HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Before departing on an early Sunday afternoon flight to Dubai, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin checked in on stable star Mohaymen following the undefeated colt’s latest victory in Saturday’s $350,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull (G2).
Making his sophomore debut at Gulfstream Park, the Shadwell Stable homebred ran his record to 4-0 with a dazzling 3 ½-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull, further enhancing his reputation as the top 3-year-old contender in the East.
Mohaymen’s road to the Triple Crown races is expected to continue through South Florida in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) Feb. 27 at Gulfstream, with an eye on the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) April 2.
“He came out of the race great. He ate up last night and looks excellent this morning,” said McLaughlin, who was headed to Dubai to watch 2015 Holy Bull runner-up Frosted run Thursday in Meydan. “For now, we’re pointing for the Fountain of Youth. I haven’t confirmed that with Rick Nichols yet or Sheikh Hamdan, but I think that’s the plan.”
Nichols, the U.S.-based racing manager for Shadwell’s Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was on hand for the Holy Bull and came away more than impressed with the effort of Mohaymen, who ran away from Champagne (G1) winner Greenpointcrusader with ease down the stretch.
“Just chills up and down the back,” Nichols said. “He’s just really good. We know he’s been good, but this really proves that he’s that kind of horse. He beat a Grade 1 winner and it looked to me like he was doing it pretty easy. He had his ears pricked. He was happy. Our original plan was if he liked the track and ran well we’d leave him here, maybe the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby. We’ll see how he comes out and what the boss thinks.”
After breaking slowly from post two as the 1-5 favorite, Mohaymen settled in behind front-running Perfect Saint and Greenpointcrusader, moving up between the pair after a half mile and cruising to the lead along the rail, drawing away effortlessly and with authority under regular rider Junior Alvarado.
“I was nervous after he didn’t break sharp because it didn’t look like there was much pace in the race. I thought we might break well and just be on the lead and stay out of trouble. That didn’t happen, but obviously Junior was fine and he had plenty of horse and plenty of confidence and just let him move up between those two going down the backside and took the lead. It was a good race,” McLaughlin said.
“You can’t ever expect to see a performance like that but that’s the kind of effort at 1-5 that you like to see. Johnny [Velazquez] was on a nice colt [in Greenpointcrusader] and he was closer than normal but he ran huge and the way he finished was very impressive. He’s just a special, special colt.”
McLaughlin praised the connection between Mohaymen and Alvarado, a winner of nearly 1,200 races and 33 graded stakes since 2009 including the 2015 Honey Fox (G2) at Gulfstream Park and six Grade 1 victories.
“Junior has great confidence in him since the first race and each time he’s been on him he just sits back and rides the horse. He’s very high on the horse and they have a lot of confidence in each other,” McLaughlin said. “It’s really a neat situation. He’s just such a special colt it makes his job easier and our jobs easier. It’s exciting.”
Source: Gulfstream Park