Pioneerof the Nile's leading earner from his first crop stamped himself as a leading Kentucky Derby (G1) candidate with a statement race in the $400,000 Holy Bull S. (G2) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Visit Pioneerof the Nile's Page
Making his first start since being beaten just a nose in the Nov. 30 Remsen S. (G2) at Aqueduct, Cairo Prince was thoroughly dominate in the Gulfstream stretch after a wide trip for most of the 1 1/16-mile contest. Though he was hung four wide around both turns, jockey Luis Saez sat comfortably until asking the 3-year-old colt at the quarter pole.
With a quick burst, the gray/roan sophomore bounded away from the field, rolling home by nearly six lengths in 1:42.16, just a half-second off the track record.
“I love for the horse to make the statement, but it’s hard not to get excited when you have these kind,” said winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “He just had a beautiful trip and he (Saez) asked him, he responded. He won carrying 122 (pounds), giving a lot of weight away. Obviously, we’ll look at the Fountain of Youth (G2) Feb. 22 or we could wait until the Florida Derby (G1, March 29). We’ll see how it goes. I hope he stays as good as he is today. He’ll have one or two more (races before the Derby).”
Cairo Prince has now won three of four starts, including a previous stakes win in the Grade 2 Nashua S. After the $240,000 payday, his earnings stand at $512,000 for the partnership of Namcook Stables, Paul Braverman, Harvey Clarke and Craig Robertson, III.
Namcook purchased Cairo Prince for $250,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling sale.