runnings of the Dubai race that will not race at Churchill Downs.

With Rebel’s Romance joining Greatest Honour, Weyburn and Proxy as being doubtful or removed from consideration, the current leaders in qualifying for the Kentucky Derby are as follows: 

1. Essential Quality 140

2. Hot Rod Charlie 110

3. Like the King 104

4. Known Agenda 102

5. Rock Your World 100

6. Bourbonic 100

7. Medina Spirit 74

8. Midnight Bourbon 66

9. Mandaloun 52

10. Concert Tour 50

11. Highly Motivated 50

12. Helium 50

13. Panadol 40

14. Soup and Sandwich 40

15. Dynamic One 50

Last five in

16. Crowded Trade 40

17. Sainthood 40

18. Rombauer 34

19. Hidden Stash 32

20. Dream Shake 30

First five out

21. O Besos 25

22. Hozier 20

23. Hockey Dad 20

24. Keepmeinmind 18

25. Spielberg 17

Needs top three in Arkansas Derby

22. Hozier 20

Needs top two in Arkansas Derby

29. Get Her Number 10

32. Caddo River 10

37. Super Stock 9

Needs to win Lexington Stakes

23. Hockey Dad 20

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