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Holy Bull Stakes: Consortium Adds Lasix

Consortium breaks maiden at Aqueduct (11-12-11).
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin wasn’t nearly as surprised as the bettors at Aqueduct last November when Consortium swept to victory by nearly five lengths at 13-1 in his debut.


“We expected him to run well. We felt like he was a really nice horse and he was training really well. Alan Garcia rode him great the first time, sat back fifth in the clear and came running to win by 5,” McLaughlin said. “He’s so well bred. Bernardini is such a great sire. It’s nice to have quite a few Bernardinis in the barn.”


Unfortunately, trainer Todd Pletcher also has a very talented son of Bernardini in his barn, and Algorithms proved a length better in Consortium’s second lifetime start at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 16. Sent to post as the 4-5 favorite, Consortium pressed the pacesetter while stalked to the outside by Algorithms, who went on to edge away to victory. Consortium was nearly five lengths clear of the third-place finisher in the 6 ½ -furlong entry-level allowance.

 

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Consortium and Algorithms will meet again in Sunday’s $400,000 Holy Bull (G3), which drew a field of six, including the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) victor and Eclipse Award winner Hansen. Consortium, bred in Kentucky by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley and campaigned under the colors of Godolphin Racing, will race with Lasix for the first time in the Holy Bull.


“He’s not a bad bleeder, but he did show signs of bleeding mixing in with the mucus,” said McLaughlin, whose colt was scoped following the recent allowance and subsequent workout.


McLaughlin is hoping that the medication to prevent pulmonary bleeding will help his colt to rebound from his recent loss to Algorithms.


“I think we might have been second best on the day, but being that he had a little blood and mucus, I think the Lasix will help. But Algorithms is a nice horse. We won’t take anything away from him, but we should improve,” McLaughlin said. “It might be that we improve and he improves, that we improve because of Lasix and he improves from only running once in so many months. So he might step forward too. And Hansen, the 2-year-old champion, obviously, is in there, so it’s going to be a good race.”


Consortium will break from the No. 2 post position, while Algorithms drew the outside post, two stalls out from Hansen in the starting gate.


“I’d rather have drawn outside. Algorithms got the perfect spot in the 6 hole. We’re in the 2 hole, but we’ll work it out,” McLaughlin said. “He’s really doing well.”


The Holy Bull is the first of three graded stakes on Gulfstream Park’s main track for Kentucky Derby hopefuls, followed by the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) on Feb. 26 and the $1 million Florida Derby on March 31. Consortium’s performance in the one-turn, one-mile stakes will tell his trainer in what direction he will take his colt.


“Hopefully, toward the First Saturday in May,” McLaughlin said.

 

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