Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Brave Emperor finishes atop Europe qualifying for Ky. Derby

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Brave Emperor, already a winner on the Europe road to Kentucky Derby 2023, earned the continent’s lone invitation to the May 6 race by
finishing second Saturday night at Chelmsford City, England, in the $129,000
Cardinal Stakes.

A gelding by Sioux Nation, Brave Emperor (9-2 in the U.S.) was
caught deep in the homestretch by Godolphin homebred Bold Act (3-1), who raced
from worst to first to win by a half-length in the last international points
prep for Derby.

A late nominee Monday for the Triple Crown, Brave Emperor is owned
by Middleham Park Racing and trained by Archie Watson. Only 2 1/2 weeks ago he
won the Road to the Kentucky Derby Conditions Stakes at Kempton, building his
base of qualifying points.

After being jostled coming out of the chute and onto the
main, all-weather track Saturday for the mile that covered two left-hand turns,
Brave Emperor raced in the middle of the 10-horse pack. Luke Morris then rocked
into his mount in the second turn and delivered emphatic, right-handed urging
to put Brave Emperor in the lead with a furlong to go.

All along, jockey Harry Davies had Bold Act rallying along
the rail, moving ahead with 50 yards to go and running on to victory for
trainer Charlie Appleby. The winning time was 1:37.23 without a run-up.

Bold Act and Brave Emperor were followed by Killybegs
Warrior (51-1) in third, post-time favorite Iconic Moment (2-1) in fourth and
Alzahir (5-1) in fifth. Those top five finishers earned 30-12-9-6-3 points toward
the maximum one bid that Churchill Downs reserves for Europe.

According to Churchill Downs, “only one invitation to
compete in the Kentucky Derby will be extended with preference given to the
horses with the most points in (Europe qualifying). No invitation will be
extended beyond the top four point earners.”

Still awaiting confirmation from Churchill Downs, these were
the final qualifying standings for the Europe series that included seven races
since late September:

Europe road to Ky. Derby Points x Earnings
1. Brave Emperor**    32   $59,217
    Bold Act    30   $76,958
2. Cairo*    20   $62,984
    Killybegs Warrior    13   $16,716
    Alzahir    11 $231,728
    Belbek    10 $279,323
    Auguste Rodin    10 $222,687
    The Foxes    10   $76,913
    Crypto Force    10   $69,768
    News At Ten      8     $8,478
    Iconic Moment      6   $39,387
    Tenjin      6     $5,914
3. Stormy Entry*      6     $4,239
    Gamestop      4 $101,588
    Epictetus      4   $64,909
    Adelaide River      4   $39,267
    Dubai Mile      4   $29,159
    Cash Out      4     $2,120
    Holloway Boy      3 $158,185
    Breizh Sky      3   $91,301
    Flying Honours      3   $39,968
    Young Ireland      3   $12,833
    Shartash      2 $160,989
    Dancing Magic      2   $26,226
4. Greenland*      2     $9,011
    Roaring Gallagher      2     $5,814
    Coco Jack      2     $1,864
    Miss Caruso (f)      2     $1,272
    Vicious Harry      1   $64,540
    Lakota Seven      1   $12,227
    Salt Lake City      1           $0
   *Triple Crown early nominee    
 **Triple Crown late nominee    
  x Non-restricted stakes    
(f) filly  

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