Mohaymen gives connections 'Derby Fever' after Nashua win

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

November 4th, 2015

Mohaymen stamped himself as a potentially smart Kentucky Derby (G1) prospect Wednesday when taking the $200,000 Nashua (G2), the feature on the opening day program at Aqueduct.

The even-money favorite in a field of seven two-year-olds, Mohaymen was a wide sixth, four lengths off the leading Magna Light after the first quarter, and then gradually improved position approaching the turn. Bidding for the lead while three wide, he took the lead in upper stretch and went on to finish 1 3/4 lengths ahead under Junior Alvarado.

A $2.2 million yearling purchase by Shadwell Stable, the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Mohaymen paid $4.20 after completing one mile on a fast track in 1:36.01. He is now two-for-two, having won on debut at Belmont by a half-length September 19.

"We were a little worried about the kickback, how he would break, and the others that have had more racing experience than him. But he's a very talented horse and I'm glad he lived up to the betting public's odds," McLaughlin said.

Flexibility, the 5-2 second choice, finished second, a neck ahead of Sail Ahoy, who trailed most of the way before putting in a solid late run for third.

Mohaymen is a son of Tapit and Justwhistledixie, a multiple Grade 2 winner at Gulfstream during her three-year-old season. The gray juvenile is a half-brother to New Year's Day, who retired prematurely after three starts but with a victory in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) to his credit.

"He's got a great pedigree. It's just great to win for Shadwell Stable, Rick Nichols [General Manager of Shadwell Farm] and everybody in Lexington," McLaughlin said. "I've been with them for 22 years, so it's a special win. We definitely have Derby fever. [His next race] would be the Remsen (G2) or the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs on the same day [November 28]."

In the $200,000 Tempted (G3), the filly counterpart to the Nashua run earlier in the card, Big World led at every call of the one-mile event, but her advantage was small throughout.

Leading by margins of a head to a half-length over Banree through splits of :24.05 and :47.85, Big World was only a head clear of that rival at the furlong pole, but edged clear late to win by a half-length over the closing 10-1 chance Flora Dora. Banree weakened to third, while 4-5 favorite Welcoming finished fifth in the field of six.

Owned by Maggi Moss, trained by Tony Dutrow and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Big World covered the distance in 1:37.19 and paid $10.40.

"It was a little weird. On paper, it looked like there was a little more speed in there, but my filly broke very well and I noticed it was going easy in front, so I took advantage of it," Ortiz said. We went 24 and 47 and that's pretty good. When I asked her to go, she responded very well."

Big World finished third in her first two starts, the latter in a Saratoga maiden won by Rachel's Valentina, the eventual Spinaway (G1) winner and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) runner-up. Big World broke her maiden by three parts of a length over the same track September 6 going seven furlongs, defeating Inheritance, who came back to break her maiden by 16 lengths at Belmont in early October.

Big World is a Louisiana-bred daughter of Custom for Carlos.

(Mohaymen photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)