Mohaymen Draws Post 2 in Holy Bull Stakes

Mohaymen Draws Post 2 in Holy Bull Stakes

Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photos

Mohaymen winning the 2015 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photos
Mohaymen winning the 2015 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct – Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photos

The undefeated Mohaymen, whose victories in the Nashua Stakes (gr. II) and Remsen Stakes (gr. II) last year have stamped him as the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby, will start from post position two when he makes his 2016 debut in the $350,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) on January 30th at Gulfstream Park.

Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Mohaymen has not run since winning the Remsen by 1 1/2 lengths on November 28th, but has posted four timed workouts at Palm Meadows Training Center in preparation for this race, culminating with five furlongs in :59.40 on January 21st. The son of Tapit will be ridden in the Holy Bull by regular rider Junior Alvarado.

“It’s very exciting to have a horse in this position. Obviously, we’ve had some good 3-year-olds in the past but never one that’s three-for-three as a 2-year-old and one of the favorites from the start of the spring races,” McLaughlin was quoted as saying on the Gulfstream Park website. “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.”

“He’s pretty seasoned for only starting three times,” McLaughlin said. “The work behind horses was very important in between the Nashua and the Remsen, for jockey and horse I think. Junior was real confident with him on Remsen day because he had sat behind two horses and taken dirt in the morning. 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.”

Another prominent runner entered in the Holy Bull is Greenpointcrusader, winner of the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont last October and most recently seventh with a troubled trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). But Mohaymen’s biggest challenge might come from Conquest Big E, who finished eighth in the Juvenile before coming back to win a one-mile allowance race at Churchill by two lengths.

“He’s been training as good as a horse can train. My feeling’s always been that he trains like a really good horse and I think he’s run well but so far I think in his career he’s been an underachiever,” trainer Mark Casse was quoted as saying. “I do see things in him that make me think that he is a really good horse, but he’s still got to prove it. This is going to be a big test this weekend. We’d rather find out now.”

The complete field for the Holy Bull is as follows:

$350,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1 Perfect Saint, Corey Lanerie, Dale Romans
2 Mohaymen, Junior Alvarado, Kiaran McLaughlin
3 Fellowship, J. Caraballo, Stanley Gold
4 Conquest Big E, Mike Smith, Mark Casse
5 Greenpointcrusader, John Velazquez, Dominick Schettino
6 Frontier Ranger, Edgar Zayas, R. Pellegrini

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Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin's quest to become North America's richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the blog Unlocking Winners.

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