Mohaymen solidifies Derby prospects with Remsen win
Saving ground toward the rail as Donegal Moon set moderate fractions of :24.35, :49.16, and 1:13.73, Mohaymen found a seam between rivals in the stretch, surged past Flexibility with an inside move and drew off to win by 1 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:50.69 for 1 1/8 miles on a fast track.
Owned by Shadwell Farm, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by Junior Alvarado, Mohaymen paid $5.10 as the 3-2 favorite and earned 10 qualifying points toward 2016 Kentucky Derby eligibility.
"Junior rode him great, he did everything right and it's a big win for the team," McLaughlin said. "I was a little anxious when they were turning for home but it's great to win for Shadwell and I trained [Mohaymen's dam] Justwhistledixie, so it's special to have this horse be this good."
Mohaymen, a gray son of Tapit, is the second graded winner produced by multiple Grade 2 winner Justwhistledixie. The first was 2013 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) hero New Year's Day.
This was the second stakes win for Mohaymen, who captured the November 4 Nashua (G2) at Aqueduct by 1 3/4 lengths. Runner-up in that one-mile event was Flexibility, who settled for second again in the Remsen. Gift Box, the 2-1 second choice, finished third.
A $2.2 million yearling purchase, Mohaymen kicked off his career with a half-length maiden win at Belmont going six furlongs on September 19. He's now earned $345,000.
Flexibility, who defeated New York-breds in his debut for Chad Brown, looks the part of a classic contender off his Nashua and Remsen performances, but obviously must improve to make up ground on Mohaymen.
Gift Box, also trained by Brown, entered the Remsen off a layoff of nearly two months and wasn't quite good enough. More will be heard from him.
Sail Ahoy, who ran third in the Nashua and was fourth here while sporting blinkers for the first time, likely needed a stronger pace. He could very well bloom much later, like his half-siblings Point of Entry and Pine Island.
(NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)