Mohaymen, whose promising juvenile campaign ended with three wins including the Remsen (G2) and Nashua (G2) at Aqueduct in November, embarks on his road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) Saturday in the $400,000 Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
The 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull offers qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 to its top four finishers as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby Series' "Prep Season." Six colts and geldings were entered.
A $2.2 million yearling purchase owned by Shadwell Stable, Mohaymen was impressive enough in those Aqueduct features to garner several Eclipse Award votes as champion juvenile. Another undefeated colt, Nyquist, was a runaway winner in that category after taking the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), but Mohaymen entered this season as the leading Derby prospect based on the East Coast.
Battling back to retake the lead in deep stretch after setting a pressured pace in his winning debut at Belmont going six furlongs, Mohaymen showed more rating ability in both the one-mile Nashua and nine-furlong Remsen. Despite drifting late near the finish of both, the gray son of Tapit was comfortably clear of subsequent Jerome (G3) hero Flexibility in both.
Mohaymen figures to be a solid favorite, and only two of his opponents appear capable of an upset. Greenpointcrusader was favored at 7-2 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile off a 4 1/2-length romp in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont, which occurred in the slop, but the son of Bernardini rated far back in the field at Keeneland and a belated, wide rally was only good enough for a seventh-place finish.
Finishing just behind Greenpointcrusader in the Juvenile was Conquest Big E, who rebounded to take a first-level allowance at Churchill by two lengths in late November. Like Mohaymen a son of Tapit, Conquest Big E has won twice in four starts, both in the slop.
Fellowship won the In Reality division of the Florida Sires S. over this track and distance in October, but was outclassed against easier in the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man earlier in January. Longshots Perfect Saint and Frontier Ranger complete the field.
NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography