Cairo Prince has taken the most lopsided Holy Bull victory in 19 years in stride, according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
“Cairo came out of the race great. He ate up well and is happy, sound and healthy this morning, so we’re very pleased with that,” McLaughlin said on Sunday. “It’s exactly what I wanted to see. That’s the key, because if they back out of the tub, it’s the first indication it was a tough race on him, but he ate up everything and he’s bright and happy. He couldn’t have come out of the race better. He is perfect this morning, so that’s all we can ask for.”
In the Holy Bull, Cairo Prince registered the biggest margin of victory since Suave Prospect won by eight lengths in 1995.
McLaughlin has been to the Kentucky Derby four times. He finished second with Holy Bull winner Closing Argument in 2005 and fourth in 2006 with Jazil, who would go on to win the Belmont Stakes. McLaughlin was 14th in the 2006 Derby with Flashy Bull and 11th with Soldat in 2011.
“There’s no question he’s the best one,” McLaughlin said of Cairo Prince. “We haven’t been in this position before, ever. The most important thing is he doesn’t have to improve. He doesn’t have to do anything but stay the way he is, and that’s all we hope for is for him to stay healthy and happy.”
As he did after the Holy Bull, McLaughlin said the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth on Feb. 22 is the next logical spot to consider.
Cairo Prince has 14 Kentucky Derby points, tied atop the standings with Havana and Honor Code. Had he won the Remsen instead of losing by a nose, Cairo Prince would have 20 points. Last year, the final horse to make the Derby field, Giant Finish, had 10 points.
“The next question is where do we go from here, and I don’t have an answer today,” McLaughlin said. “I don’t have to have an answer today. We’ll see how he starts training. Obviously, the Fountain of Youth is next here in the series, so that’s what we’re going to look at.
“This horse, he even makes me say things that I don’t normally say because I like to let the horse do the talking on the track. He’s a really, really nice horse, the kind everybody gets up early every day to come out and train. He makes our job easy.”
Edited Gulfstream Park release with additional content by Dick Downey