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Point of Entry's Plus Que Parfait Perfect in UAE Derby (G2)

03.30.2019 -

Plus Que Parfait had to come to Dubai to do it, but he punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) with a gutsy victory over an international field in the $2.5 million UAE Derby Sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2) March 30 at Meydan.

With Jose Ortiz in command, Plus Que Parfait split horses as the field thundered down the stretch and shot past local hopeful Manguzi, then turned back the closing bid of American rival Gray Magician en route to a three-quarters of a length win.

Plus Que Parfait, a son of Point of Entry, finished 1,900 meters (about 1 3/16 miles) in 1:58.41 over a fast track.

Second in the Nov. 24 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs to close out his 2-year-old season, Plus Que Parfait was shipped to Louisiana but did not perform as desired next out.

"Some horses struggle at Fair Grounds," trainer Brendan Walsh said, explaining the decision to giver Plus Que Parfait a different opportunity to earn his way into the Run for the Roses.

"We thought when he won the Jockey Club that we had a Derby horse," said Walsh, who early in his career worked in Dubai for Godolphin. "Now I'm trying to keep myself calm and not get too excited. But I'm not surprised he won tonight."

Coming to Dubai to qualify for Louisville, Walsh admitted, "Obviously, it's the tough way to do it. But these horses can be shipped around the world. We've seen Godolphin do it and Coolmore. I don't see why he couldn't be competitive."

Ortiz, riding in Dubai for the first time, scored his second victory of the evening after taking the Godolphin Mile Sponsored By Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City-District One (G2).

"I was delighted when he won the first race," Walsh said of the young rider. "It's a big thing for him to come over here and compete with these world-class riders."

Walsh said he has yet to finalize travel plans for Plus Que Parfait but will either ship him directly to Churchill Downs or make a brief stop at Keeneland before moving on to Louisville.

Plus Que Parfait vanquished a field that included 3-year-olds who had competed earlier in the season in official Kentucky Derby preps in Japan and England. None of them figured in the outcome in the desert while Plus Que Parfait earned 100 points in the main "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series, guaranteeing a spot in the starting gate.

Point of Entry is truly fulfilling his potential as a Global Sire and is now the sire of blacktype runners in five different countries.

- edited from www.bloodhorse.com

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