Jim Dandy Preview

Mohaymen Returns In Loaded Jim Dandy

The field for this weekend’s Jim Dandy Stakes is one of the most intriguing of the year. It mostly resembles a field of redemption for horses that are still trying to prove what they’re worth, and you’ll recognize a lot of those names from the derby trail. One of those features is none other than Mohaymen.

You might remember the popular Kiaran McLachlin trainee after he thundered to the front of the three-year old class in February, posting as the Kentucky Derby favorite. But the late bloomer had been ground through a gauntlet of seven races in just nine months. At times, he was running high grade stakes races every four or five weeks. That’s how good he is…or at least was.

Heading in to the Jim Dandy, Mohaymen has as much to prove as the rest of the field. He trailed to 4th in a heated showdown at the Florida Derby with Nyquist who was supposed to be his archrival, but he seemed disinterested in challenging that race. He repeated the same result at the Kentucky Derby as the fourth choice in a better effort, but the wear and tear on his performance was apparent. That’s why the Jim Dandy is such a pivotal point in his career.

As a son of Tapit out of Justwhistledixie, nobody can question Mohaymen’s pure talent. Leading up to the Kentucky Derby I openly wondered if he had simply run too many races in too little time. He has won over $952,850 in his career and will push over the million dollar mark if he podiums at the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes but there are doubters lingering out there. This is still a “what have you done for me lately sport”.

I wouldn’t count Mohaymen out. The good news is that it’s been almost three months since he last competed and he’s beaten every horse in this race. The bad news is that every horse in this race has also made stark improvements where Mohaymen has vanished to the wayside in order to rest and recover.

Headlining the field will be Destin and Creator, who finished as the top-two horses at the Belmont Stakes. Both have top-end closing speed and Destin is as consistent as they come. Creator has three wins in his back pocket, but he also hasn’t posted back-to-back wins in his entire career.

Joining them will be Laoban, who was last out at the Dwyer where he crumbled to 5th place. He also placed 6th at the Preakness Stakes and has never won a race. I doubt that the Jim Dandy represents that opportunity for him. Also in the mix is Governor Malibu, a 4th place finisher at the Belmont Stakes as a new shooter.

The most intriguing entry out of the six expected competitors is Race Me Home who came 2nd at the Easy Goer and promises to be a threat simply by virtue of his unknown station. He posted a blistering 1:40.68 time in that 1 1/16th mile race.

For me, the horse to watch and wager on is Mohaymen. Outside of him I prefer Destin simply because he has always finished welll. In seven starts he is 3-2-0 with $670,700 in earnings. The third option is either Creator or Race Me Home and that option I’ll leave up to you.

Jim Dandy Stakes – Saturday, July 30th at 6:18pm EST (Saratoga)
1 1/8th miles, 3 year olds, $600,000

PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Creator (KY) Irad Ortiz, Jr. 123 Steven M. Asmussen
2 Laoban (KY) Jose L. Ortiz 117 Eric J. Guillot
3 Mohaymen (KY) Junior Alvarado 121 Kiaran P. McLaughlin
4 Destin (KY) Javier Castellano 121 Todd A. Pletcher
5 Governor Malibu (NY) Joel Rosario 117 Christophe Clement
6 Race Me Home (IRE) Luis Saez 117 Dale L. Romans

Mohaymen Returns to Work for First Time Since Kentucky Derby

Multiple grade II stakes winner Mohaymen made his return to the race track yesterday, taking part in a three-furlong jaunt at the Greentree Training Center that is located across from the Saratoga Race Course.

Mohaymen’s workout was clocked in at a time of :36 2/5. It was the first timed run since he came in fourth place at the Kentucky Derby.

“He worked great, galloped out in :49 and wouldn’t have blown out a match,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “We’re on our way to working weekly leading up to his next start.”

When the time comes for his next work, Mohaymen is expected to tackle the main Saratoga track, which is set to open for training sessions on July 1st. As for Mohaymen’s next race, McLaughlin is debating between two late July races: the $600,000 Jim Dandy (gr. II) on July 30th and the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on July 31st. The Dandy will be run at Saratoga and the Haskell is set to take place at Monmouth Park.

It would seem likely Mohaymen’s comeback race would be the Jim Dandy, as it is considered the hometown prep race for the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (gr. I). The August 27th race is being tabbed as Mohaymen’s main summer goal after a bit of down time following the Kentucky Derby.

