May 2016 Issue - page 10

Page 10
May 2016
PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
by Terry Conway
The most highly touted Der-
by prep matchup in years took
place in the $1 million Florida
Derby. A clash of the titans: an
East vs. West showdown of un-
beaten colts. It never happened.
Mohaymen winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream
Park.
Photo courtesy of Gulfstream Park
Mohaymen Looks to Bounce Back in Kentucky Derby
Undefeated 2015 juvenile
Eclipse Award-winning Nyquist
rolled to an easy victory, stamp-
ing himself as the favorite for
the Kentucky Derby on May 7.
Geared down by jockey Junior
Alvarado in the stretch, Mohay-
men (4-5 favorite) wound up
beaten by 8 ¼ lengths, finishing
fourth.
“We feel like it was a perfect
storm of unfortunate things that hap-
pened with the track, raining earlier
and then later," said trainer Kiaran
McLaughlin from his barn office at
the PalmMeadows training facility.
"Basically it was a very wet
(track) and we were very wide.
We ran 54 feet further than the
winner, but congratulations to Ny-
quist and their team. They had to
run over the same racetrack under
the same conditions and they did
it better than us. Hopefully we can
turn the tables on May 7."
Rounding the far turn Mo-
haymen loomed up on the outside
to challenge, but Nyquist (6-5
second betting choice) drifted
wide forcing the gray-roan colt
extremely wide. Mohaymen
could not sustain his rally as Ny-
quist hit another gear and pulled
away to win by a convincing 3
1/4 lengths. Majesto (21-1) fin-
ished strongly to grab second, a
length ahead of the late-charging
Fellowship.
"He jumps into the bridle
right away so when we turn to
the backside he’s pulling me,"
Alvarado explained. "That didn't
happen, so it got me a little wor-
ried. By the three-eighths pole I
saw Nyquist getting along in front
by himself and I had to move my
horse. By that point, he always
drags me there and this time I’m
the one asking him. I was where
I wanted to be the whole race and
he didn't fire this time. It happens.
He wasn't his best today."
$1 Million Bonus
Still perfect, 7 for 7, Ny-
quist defeated Mohaymen on
his home track, overcoming
South Florida's humidity, a
sloppy track and a cross-country
trip. It was the fourth Grade-1
triumph of his career. Owner
Paul Reddam's gamble paid
off in a very lucrative way. His
share of the 65th Florida Derby
purse was $589,000. In addition,
Nyquist earned a $1 million
bonus offered by Fasig-Tipton
to any graduate of the March
2015 Florida sale that went on
to win the 2016 Florida Derby.
The windfall boosted Nyquist's
lifetime earnings to $3,333,600.
Reddam purchased the son of
Uncle Mo for $400,000.
"I broke so clean and so fast
so I just had to take the lead,"
said jockey Mario Gutierrez. "I
saw the gray horse (Mohaymen)
coming to my side. If he was
going to pass me, he was going
to have to pass me running and
wide.”
“I think we just had a very
lucky trip," added trainer Doug
O’Neill. "Mario broke great and
did a great job riding and every-
thing just went right. This whole
trip other than being delayed
one day getting to Gulfstream,
everything else went right. So
many things can go wrong in this
business. Nyquist traveled well,
looked well. He's got the mindset
of a champion.”
In the Kentucky Derby
points race, the top four finishers
all likely have earned enough
qualifying points, as Nyquist
upped his total to 130 and Mo-
haymen to 80.
Fast and tractable with a
powerful finishing kick, Mohay-
men is yet another high-class son
of super sire Tapit who led all
sires by progeny earnings in both
2014 and 2015. The $2.2 million
co-sale topper at Keeneland’s
2014 September yearling sale,
Mohaymen is owned by Sheikh
Hamdan bin Rashid Al Mak-
toum's Shadwell Farm in Lexing-
ton, Ky.
Mohaymne is out of Just-
whistledixie, a beautiful filly
purchased by Terry Finley's
West Point Thoroughbreds for
$425,000 at the 2007 Keeneland
September yearling sale. Com-
peting under West Point's black
and gold silks, Justwhistledixie
blossomed into one of the finer
3-year old fillies in 2009.
"I think he had some things
go against him (in the Florida
Derby)," Finley related. "I love his
stalk and pounce style. He's trained
by a world-class organization. It
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