Cairo Prince ruled
the Holy Bull Stakes by 5 ¾ lengths on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. His final time for the 1 1/16 mile event was 1:42.16,
just a tick off of the track record set by River Seven this past December. His time was comparable to last year’s Holy Bull Stakes end
time of 1:41.81 set by Itsmyluckyday, which was then a new stakes and track
record. Cairo Prince (Pioneerof
the Nile - Holy Bubbette, by Holy Bull) is a whisker away from being undefeated
and owns a 4-3-1-0 ($512,000) race record. He’s tied for first place on the 2014
Kentucky Derby leaderboard with Havana and Honor Code with 14 points.
The son of
second-crop sire Pioneer of the Nile was bred by Richard & Katherine Elam. He sold as a short yearling in the 2012 Keeneland
January sale for $200,000 to Vinery Bloodstock & Whisper Hill Farm. The
pretty gray colt was pinhooked eight months later in the 2012 Keeneland
September Sale and sold for $250,000 to Namcook Stables, Paul Braverman, Harvey Clarke, and Craig Robertson III. They sent the young Cairo Prince to Kiaran McLaughlin for training.
Cairo Prince’s sire
Pioneerof The Nile gave notice as a colt to watch on the Kentucky Derby trail
with a determined nose victory in the 20008 CashCall Futurity over I Want
Revenge. The following year, the son of
Empire Maker swept the California prep races, earning victories in the Robert
B. Lewis, San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby.
Sent to the post of the Kentucky Derby at odds of 6-1, Pioneerof The
Nile looked like a winner at the top of the stretch, but was passed on the
inside by Mine That Bird. The game colt
held on for second by a nose over Musket Man on the tiring, sloppy track. Pioneerof The Nile was again 6-1 in the
Preakness, but was eased during the race and finished eleventh. He suffered a tendon injury and was retired in
July of 2009.
Pioneerof The Nile stands
at WinStar for $20,000. Only 36 of his
158 foals of racing age have started. Of those, 13 have won. He has sired one graded stakes winner and one
graded stakes placed runner. Due to the
exploits of Cairo Prince, Pioneerof The Nile is ranked #2 on the Second Crop
Sire List in terms of earnings. His
offspring are proficient over dirt, turf and Polytrack and will develop their
talent with age.
Race Record: 10-5-1-0
1st – Santa
Anita Derby (G-1) 1 1/8 miles
1st – Cash
Call Futurity (G-1) 1 1/16 miles
1st – Robert
B. Lewis S. (G-2) 1 1/16 miles
1st – San
Felipe S. (G-2) 1 1/16 miles
2nd – Kentucky Derby (G-1) 1 ¼ miles
3rd – Breeders’
Futurity S. (G-1) 1 1/16 miles
On the racetrack, Cairo
Prince’s dam Holy Bubbette was a multiple stakes winning sprinter at six
furlongs. She also placed in graded stakes company at seven furlongs. Upon retirement, the gray mare set about
producing winners. All four of her foals made it to the track and are
winners. Besides Cairo Prince, she bore
his ¾ sister Nona Mia (by Empire Maker), who placed in the Frizette (G-1) and
Tempted Stakes (G-3) at age two and the Loudonville Stakes at Saratoga as a
three year old. Cairo Prince’s Ghostzapper half brother Holdin Bullets was
third in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint.
Holy Bubbette is a
half sister to Sum Runner (by Summing), winner of the Forward Gal (G-2) and Old
Hat Stakes and she’s also a half sister to Oak Leaf Stakes (G-1) placed Ms.
Louisett (by Siphon). Cairo Prince’s
second dam Juliac (by Sarnac and Withers Stakes winner Accipiter) was unplaced
in her only start. An interesting note
to pedigree buffs is that the 1997 Holy Bull victor Arthur L is a distant
relative of Cairo Prince, as they share the same fourth dam Hop N Skip (by
Race Record: 13-6-2-0
1st – Dixie Miss Stakes 6 furlongs
1st – Whimsical
Stakes 6 furlongs
2nd – Chaposa Springs Handicap (G-3) 7 furlongs
It’s fitting that
Cairo Prince won the race named in honor of his damsire in such spectacular
fashion. In 1994, HOLY BULL
earned honors as Champion Three Year Old and Horse of the Year after a stellar
campaign that included victories in the Florida Derby, Met Mile, Haskell Invitational,
Travers and Woodward Stakes. His only off
the board finishes that year were a last place finish in the Fountain of Youth
after setting a quick early pace and a twelfth place finish in the Kentucky
Derby over a sloppy track. The son of
Great Above was favored in both races. A
fan favorite, Holy Bull was inducted into Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2001. In
all, Holy Bull was successful at distances ranging from 5 ½ furlongs to 1 ¼ miles.
As a broodmare sire,
Holy Bull has ranked in the top 75 since 2009. He’s currently ranked #15 in
terms of earnings on the leading broodmare sire list. His daughters have produced
33 stakes winners worldwide and include Madison Stakes (G-1) heroine Dr Zic, Puerto
Rican Group 1 winner My Great Love, plus Breeders'
Cup Filly & Mare Sprint runner-up Judy the Beauty, Gulfstream Park Sprint
Championship Stakes winner and new sire Munnings, and El Cajon Stakes winner
Holy Lute. So far, none of the offspring
of Holy Bull’s daughters have won a stakes beyond 1 1/8 miles on any
surface. As a sire, Holy Bull has one
stakes winner a 1 ¼ miles, the Kentucky Derby long-shot winner Giacomo.
Pioneerof The Nile’s
babies look remarkably like their sire and Cairo Prince is no exception. They
are leggy horses with good scope with well-angled shoulders. They aren’t overly
muscular, but are filling out with age.
Cairo Prince has a smooth gait without any wasted movement.
The question on everyone’s
lips is – does Cairo Prince have what it takes to win the Kentucky Derby? His pedigree is borderline for 1 ¼ miles.
Now, before you start madly pounding away at your keyboard to make comments,
hear me out. Cairo Prince’s sire failed
in his only attempt at ten furlongs. Granted, we don’t know how far his babies
will run. I expect, given Pioneerof The
Nile’s pedigree, that he will get winners at classic distances. However, the majority of Kentucky Derby
winners all have one thing in common – their damsires have previous winners at
1 ¼ miles. None of the offspring of Holy
Bull’s daughters have won or placed in a stakes race at 1 ¼ miles or farther.
Could Cairo Prince be
the first? Anything is possible. His
running style, conformation and temperament will have a lot of sway in the
matter. Cairo Prince fought valiantly in
the Remsen Stakes and may have learned a valuable lesson that day. He
demolished a promising field in the Holy Bull and will likely head to the February 22 Fountain of
Youth Stakes as the deserving favorite. In any regard, he’s certainly a
colt to keep at the top of your early Kentucky Derby lists.