“Mohaymen went home right after the Derby, just for a once over. He was fine–a clean bill of health,” said McLaughlin. “We were never going to go to the Belmont (gr. I). He’s doing great and pointing for the Jim Dandy (and) Travers. We might look at the Haskell. We’ll see, but that’s the weekend we’re looking at.”

Nyquist Proves Best in Florida Derby

Nyquist Beats Moyahmen Convincingly to Win Florida Derby

 Nyquist improved to 7-for-7 lifetime with a convincing wire-to-wire win in the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby Saturday.

Nyquist became the first Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old to capture the Florida Derby since Fly So Free in 1991, and the first Breeders’ Cup Juvenile hero to follow up in the Florida Derby since Unbridled’s Song in 1996.

“We had this plan from after the Breeders’ Cup of what we wanted to do and it’s all unfolding perfectly,” trainer Doug O’Neill said following the race.

Nyquist has now earned $2,322,600 on the track for the Reddam Racing, LLC after collecting $589,000 in the Florida Derby plus an additional $1 million bonus for the Florida Derby win from the auction company Fasig-Tipton as a graduate of its Florida 2-year old in training sale.

The 10-horse field for the Florida Derby was hyped as the bi-coastal battle between the best from the West Nyquist and the East Coast undefeated champion Mohaymen. But after making a move towards the leader at the top of the stretch, Mohaymen had no additional gear this day while fading to fourth and beaten 8 1/4 lengths over a main track that had taken rain intermittently during the 14-race program.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had more mixed emotions Sunday after his star colt and multiple Grade II winner Mohaymen (Tapit) suffered his first career loss when finishing fourth behind Nyquist. Though disappointed in the Shadwell Stable runner’s result, McLaughlin was pleased with how the horse emerged from the race, both mentally and physically.

“He came out of the race in good shape,” McLaughlin said as he overlooked Mohaymen’s stall outside his barn office at Palm Meadows. “He’s never been beaten and we thought he was invincible going in so, yeah, we’re a little down about the result. But, we’re moving forward. We’re happy that he’s happy this morning and we can move forward to the Kentucky Derby.”

“Basically it was very wet and we were very wide. We ran 54 feet further than the winner, but congratulations to Nyquist and their team. They had to run over the same racetrack under the same conditions and they did it better than us. Congratulations to them, because it was a big showdown. We’ll regroup and point for the Kentucky Derby and hope for the best.”

Mohaymen Preps for Florida Derby With Latest Work

We’re two weeks away from the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (gr. I), and witnessing an epic showdown between Mohaymen and the undefeated Nyquist.

In a training session held earlier today, Mohaymen showed why he’s considered the top East Coast three-year-old Triple Crown prospect. In a five-furlong work at the Palm Meadows’ main track, Mohaymen destroyed the course in a time of 1:01.

His splits were timed at: :13 2/5, :25 1/5, and :36 3/5. He went an extra furlong, going six furlongs deep in a time of 1:15.

“He went great; just what the boss asked for. It was perfect,” said exercise rider Miguel Jaime. “We’re just getting ready. He feels great, like a Ferrari, you know? We’re doing good so far, looking forward to the Florida Derby.”

Jaime has been Mohaymen’s regular exercise rider since the multiple grade II winner out of Shadwell Stable relocated to South Florida in the beginning of last December. It was the second work put in by Mohaymen since winning the Xpressbet.com Fount of Youth (gr. II) last month.

“It’s a pleasure to be on a horse like that,” said Jaime. “He’s getting better every day, every race. He’s getting stronger, bigger. We haven’t seen him really run yet. We expect him to run a big race. He hasn’t shown everything. We’re in a good spot right now. Today, everything went good.”

Mohaymen has one last scheduled work on March 25th prior to the Florida Derby.


Fellowship Pointed Towards Florida Derby

The Florida Derby will be headlined by the two favorites to win the Kentucky Derby, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be the only two horses involved. Fellowship will continue to seek his first stakes victory and is going up against the best in the business in an effort to accomplish this feat. He’ll probably have to wait for that first win even longer than April 2nd.

Currently, the Jacks or Better Farms product is a serious longshot to win the first leg of the Triple Crown and does not have futures odds just yet.

Ever since winning his maiden back in May of 2015, Fellowship has been groomed for the derby trail on the east coast. He has raced almost exclusively at Gulfstream Park and Gulfstream Park West. Trained by Stanley Gold, the son of Awesome of Course and Go Girlfriend Go will try for another run on familiar grounds.

At the very least, he’s a strong consideration to at least show for those that like building boxes.

In his career, Fellowship is 1-3-2 in seven races. His 2016 season began with a 5th place finish at the Mucho Macho Man Stakes (won by Awesome Speed), but he rallied to place third at the Holy Bull Stakes and the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Both of those challenges were dominated by Mohaymen.

“He’s going to go in the Florida Derby for sure,” Gold mentioned when inquired about his horse. “He’s training good. We’ve got time for another work or two if we want. I’m looking forward to the race. The extra sixteenth of a mile is going to help him.”

Fellowship is a known closer, who showed some great speed down the stretch at the Holy Bull this year. It wasn’t the elite type that Mohaymen is known for, but he did not shy away from the challenge one bit. He will be contending square on against Zulu for third place at the Florida Derby and is worthy of a look as he gets ignored by the handicappers like he was at the Fountain of Youth Stakes.

Danzing Candy presses in KDFW Pool 3

KDFW Pool 3 Closes With Four Contenders

When we began this long trail towards the Kentucky Derby, there was one horse to beat and one only. That honor belonged to Nyquist. Then Mohaymen started to pick up steam, followed shortly by Mor Spirit. A three-horse competition began between the top horses and everyone else seemed like canon fodder. The KDFW Pool 3 opened on Friday, but it was Saturday that saw a huge surprise.

Danzing Candy has joined the fray as a surging outside shot in derby futures, but still has a long way to go to prove he can hang with the big boys.

Mohaymen essentially stayed out in front as the derby favourite with 7/2 odds to win. He collected $36,370.85 over the weekend in additional handle. It was by far the most of any entrant in the KDFW Pool 3, exceeding the combined total of the second and third favourites.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was that Nyquist stayed at 7/1 odds. There seems to be a growing sentiment that the former favourite for the Kentucky Derby is no longer the best bet. Aside from limiting his competition this year to a 7-furlong sprint at the San Vicente Stakes, I’d imagine that the allure of Nyquist’s sheer talent would have driven bettors towards his tempting odds in the KDFW Pool 3.  That wasn’t exactly the case, although $21,211.39 in action came his way.

Nyquist and Mohaymen are both declared for the Florida Derby on April 2nd, in a showdown of the top-two horses on the east coast. It’s obvious that horse players are placing a clear preference on Mohaymen, but Nyquist could be a real steal from a value perspective here. If he wins the Florida Derby decisively – and there’s nothing to indicate that he can’t – then those that backed him heavily at 7/1 will be laughing down the trail to Churchill Downs.

But let’s get back to that fourth horse, shall we?

The conversation out west got way more interesting over the weekend thanks to the results of the San Felipe Stakes. Mor Spirit was justifiably touted as a talented enough horse to give the top two derby contenders a run for their money. But a lazy push out of the gates over the weekend saw Mor Spirit lose out to Danzing Candy. Even then, Mor Spirit’s odds in KDFW Pool 3 remained the same as they did in the last round. He stands as a 12/1 outside shot.

Danzing Candy and Mor Spirit will battle again at the Santa Anita Derby on April 9th in one of the most intriguing rematches available. It wasn’t just that Danzing Candy won the San Felipe Stakes, it’s how he did it. The front running horse shot out of the gates like a bullet and increased his speed as the race went on. It was a phenomenal display. Mor Spirit definitely began to close the gap down the stretch, and ran a poor race overall. A late rush of money came in on Daning Candy as the KDFW Pool 3 window closed. His 28/1 odds shrank to 17/1 and $10,030.26 came in to back him.

The fourth and final window of futures betting for the Kentucky Derby Futures Wager will open April 1st and close April 3rd.

NTRA Poll Results

The Week 1 National Thoroughbred Racing Association poll for Top three-year-olds has been released. The poll spans racing performances though to the end of March 6th, and are based on a scoring settings system of: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. Industry and racing media members make up the voters.

Topping the poll is Mohaymen of Shadwell Racing, who received 23 first place votes. He edged out Nyquist and his 13 first place votes. Mor Spirit (2) and Songbird (6) were the only two other horses to receive first place votes.

