01/30/2016 6:27PM

Mohaymen impresses again in Holy Bull Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mohaymen, with Junior Alvarado aboard, wins the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Mohaymen left little doubt that he is the leading Kentucky Derby contender stabled on the East Coast and fueled the argument that he might now even be the division leader, cruising to a convincing 3 1/2-length victory over Greenpointcrusader and four other overmatched rivals in Saturday’s Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Mohaymen, a son of Tapit owned by Shadwell Stable and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, was ridden with total confidence in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull by Junior Alvarado. Rating within easy striking distance of the early leaders, Mohaymen split horses to engage Greenpointcrusader after a half-mile, edged to a short advantage entering the stretch, then surged away with terrific acceleration once switching leads near the eighth pole, after which the issue was no longer in doubt.

Greenpointcrusader, the lone Grade 1 winner in the field, showed some surprising speed under his new rider, John Velazquez, forcing the early issue outside of Perfect Saint through leisurely splits of 24.64 and 49.06 seconds.

The hero of the one-mile Champagne Stakes last October at Belmont Park, Greenpointcrusader raced on even terms with the favored Mohaymen around the second turn but could not match strides once settling into the stretch, although he was easily second-best, finishing 2 1/2 lengths in front of Fellowship. Conquest Big E, Frontier Ranger, and Perfect Saint rounded out the order of finish.

Mohaymen is one of two Kentucky Derby contenders for Shadwell, whose Shagaf remained unbeaten after registering an impressive allowance victory here Friday. Mohaymen earned 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, doubling his previous total, by virtue of his victory in the Holy Bull.

Mohaymen completed the distance in 1:42.07 over a fast track and paid $2.60 for his fourth victory in as many starts and his third Grade 2 win. He had previously captured the Nashua and Remsen stakes at age 2.

“What he did today was pretty special,” said McLaughlin. “It looked like on paper he might break and be on the lead, but when that didn’t happen, I was a little nervous into the first turn. But it all went great. He does everything right. It’s just a real pleasure to have such a special star in the barn for Sheikh Hamdan, Rick Nichols, and everybody. I’ve trained for them for 23 years, and I trained the mother [Justwhistledixie], so it’s pretty special.”

David Benning More than 1 year ago
Interstingly, My Man Sam was the only contender in his MSW who wasn't nominated to the TC for 6 bills. Now they need 60 bills, but I understand the trepidation. His first race was a 52 or so Beyer. They gave him more extra time than usual to make his 2nd start so maybe he had a medical issue? If this colt won this race short, watch out. I have no idea what Beyer he got for the win, but I'm guessing in the 80-85 range, which is a nice jump from the 1st start (and that is actually more important than the number itself). When colts make that kind of jump stretching-out in 2nd career start, you can expect more jumps to come if they are under solid tutelage.
David Benning More than 1 year ago
Did anyone see My Man Sam's MSW at AQ on Sunday? Brown had very average formulator stats (14%/1.00roi) going sprint-to-route, 2nd career start off a layoff. In fact, for him, they were terrible. His first race was a grinding well-beaten 5th. He fell way back and started making a sustained run about the 7/16th, and while he was moving well, my expectation was that he might get 3rd if he didn't flatten-out. I have seen too many maidens make giant middle-race moves only to peter out at crunch time. When the 2nd-place horse, who had been on the pace all the way, started pulling away in the stretch, correct lead, looking strong, I thought no way jose. But this colt never stopped coming, never stopped eating up the ground, and he went on to win by 3 or more. It was a mouth-dropping move, I thought, the kind of sustained bid you don't often see. It's true the pace was quick, and the final time was solid if not spectacular, but I have to go by how good the 2nd place horse looked striding out nicely, looking like a winner, and then superimpose Sam's race over it and it looks good enough to be the kind of colt who could at least find himself in the field in early May.
Mike Reynolds More than 1 year ago
If a guy who was working as the manager of a laundromat can win the Derby, not too long ago, then surely Kiaran can win. That horse looks like 10 million.
Frank More than 1 year ago
This one is special -- The shek and Kiaran ticket may finally be up -- these guys are deserving unlike that sick crew from last year. I love how this horse was tested in the Holy Bull. Good sign -- the competition wouldnt lay down and duck him like they did with AP last year. Hope competitive honest horse racing finally returns at the very top level of this sport!
Earl Rhodes More than 1 year ago
@Frank , that sick crew rom last year ? your most likely new to the game and really don't realize the shot in the arm that racing needed , it had been 47 years since a Triple Crown winner Im 62 so I saw the other Triple Crown winners , check the TV ratings for the Belmont , that sick crew from last year , are nothing but class acts and got a lot of new people interested in horse racing , before you go making Mohaymen the next best thing since sliced bread theres a 3yr old by the name of Nyquist who is also undefeated , and was 2yr old champion
Frank More than 1 year ago
Nyquist is by Uncle Mo -- therefore he is not bred to go the classic distances... Mohaymen is the real deal.
Tim More than 1 year ago
Why was the crew from last year undeserving?
Mark More than 1 year ago
Kiaran will never win a Derby....he simply does not train his horses hard enough. Trainers like Baffert and Pletcher walk the line between winning the Derby and having the horse break down. Horseman like Kiaran and Chad Brown and Mott are too conservative to walk that line. Not saying it's a bad thing.
Blaine MacMillan More than 1 year ago
Same thing said about Shug McGaughey until Orb showed up. Heck, same thing they said about Charlie Whittingham, Carl Naftzger and Neil Drysdale too. This is horse racing, dude. Not trainer racing or jockey racing. I'm just saying....
Frank More than 1 year ago
Blaine is right -- A great horse makes a trainer -- its never the other way around especially these days.
Mike Reynolds More than 1 year ago
Maybe your not old enough to know, but a previous Derby was won by a trainer who was the manager of a laundromat a short time prior to winning the Derby, Spend a Buck.
john g More than 1 year ago
Attn. DRF .. The above video replay is not available due to technical difficulties.
Joseph Donato More than 1 year ago
good for you kiaran,maybe this year is your time to shine bright in the derby.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Kiaran will never win a Derby....he simply does not train his horses hard enough. Trainers like Baffert and Pletcher walk the line between winning the Derby and having the horse break down. Horseman like Kiaran and Chad Brown and Mott are too conservative to walk that line. Not saying it's a bad thing.