The road to the Kentucky Derby goes through Dubai on Saturday when 14 three-year-olds leave the starting gate in the 2021 UAE Derby. The Dubai-based Panadol, who is a perfect 2-for-2 in his career, is the 9-2 morning-line favorite in the latest 2021 UAE Derby odds. France Go De Ina, who is based in Japan, and Mnasek, who runs out of Dubai, are right behind him at 6-1 in the 2021 UAE Derby field. The winner of the race will receive 100 qualifying points towards the Kentucky Derby, guaranteeing himself a spot in the starting gate on May 1.
Post time is 10:05 a.m. ET. With several talented internationally-based horses ready to enter the starting gate, you'll want to see what horse racing guru Jody Demling has to say before making any 2021 UAE Derby picks.
A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling had a strong 2020 season. At one point last year he picked the winner of six consecutive races: the Saudi Cup, Gotham Stakes, Rebel Stakes, Louisiana Derby, Florida Derby and Belmont Stakes.
This is the same handicapper who hit the Derby-Oaks double at Churchill Downs nine times in the last 12 years. That means he held a ticket with the winners of both the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby all but three times in his last 12 tries.
He opened last season's Triple Crown schedule on a heater too. At last year's Belmont, Demling said Tiz the Law was clearly the class of the field, and Barclay Tagg's horse pulled away for a convincing 3 3/4-length victory. Anyone who has followed him is up huge.
Now, Demling has handicapped the 2021 UAE Derby field, made his picks and constructed his bets. You can only see them here.
Top 2021 UAE Derby predictions
One surprise: Demling is fading Mouheeb, even though he is one of the favorites at 8-1. In fact, Demling says Mouheeb doesn't even crack the top five, A Kentucky-bred son of Flatter, Mouheeb has two wins and one second in three career starts. He is coming off a win by a neck in the UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan on Feb. 4.
However, this will be Mouheeb's first time beyond one mile, and the additional 3 1/2 furlongs is a big ask for this lightly raced three-year-old. In addition, he'll be facing his toughest competition of his career by far.
Instead, Demling is high on the chances of Mnasek, who's going off at 6-1. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Empire Maker, Mnasek has two wins and one second in three career starts. She is coming off a 6 1/2-length victory in the UAE Oaks at Meydan on Feb. 18.
Demling likes that distance should not be a problem for Mnasek. in fact, her UAE Oaks victory came at the 1 3/16-mile distance of Saturday's Derby. In addition, her sire, Empire Maker, won the 2003 Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles. "She will be dangerous," Demling told SportsLine.
How to make 2021 UAE Derby picks, bets
Demling's top pick is a horse who "should be headed to Kentucky after a big effort." He's also high on a double-digit long shot who "could be the best value in the race." Demling is including these horses in all of his exactas, trifectas and superfectas, and so should you. He's sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.
So who wins the UAE Derby 2021? And what double-digit long shot is a must-back? Check out the latest 2021 UAE Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Demling's picks for the UAE Derby.
2021 UAE Derby odds
France Go De Ina 6-1
Pink Kamehameha 8-1
Takeru Pegasus 10-1
Soft Whisper 12-1
Rebel's Romance 15-1
El Patriota 15-1
New Treasure 20-1
Fire Group 50-1