Mohaymen, Mo Tom & Lani post moves at Churchill Downs
Edited Press Release
Shadwell Stable’s multiple Grade 2 winner Mohaymen recorded a bullet in his first work at Churchill Downs on Wednesday in preparation for the $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1).
There were actually three Kentucky Derby hopefuls who worked on Wednesday, with G M B Racing’s Mo Tom and Koji Maeda’s Lani each putting in moves ahead of the Run for the Roses.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Mohaymen clocked a half-mile in :46.80 after the morning renovation break over Churchill’s fast main track. The move, the best of 27 at the distance, produced fractions of :12, :23.60 and :35.20. The gray colt galloped out five furlongs in :59.60 and three-quarters in 1:12.80.
Mohaymen, currently ninth on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, was posting his first work since finishing fourth in the Florida Derby (G1) on April 2 at Gulfstream Park. That loss snapped his unbeaten mark of five wins.
“That was a ‘Wow’ breeze,” said Neal McLaughlin, assistant to and brother of Kiaran McLaughlin. “You don’t know what you’re going to get coming here. It’s a bit of a different surface, some of them like it, some of them don’t and that’s why we are here early and give him a couple of breezes here.
“We were looking for a :48, up in 1:01 and he went :46.8 and up in :59.6, galloped out, came back, took one sip of water and (there was) not any sweat on him.”
Kiaran McLaughlin, who saddled Frosted to a fourth-place finish behind eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in last year’s Derby, was delighted with the work.
“It was a great work,” the trainer said. “I kind of predicted that the track was deeper at Palm Meadows (in Florida) and this is a little bit lighter and he was going to work pretty fast.
“He hasn’t worked since he ran and he was feeling really good, so we thought he was going to work well. He’ll have one more work.”
McLaughlin is not giving up on the Tapit colt, who finished 8 1/4 lengths behind undefeated champion Nyquist in the Florida Derby.
“We are going to draw a line through that race,” McLaughlin said of the Florida Derby. “He was very wide and the track was very wet, not that he wouldn’t handle it wet here, but at least it’s an excuse for us trainers. He ran 54 feet further than the winner and that’s a matter of fact quite a bit of feet further and a lot of lengths difference.”
The Tom Amoss-trained Mo Tom, who is 20th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, worked before the morning break, turning a half-mile in :47.
In his second drill since finishing a troubled fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2), Mo Tom posted fractions of :11.60, :23 and :34.80 before galloping out five furlongs in :59.80, three-quarters in 1:12.40, seven-eighths in 1:26.40 and a mile in 1:42.
“It went well,” Amoss said of the move. “We went a little quick early in the work but he came back to the rider nicely and coming to the wire he was full force.
“He did like he always does, galloped out very strongly, which is his ammo. With that in mind when we work back next week, which will be our last work, we’ll push back from the Derby pretty good because the work is going to be significant even though we’re out to do a little less than we have the past two weeks.”
Amoss said Mo Tom would work next Thursday or Friday, depending on weather.
Lani, winner of the U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2), went to the track before the break to breeze five furlongs in 1:06.
The Japanese-based runner galloped once around and then put in his five-eighths work. He recorded fractions of :13.80, :27.40, :40.40 and :52.80, with a three-quarters gallop-out in 1:23.40.
“Everything has gone according to plan, so I’m happy with that,” said Kieta Tanaka, agent for Lani’s owner. “We don’t do super-fast works around this time so everything is what I have planned. We’ll do something faster next week and three or four days before the Derby.”
Nyquist had another routine morning down at Keeneland on Wedensday, combining a jog with a gallop over a fast main track before the renovation break.
Owned by Reddam Racing and currently favored to win the Kentucky Derby, Nyquist walked alongside a pony as they backtracked to the eighth-pole, where they broke off in a jog to the seven-eighths pole.
After standing about a minute, Nyquist broke off and galloped a little more than a mile under regular morning partner Jonny Garcia.
“We go by what Jonny says, and he said Nyquist felt really good this morning,” said Jack Sisterson, assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill. “Jonny is very happy with him.”
Sisterson, who accompanies Nyquist to the track daily aboard the pony, took a break Tuesday afternoon and visited Triple Crown winner American Pharoah at nearby Ashford Stud.
“Just being in his presence was something,” Sisterson said. “What a physical specimen.”
In addition to American Pharoah, Sisterson also visited Uncle Mo, sire of Nyquist.
Sisterson said O’Neill is scheduled to return to Lexington, Kentucky, this afternoon from his home base at Santa Anita in California. O’Neill will be at the barn in the morning with the second of three scheduled Keeneland works for Nyquist slated for Friday.
Mohaymen, Mo Tom & Lani photos courtesy of Churchill Downs/Coady Photography
Nyquist photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography