Mohaymen clocks half-mile in final major move for Florida Derby
Edited Press Release
Undefeated multiple Grade 2 winner Mohaymen completed his final major preparations for the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on April 2 at Gulfstream Park with a half-mile breeze Thursday morning.
The three-year-old Tapit colt was clocked in :48.95 over the fast main track at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County.
Regular exercise rider Miguel Jaime was aboard for the move, which ranked ninth of 46 horses at the distance. It was Mohaymen’s third work since a 2 1/4-length victory in the February 27 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream. That was his fifth consecutive win and second straight at the Championship Meet following the Holy Bull (G2) on January 30.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin opted to move Mohaymen’s work up one day with rain in the forecast all weekend in South Florida. The conditioner is currently in Dubai, where he has several horses running on Saturday’s Dubai World Cup program at Meydan led by Frosted in the $10 million main event.
“We’re OK. We got our work in. He went :48 and 4 and everything went well. It looks like it’s going to rain the next five days so we didn’t want to chance it,” McLaughlin said by phone from Dubai. “We would have probably been fine if we didn’t work at all but being that we could work, we wanted to do it. That’s why we work on Fridays, so we have Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday to work.
“It looked like rain every day so we wanted to get our last work in. If it rained and we didn’t get it in, we didn’t get it in. But he’s on a good schedule and it worked out well. We’re all happy.”
Though not able to watch in person, McLaughlin saw a video of the work sent to him by his assistant and sister-in-law Trish McLaughlin, whose husband, Neal, has been overlooking the team’s Dubai string since January.
“I got a tape of his work and Trish said it went fabulous,” McLaughlin said. “He looked great and everything is on target.”
The horseman had no problem leaving Mohaymen with his team, which has been around the talented colt since he first arrived last summer at Saratoga. The trainer is scheduled to leave Dubai on Sunday for South Florida.
“I felt very comfortable with Miguel there and Trish and everybody,” he said. “It’s not ideal because you want to be there to see it, but I knew I left him there in good hands and everything went well.”
The 65th running of the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby is shaping up to be a showdown between Mohaymen and Nyquist, the unbeaten champion two-year-old male of 2015. Stabled in California with trainer Doug O’Neill, Nyquist is scheduled to arrive March 28 at Gulfstream.
Also expected in the Florida Derby are stakes winner Fellowship, third in both the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth; John Battaglia Memorial third Sawyers Mickey; Gulfstream maiden winner Ifyousnoozeyoulose; and Majesto, who broke his maiden on February 27 at Gulfstream.
Entries will be taken and post positions drawn on Wednesday, March 30.
“We’re ready to go. We wouldn’t change anything,” McLaughlin said. “We’ll just see how we draw and who enters.”
Mohaymen photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese Photography