Below is the complete standings for the poll, with first place votes in brackets, followed by total points earned:

1. Mohaymen (23 first place votes) – 420 total points
2. Nyquist (13) – 400
3. Mor Spirit (2) – 263
4. Songbird (6) – 263
5. Shagaf – 171
6. Exaggerator – 168
7. Gun Runner – 142
8. Suddenbreakingnews – 106
9. Mo Tom – 92
10. Zulu – 86

Here is a list of other horses who received votes, ranked by number of votes received: Cathryn Sophia (75), Brody’s Cause (75), Greenpointcrusader (71), Smokey Image-1 (70), Destin (20), Danzing Candy (15), Awesome Banner (10), Catch a Glimpse (9), Sunny Ridge (9), Whitmore (8), Forevamo (5), Rafting (3), Swipe (3), Frank Conversation (3), Converge (2), Tusk (2), Cupid (1), Laoban (1), Hit It A Bomb (1), Flexibility (1), Maliby Sunset (1), Awesome Speed (1).

In a separate poll, California Chrome leads the Top Thoroughbred Poll, with 24 first place votes and 402 total points. You can see the full poll results below:

1. California Chrome (24 first place votes) – 402 total points
2. Mshawish (7) – 301
3. Beholder (4) – 205
4. Frosted (3) – 204
5. Songbird (2) – 164
6. Mohaymen (3) – 151
7. Tepin – 149
8. Nyquist – 116
9. Hoppertunity – 107
10. Runhappy – 106

Here is a list of other horses who received votes, ranked by number of votes received: Effinex (44), X Y Jet (41), Valid (38), Heart to Heart (37), Lukes Alley (37), Blofeld (35), Flamboyant (34), Cathryn Sophia (32), Bolo (22), Flintshire (14), Page McKenney (13), Mexikoma (13), Dortmund (12), Mor Spirit (11), Keen Ice (10), Stopchargingmaria (8), Imperative (8), Exaggerator (8), Taris (7), Shagaf (7), Grand Tito (7), Brody’s Cause (6), Smokey Image (6), Gun Runner (6), Chocolate Ride (5), Private Zone (5), Texas Red (5), Financial Modeling (5), Forever Unbridled (4), Danzing Candy (4), Suddenbreakingnews (4), Eagle (4), Stanford (3), Gent (3), Swipe (3), Sheer Drama (2), Shining Copper (2), Dancing House (2), Keri Belle (2), Charming Kitten (1), Tommy Macho (1), Firing Line (1), Majestic Harbor (1), Lady Shipman (1), Lady Eli (1).

Heavy Favorite Mohaymen Ready for Fountain of Youth

Mohaymen Shoots to Remain Perfect in Fountain of Youth

With Cherry Wine out of the Fountain of Youth due to a fever, and Awesome Banner potentially to follow, the field has weakened against the expected dominant favorite Mohaymen. Still, there are four or five three year old challengers set to run against the money-favorite Moyamen in Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. The Kentucky Derby points race will award the top-4 finishers with 50-20-10-5 points.

That includes Zulu, a son of 2006 Preakness winner Bernardini. The $900,000 colt is undefeated with a pair of wins over this track. Zulu stretches out over two turns for the first time and steps up from his 7-length allowance score for trainer Todd Pletcher. But he’s bread for the distance and is the likely challenger to Mohaymen.

“We think he’s a very talented colt,” Pletcher said. “We anticipate he’s going to improve stretching out. He’ll need to against this group but we’ve been pleased with what he’s done so far and pleased with how he’s trained since the allowance win. We’ll find out a lot more Saturday.”

Zulu will break from the No. 2 post with Fellowship on the rail. Fellowship closed well off a slow pace in the Holy Bull to finish third, and he’s a talented horse on the improve who breezed five furlongs in a bullet February 13 in 58 3/5 seconds.

Awesome Banner is also undefeated and has the speed to press the pace. He’s scheduled to start in the No. 5 post, but he could be a scratch and target the March 12 Tampa Bay Downs. Golden Ray in post 3 offers little off his last place finish last time out while Awesome Speed has won his last three races including the Mucho Macho Man mile over this track and posted fast fractions after being bumped at the start. He’ll break from post No. 4 and we’ll find out if he’s ready to handle the added distance in the 1 1/16 mile race. Mohaymen completes the field and will start from the outside No. 6 post.

The spotlight continues to shine on Mohaymen, who is 4-for-4 after selling for $2.2 million at the Keeneland sale. The Tapit colt continues to impress with three Grade 2 wins including his last in the Holy Bull when he accelerated in the final four furlongs and flew home to an easy win under jockey Junior Alvarado. Mohaymen stands out above this field in terms of proven talent and versatility, and especially with Cherry Wine and Awesome Banner out, but he’ll offer little return in the pari-mutuels as the heavy favorite.

Here is a list of the horses running in the Fountain of Youth with past performance charts.

Post time Saturday is 5:30 p.m. ET with coverage on TVG.


Mohaymen wins the 2016 Holy Bull Stakes by 3 1/2 lenghts

Mohaymen Wins Holy Bull, Ready For Next

There’s no rest for the best of them. Coming fresh off his win at the Holy Bull Stakes, Mohaymen is already being prepped for his next challenge. Trainer Kairan McLaughlin has made a surprise announcement and pointed his prize contender towards the Fountain of Youth Stakes on February 27th. The highly anticipated race at Gulfstream just got really interesting.

Mohaymen’s handlers will have to make the final decision, but McLaughlin seems very optimistic. “He ate up last night and looks excellent this morning. 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.”

As for the race itself, McLaughlin was relieved that the tempo of the Holy Bull didn’t effect Mohaymen. “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. He’s just a special, special colt.”

Favoured at 1/5 at the Holy Bull Stakes, Mohaymen dragged in a quarter million in action at the window with ($245, 667 to be exact). He paid out $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10 for the win he earned by 3 1/2 lengths. Greenpointcrusader finished second and rewarded his backers with $2.60 and $2.20 for the show. The surprise finisher at the Holy Bull Stakes was Fellowship, who came through in third as a 40/1 longshot with a payout of $3.60 for the show.

The Fountain of Youth has already fielded nominations from several outside shots for the Triple Crown who were hoping to avoid the big guns like Mor Spiri, Mohaymen and Nyquist. Zulu and Shagaf are two of such horses, having announced their candidacy for the Gulfstream event last week in strategic fashion to steer clear of some higher end competition. Awesome Speed, Awesome Banner and Cherry Wine round out the order for that race so far with a handful yet to come.

Check out Mohaymen’s impressive victory at the Holy Bull Stakes below and continue to keep an eye on him as we prep for the fast approaching Kentucky Derby. The Fountain of Youth Stakes field will have a major competitor to deal with now.

Mohaymen is ready for 2016 Holy Bull Stakes

Mohaymen Ready for 2016 Holy Bull Stakes

The 2016 Holy Bull Stakes cracks its gates open next weekend on January 30th, and all eyes will be focused on Mohaymen. The three-year old son of Tapit is undefeated in three races, having won the Remsen and the Nashua at the end of 2014. He is also the second favourite amongst Triple Crown hopefuls this coming season, ranking just behind the front running Nyquist.

Two weeks ago, Mohaymen ran like he was shot out of a canon, covering five furlongs in just 0:59 2/5 which brought some excitement from trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.  “It’s very exciting. He’s training great and done everything right. He works well every time and comes back, and doesn’t blow out a match…We know he can handle most things thrown at him at this stage. We just hope we have a good trip and a clean trip.”

It certainly seems like the winner of the Gulfstream main event next weekend is a given, and excitement for Mohaymen continues to rise as we march down the road to the Kentucky Derby.

Conquest Big E might stand as the biggest threat to Mohaymen at the 2016 Holy Bull Stakes. His disappointing 8th place finish at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile notwithstanding, the highly rated Conquest Stables product topped the podium at an impressive allowance hosted by Churchill Downs to finish his 2015 campaign. He ran a mile in 1:37.62.

Greenpointcrusader also remains an intriguing entry. He placed 7th at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile just after winning the one-mile Champagne (GR1) with a time of 1:36.25. This will be Greepointcrusader’s first race at Gulfstream and he remains, quite literally, a dark horse in the 2016 Holy Bull Stakes.

Fellowship will also compete at the 2016 Holy Bull Stakes with the hopes of generating the same buzz he had at the tail of 2015.  The Stanley Gold trainee finished first in a Gulfstream maiden while placing second at the Birdonthewire and another allowance at Gulfstream West. He also finished a respectable 5th at the Mucho Macho Man Stakes to start his sophomore season.

Perfect Saint and Frontier Ranger are also projected to race in the 2016 Holy Bull Stakes, but nobody feels more important than Mohaymen. Truth be told, running this race just seems like a formality. Everyone just wants to see how fast McLaughlin’s star truly is as a three-year old.

The 2016 Holy Bull Stakes is a 1 1/16 mile race on dirt at Gulfstream Park, scheduled for January 30th. It offers a purse of $350,000.