Mohaymen breezes half-mile for Florida Derby

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TwinSpires Staff

March 11th, 2016

Edited Press Release

Undefeated multiple Grade 2 winner Mohaymen breezed a half-mile Friday morning in preparation for his next start in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on April 2 at Gulfstream Park.

With regular exercise rider Miguel Jaime aboard, the sophomore son of Tapit was clocked in :49.40, second-fastest of 37 horses at the distance over the main track at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County.

It was the first work back for Mohaymen since his 2 1/4-length victory in the February 27 Fountain of Youth (G2). Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin plans two more breezes leading up to the 1 1/8-mile Derby.

“He went in :49 and two, but the track was a little dull this morning, a little dry. It was probably equivalent to :48 and two, so it was a very good work,” McLaughlin said. “We’re very happy with him. He’s doing great and we’re happy to have him back on the work tab.”

Mohaymen furthered his credentials as a leading Triple Crown contender in the Fountain of Youth, the fifth consecutive victory of his career that also includes wins in the Nashua (G2) and Remsen (G2) as a juvenile and January 30 Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream to open his 2015 campaign.

“He’s doing great. He put on weight from when we brought him down here and he’s trained great,” McLaughlin said. “Obviously, he’s two-for-two this year so everything is great. No changes. He’s happy, and we just want to keep him that way.”

The 65th running of the Florida Derby is shaping up as a showdown between Mohaymen and undefeated Nyquist, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner and champion two-year-old male of 2015 who is based in California with trainer Doug O’Neill.

Nyquist is scheduled to have his final work in California before arriving at Gulfstream Park on March 28.

“We need to worry about them all, but obviously Nyquist is a top horse, also undefeated, won the Breeders’ Cup. The distance won’t be an issue for him because he already ran long at Keeneland and was very wide. It’s going to be a great race, probably between those two,” McLaughlin said. “We’ll see who else is in the race, but it is what it is. We’re ready. We’re training on and doing well and always planned for this. We’re staying with our plan.”

Mohaymen wasn’t the only Florida Derby hopeful working out on Friday.

Stakes winner Fellowship made his return to the work tab on Friday, breezing four furlongs in :47.53 over Gulfstream’s fast main track, third-fastest of 30 horses.

“He worked like he usually works. People like to use the words ‘maintenance work,’ and I guess that’s what it is because he’ll be working again next week,” trainer Stanley Gold said. “He’s on target for the Florida Derby. Hopefully, everything stays good and we run and make a good showing. Everything’s good right now.”

Fellowship finished third behind Mohaymen in both the Fountain of Youth and Holy Bull after running fifth to in the Mucho Macho Man S. on January 2 to kick off his sophomore season. He was also second in a pair of stakes at Gulfstream Park West after his 12-1 upset in the In Reality division of the Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream last October 3.

"So far he’s been right there and he’s running against the best and he’ll be running against the best next time,” Gold said. “It’s certainly not an easy task but he’s finishing and as long as he’s finishing he’s got a shot. The extra eighth of a mile is not going to hurt him. We’ll see.”

Mohaymen photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese Photography