01/25/2014 6:31PM

Gulfstream Park: Cairo Prince reigns in Holy Bull Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Cairo Prince and jockey Luis Saez score by 5 3/4 lengths in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Cairo Prince passed the first major test for 3-year-olds on the Kentucky Derby trail and did so with flying colors, drawing away to an impressive 5 3/4-length victory over Conquest Titan in Saturday’s Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Cairo Prince completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.16, missing the track standard set by the older River Seven five weeks earlier by just 0.43 seconds. His time also was 0.50 seconds faster than another leading Derby prospect, Top Billing, covered the same distance in winning an allowance race earlier on the card.

Cairo Prince rated comfortably under jockey Luis Saez while kept within easy striking distance of an honest pace set by Coup de Grace and prompted by Almost Famous. Cairo Prince moved methodically under confident handling while racing three wide around the second turn to readily overtake Almost Famous entering the stretch, then drew away with complete authority down the lane.

Conquest Titan, last after a half-mile, circled horses while rallying into the stretch before outfinishing Intense Holiday by a half-length to finish second. It was another three-quarters of a length back to the tiring Almost Famous in fourth.

Best Plan Yet, Financial Mogul, Mr Speaker, Our Caravan, Wicked Strong, Coup de Grace, and Big Bazinga rounded out the order of finish.

Cairo Prince is a son of Pioneerof the Nile out of the Holy Bull mare Holy Bubbette trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. He paid $6.20 as the favorite in a full and talented field of 3-year-olds.

“He had a great trip, just what we were hoping for – in the clear, no troubles,” McLaughlin said on his way to the winner’s circle. “Luis did a great job. He’s a nice horse.”

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

McLaughlin had been quietly confident that he had the horse to beat in the weeks leading up to the $400,000 Holy Bull, which is the first of three major Kentucky Derby preps at Gulfstream Park this winter, along with the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 22 and the $1 million Florida Derby on March 29.

“We felt we had the best horse, and we’re marching on,” McLaughlin said. “He trains exceptionally well, and he’s got a great mind. A lot of times, you don’t get those two things in the same package.”

McLaughlin said it was too early to make a decision on when and where Cairo Prince might run next, but he mentioned the Fountain of Youth as a strong possibility.

“Since we’re standing here at Gulfstream Park, yeah, we’re looking at the Fountain of Youth,” McLaughlin said. “But we could also wait until the Florida Derby. He’ll have one or two more races. We’ll just see how it goes.”

[Clocker Reports: Get Mike Welsch’s clocker reports from Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows]

B More than 1 year ago
The three most interesting horses thus far for this year's TC to me are Shared Belief, Honor Code and Cairo Prince and I think the majority would agree, but since it is only a little over three months until the Derby and Shared Belief already has an injury, I really hope that this gelding, who has a potentially major future, is taken off the TC trail. Considering who is trainer is, that just might happen, though I haven't a clue what the owners want and that is usually the bottom line. I don't think much of the TC due to how early it is in a young horse's career and how it ruins so many horses, but I gotta admit, I'd love to see a TC winner and Shared Belief would be my first choice, but I hope his connections know that everything has to be perfect to even think about this huge venture and I also hope that they realize that it isn't going in that direction already. No doubt Cairo Prince was very impressive in the Holy Bull, but I am very interested in seeing how Honor Code runs in his next race after that strange Remsen.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Here are 2 for you to watch #1 Mosler #2 Strong Mandate
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
I really like Strong Mandate too, he's a horse nobody's really talking about but I think he's gonna be in the picture very soon (if healthy of course)...he and Honor Code are my fav 3 yr olds at the moment.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
See how he runs with dirt in his face.....never has experienced that. Both Honor Code and Too Billing ran thru that test already.
Mark More than 1 year ago
HavNa beat hc once . He will do it again. Lol
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Havana won't win the Hutcheson. Never mind come close to HC again. the wire saved him in Champagne.
Mark More than 1 year ago
He won't won hutcheson cause he is not in it. He is hoing swale as of now. #2 I think hour boy HC is missing a workout ?
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Remsen curse. Or just caught bug goin around. TB is a nice backup
Mark More than 1 year ago
I hear foot issues?!
Mark More than 1 year ago
Kiaran has another nice one in NY . Baratti . CT I hope to see get more ground and a chance to use his tactical speed to get closer position headed into first turn . No shot yesterday from there . Although I think the jockey did the right thing yesterday not getting hung wide. Also he wasn't ridden hard to get by the others in here .
Eric Boyle More than 1 year ago
Cairo Prince was imressive. Almost Famous also ran an excellent race.....can't wait to bet him back.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
this horse sure looks good know and hope he stays that way but you know how these 3 yo horses go!
mark oleary More than 1 year ago
Grandsire Holy Bull will be proud of this colt! Awesome effort and very impressive final clocking. Looks like a legitimate Derby contender here, as he is very tractable and should easily get the 10 panels in Louisville. Now he just needs a lot of luck for the next four and a half months.
russell More than 1 year ago
Very impressive. but can you keep that form until may?
jttf More than 1 year ago
it looked like you wanted to be three or four wide on saturday. surfing u.s.a. ran well on the dead rail. how come they dont run the holy bull stakes on sunday?
jttf More than 1 year ago
cairo prince's daddy finished second in the derby. pioneer ofthenile's daddy finished second in the derby. bodemeister finished second in the derby and his daddy is empire maker. they do have an exacta play in the futures. i did notice that cairo prince was the highweight in the holy bull. he also ran with six more pounds than honor code when he lost by a nose.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Surfing USA is not a grade 1 classic horse IMO.
Louis Howe More than 1 year ago
he looks like a really nice horse. love to see mike smith on him going forward.he needs a more patient pilot.
Louis Howe More than 1 year ago
nice start for this horse. love his breeding.i wish he had another pilot.