McLaughlin: Cairo Prince Doubtful for Fountain of Youth

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11:44 am EST

Cairo Prince will probably miss the Fountain on Youth Stakes on Feb. 22 and be trained up to the Florida Derby on March 28.

“The plans right now are to probably just point for the Florida Derby,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Friday. “The Holy Bull was a huge effort, and they’re not machines. It’s hard to run every four weeks and run your best. We’ll still look at it, but we might very well skip it.”

Cairo Prince came from just off the pace to win the 1 1/6-mile Holy Bull Stakes by 5 3/4 lengths in 1:42.16. It was the largest margin of victory since Suave Prospect won by eight lengths in 1995.

Cairo Prince has run four times in 16 weeks since his debut last October at Belmont Park. Winner of the Nashua Stakes in his second start, he was second to Honor Code in the Remsen on Nov. 30 to end his juvenile campaign.

With his Holy Bull triumph, Cairo Prince stamped himself a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby. McLaughlin has started four horses in the Derby including 2005 runner-up Closing Argument, who also won the Holy Bull.

“Cairo’s doing great and eating up well,” McLaughlin said. “He’s just doing real well. He’s back to the track training. The Holy Bull was such a huge effort, and we have to look down the road to the first Saturday in May.”

Edited Gulfstream Park release