Good News-Bad News for Mohaymen
For Kiaran McLaughlin, the Sunday after Mohaymen finished fourth as the favorite in the Florida Derby is good news-bad news. He lost the Florida Derby but will be shipping to Louisville soon for the Kentucky Derby.
“He came out of the race in good shape. He’s happy,” McLaughlin said from Palm Beach Downs. “He’s never been beat, and we thought he was invincible going in so, yeah, we’re a little down about the result and thought he could overcome everything. But, we’re moving forward. We’re happy that he’s happy this morning and we can move forward to the Kentucky Derby.”
Breaking from post 9 of 10 as the 4-5 favorite, Mohaymen found himself wide throughout the race. Nyquist led from start to finish from post 4, dismissing Mohaymen’s brief challenge at the top of the stretch to win by 3 1/4 lengths. Majesto was second, Fellowship third.
Junior Alvarado geared down Mohaymen in the stretch and wound up beaten 8 1/4 lengths over a main track that was wet. McLaughlin said Alvarado will retain the mount for the Derby.
“We aren’t going to make a change. Junior didn’t do anything wrong. It wasn’t his fault,” McLaughlin said. “We feel like it was a perfect storm of unfortunate things that happened with the track, raining earlier and then later. Basically it was very wet and we were very wide. We ran 54 feet further than the winner, but congratulations to Nyquist and their team. They had to run over the same racetrack under the same conditions, and they did it better than us."
McLaughlin said Mohaymen will leave South Florida next week for Churchill Downs.
“He’s a pretty smart horse and he didn’t love the going yesterday," McLaughlin said. "It wasn’t a hard race on him as far as him blowing and being stressed and head-and head. People thought maybe it wasn’t good to have a tough race right before the Derby. It’s not going to be a tough race on him, so we’ll throw it out and move on.
“We probably will go to Churchill and be there for two works. He’s fit and doesn’t need a lot of works. He needs to put on a few pounds, so hopefully we can do that up there with the cooler weather. This track is great, and we love it here. It was weird how hot it’s been and muggy the last few days, but we’ll go that way and train for the Derby.”
By Dick Downey with quotes from Gulfstream Park