Edited Press Release
Shadwell Stable’s Mohaymen emerged from Saturday’s Remsen (G2) victory in good shape, according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin on Sunday morning.
Armed with a perfect three-for-three record, which now includes a pair of Grade 2 victories, as well as 10 points on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail, the Tapit juvenile was en route Sunday morning to join his trainer’s Florida string to gear up for his sophomore campaign.
McLaughlin was understandably pleased with Mohaymen’s performance, not to mention his pupil’s much-improved manners since his first Grade 2 win in the Nashua under regular jockey Junior Alvarado on November 4 at the Big A.
“That was big,” McLaughline said of the effort. “Junior had worked him behind horses. You never know but you need to be ready for it. I think it helped a lot, for jockey and horse, because (Junior) was confident that he’d handle it. It was great. It was a mile and an eighth and he finished strong. He’s a really nice horse.
“He behaved much better,” the conditioner added. “We took him to the gate a few times. He was bad the first day, which I was happy about. Like, ‘OK, now we’re going to school him and correct it,’ and then he was really good the next two times. And then we brought the pony and that helped. He had reared up in the paddock last time. He was much better.”
Mohaymen will be joined at McLaughlin’s Palm Meadows winter base by fellow Derby hopeful, Futurity (G2) winner Annual Report, who suffered his first loss in three career starts when fifth in a sloppy running of the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) Saturday evening at Churchill Downs.
“We went to Churchill with Annual Report to see how he’d like the track, but we can’t learn anything from that. It was under water, there was so much rain,” McLaughlin said of the Godolphin-owned son of Harlan’s Holiday. “He was wide and didn’t get beat that bad, but Joe Bravo rode him and said he kept slipping, because he would go and stop.
“It was kind of a funny race, we’ll just draw a line through it.”
The trainer also reported that Marking, a race-day scratch from Saturday’s Cigar Mile (G1), was in good order and will be pointed to the Malibu (G1) on December 26 at Santa Anita.
“(We scratched) because he drew the one hole and it was a lot for him to fight off,” McLaughlin explained. “I think we did the right thing; he’s only run twice, he’s just a three-year-old. We’ll go to the Malibu in California, it’s for straight three-year-olds at seven-eighths.”
Meanwhile, McLaughlin is continuing to make plans for an expected string based in Dubai this spring to join Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1)-aimed Frosted. While the small contingent is not likely to consist of either of his barn’s Triple Crown contenders, it could include Marking, a two-for-two winner for Godolphin Racing, although no final decisions have been made, he said.
In other news from Aqueduct’s stakes-packed Saturday card, trainer Chad Brown said Lewis Bay exited her Demoiselle (G2) victory in good order. Stablemates Flexibility and Gift Box, who were second and third, respectively, in the Remsen, and Cigar Mile third Matrooh also came out of their races well.
“All the horses seem to have come back fine so far,” Brown reported. “There’s no rush to pick out their next spots so we haven’t made any plans for any of them, other than most of them will be heading to Florida.
“I think she learned something going around two turns for the first time, and hope she can improve off that,” Brown added about Lewis Bay. “Flexibility and Gift Box, I think, both ran very well. Flexibility had a really good trip, while Gift Box had to overcome a seven-week layoff, which might have been too much for him.”
Mohaymen and Lewis Bay photos courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography