LOUISVILLE, KY (Wednesday, April 20, 2016) – Shadwell Stable’s Mohaymen, who had his five-race unbeaten streak snapped in the Florida Derby (Grade I) in his most recent start, put in his first work at Churchill Downs Wednesday in preparation for the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and it was a bullet.
Working after the morning renovation break over a fast track, Mohaymen worked a half-mile in :46.80. The move, the best of 27 at the distance, produced fractions of :12, :23.60, :35.20 and out five furlongs in :59.60 and six furlongs in 1:12.80.
Also working toward the Derby were G M B Racing’s Mo Tom, who worked a half-mile in :47 and Koji Maeda’s Lani, who covered five furlongs in 1:06.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Mohaymen, ninth on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, posted his first work since finishing fourth in the Florida Derby on April 2.
“That was a ‘Wow’ breeze,” said Neal McLaughlin, assistant to and brother of Kiaran McLaughlin. “You don’t know what you’re going to get coming here. It’s a bit of a different surface, some of them like it, some of them don’t and that’s why we are here early and give him a couple of breezes here.
“We were looking for a :48, up in 1:01 and he went :46.8 and up in :59.6, galloped out, came back, took one sip of water and (there was) not any sweat on him.”
Kiaran McLaughlin, who saddled Frosted to a fourth-place finish behind eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in last year’s Derby, was delighted with the work.
“It was a great work,” the trainer said. “I kind of predicted that the track was deeper at Palm meadows and this is a little bit lighter and he was going to work pretty fast.
“He hasn’t worked since he ran and he was feeling really good, so we thought he was going to work well. He’ll have one more work.”
McLaughlin is not giving up on the Tapit colt, who finished 8 ¼ lengths behind Nyquist in the Florida Derby.
“We are going to draw a line through that race,” McLaughlin said of the Florida Derby. “He was very wide and the track was very wet, not that he wouldn’t handle it wet here, but at least it’s an excuse for us trainers. He ran 54 feet further than the winner and that’s a matter of fact quite a bit of feet further and a lot of lengths difference.”
Working before the morning break was Mo Tom, trained by Tom Amoss. In his second drill since finishing a troubled fourth in the Louisiana Derby (GII), Mo Tom posted fractions of :11.60, :23, :34.80 before galloping out five furlongs in :59.80, three-quarters in 1:12.40, seven-eighths in 1:26.40 and a mile in 1:42.
“It went well,” Amoss said of the move by Mo Tom, who is 20th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. “We went a little quick early in the work but he came back to the rider nicely and coming to the wire he was full force.
“He did like he always does, galloped out very strongly, which is his ammo. With that in mind when we work back next week, which will be our last work, we’ll push back from the Derby pretty good because the work is going to be significant even though we’re out to do a little less than we have the past two weeks.”
Amoss said Mo Tom would work next Thursday or Friday, depending on weather.
Lani, winner of the UAE Derby (GII), went to the track before the break, galloped once around and then put in his five-eighths work. Fractions were :13.80, :27.40, :40.40, :52.80 with a three-quarters gallop-out in 1:23.40.
“Everything has gone according to plan, so I’m happy with that,” said Kieta Tanaka, agent for Maeda. “We don’t do super-fast works around this time so everything is what I have planned. We’ll do something faster next week and three or four days before the Derby.”