Racing News

Cairo Prince drills another bullet ahead of Holy Bull

  • Cairo Prince will try to win the race named for his broodmare sire Holy Bull (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photo)

Everything remains on target for Nashua winner Cairo Prince, who is scheduled to make his three-year-old debut in the Grade 2, $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park on January 25.

Working in company with four-year-old Shadwell-owned colt Qeyaas, the gray son of Pioneerof the Nile breezed five furlongs in :59 4/5 on Sunday morning at Palm Meadows. Cairo Prince posted the fastest of 29 moves at the distance on the fast main track, and easily surpassed his workmate's time of 1:00 4/5.

It was the fourth work for Cairo Prince since coming to South Florida following his runner-up finish to Honor Code in the Remsen at Aqueduct on November 30, and nearly identical to his breeze one week ago. Last Sunday, he fired a bullet :59 3/5.

"I wasn't looking for :59-and-4 again, but he's just doing great," said Kiaran McLaughlin, who trains Cairo Prince for Namcook Stables, Paul Braverman, Harvey Clarke and Craig Robertson III.

"He had company, but he hooked into a horse that was in front of him a little bit. It kind of made him work a little faster than we needed, but he's doing that well. No worries, no negatives; he worked great."

McLaughlin said he will give Cairo Prince one more work leading into the Holy Bull, which is run at 1 1/16 miles and is the first in a series of preps for the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby on March 30.

"We'll work again next Saturday or Sunday, a half-mile probably on his own now, hopefully in something like :49," McLaughlin said. "When you ask a horse to go a little slower and they end up going fast, that's a good sign that he's doing extremely well. He's happy, and we're happy."

McLaughlin picked up a pair of wins on Saturday's card at Gulfstream, with four-year-old Elnaawi in the 7TH race, a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance on dirt, and three-year-old filly Macaroon in the 8TH, a 7 1/2-furlong turf sprint.

A half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner To Honor and Serve, Elnaawi went gate to wire to win by 1 1/4 lengths as the even-money favorite on Saturday, finishing up in 1:44 1/5. A workmate of Cairo Prince last Sunday, it was Elnaawi's first start since running fifth in the Wood Memorial last April.

"That was fun," McLaughlin said. "It was a very good effort. He's a nice horse. Obviously, he was on the Derby trail last year and he's very well-bred. He had to go home for a while with bruising of the cannon bone. He came back and has been working well, and he ran great yesterday. It says a lot about the horse. Where we go next, I'm not sure. We will maybe take the next step in an allowance race or maybe look for a stake. We'll see how he's doing and go from there. He's a really nice horse."

California Chrome Cruises to Victory in 140th Kentucky Derby before Crowd of 164,906

Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's favored California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, took command at the head of the stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory over Commanding Curve to win the 140th running of the $2,202,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I). A sun-splashed crowd of 164,906, the second-largest attendance in Kentucky Derby history, watched California Chrome give jockey Victor Espinoza a second Derby victory to go with his triumph on War Emblem in 2002.

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