Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
6:00 PM EDT the final Kentucky Derby future wagering pool closed with Cairo Prince as the
second choice behind all other 3 year-olds at 9-1. At 6:55 EDT he finished 4th
in the Florida Derby. So, in less than one hour Cairo Prince went from a logical Kentucky Derby favorite to a potential non-starter.
Cairo Prince's Race and Point History
||G2 Holy Bull
||G1 Florida Derby
We will wait and see if 24 points will be enough. Currently, the outlook is not the best. After the conclusion of the Florida Derby and Louisiana Derby, Cairo
Prince is ranked #16 in the Kentucky Derby points standings. While he may be in
today the chances of him falling out of the top 20 could come as early as next
Cairo Prince is currently tied at #16 with Uncle Sigh. However, Uncle
Sigh is scheduled to start in the Wood Memorial. A top 4 finish is
likely and if so, Cairo Prince will quickly fall to #17. But, he could still drop
another spot should Vinceremos, another son of Pioneerof the Nile, finish in the top 4 in his next race (Wood,
Bluegrass or Arkansas). At 20 points he currently sits right behind these two
at #18 and is a serious threat to Cairo Prince’s Kentucky Derby
horse that poses a threat in the Wood Memorial is Kristo. A 4th
place finish will put him in the exact same place as Cairo Prince, 24 points,
but anything better and he will move ahead.
there’s the Santa Anita Derby, a race that could help Cairo Prince’s chances as
much as it can hurt them. Four horses jump out at you in the list of probable
starters. The first two are already ranked ahead of Cairo Prince as Kentucky
Derby qualifiers; California Chrome has 50 points and Hoppertunity with 55 points. The next two
are just as promising but have not scored enough to be ranked inside the top
20; Candy Boy 10 points and Bayern 0 Points.
Candy Boy show the form he displayed in the Robert B. Lewis there isn’t any
question that he will score at least 20 points and ease by Cairo Prince in the
standings on his way to the Kentucky Derby. Whether it’s the SA Derby or
Arkansas Derby Bayern could reach the next level with a win or runner-up
finish. If so, Cairo Prince will be that much closer to seeing his bubble
Cairo Prince did get a little help in the Louisiana Derby. In Trouble
was in a nice position coming into that race. At 10 points a
top 3 finish would get him in. But, a stewards inquiry was filed against In Trouble and he was DQ’d. So, Cairo Prince avoided losing ground there. Rise Up also entered
the Louisiana Derby with 10 points but finished last; another save.
However, Albano benefited from In Trouble being taken down. Previously 5th
the decision to DQ In Trouble moved him to 4th and earned him 10 points. As a result his total points climbed to 34, one
step ahead of Cairo Prince - #15.
interesting about the Louisiana Derby is that it is a small snapshot of
what Cairo Prince will be facing over the next four races; Wood Memorial, Santa
Anita Derby, Blue Grass Stakes, Arkansas Derby (each worth 170 points). If a Derby hopeful rises from out of nowhere to finish 1st or 2nd
it will be more bad news for his connections. Should the top
scorers take care of business then it will be good news as it will likely keep
his chances alive.
where the odds in my opinion are not so good. Last year, two hopefuls made it
to the starting gate with less than 25 points. However, there was also a little
luck involved as horses that had scored much higher (Black Oynx 50, Govenor
Charlie 50, Super Ninety Nine 30) opted out and were taken off the trail. That could also happen
this year but I’m willing to predict that it won’t.
say I’m right and Cairo Prince is left out of the top 20 heading into the Lexington Stakes. Will Kiaran McLaughlin enter him in the only Wild
Card race in search of 10 points with a win? Or, will he be left out
of the Kentucky Derby? And if that happens then how much scrutiny will McLaughlin and Godolphin Racing face for their decision to wait until the Florida Derby after winning
the Holy Bull?
interesting to me is how well Cairo Prince raced 28 days after winning the
Nashua Stakes. Despite losing to Honor Code by a very slim margin in the Remsen it was good enough to beat a few talented juveniles including Intense Holiday. That’s when the racing slowed down and the layoffs occurred. After the
Remsen CP waited 56 days before returning from the Holy Bull, a race where he
was much the best. Sitting out for an additional 63 days after that win then became a
very risky decision, 2 races inside of 119 Days.
At the end of the Florida Derby, the strategy may have backfired. I understand Cairo Prince was
training extremely well but there’s a very big difference between training and
racing and it showed at Gulstream Park.
no question this colt by Pioneerof the Nile – Holy Bubbette by Holy Bull is
talented. There’s also no debating that Kiaran McLaughlin is a very fine
trainer. But when you add that to the equation it only makes the decisions more
confusing. It will be tough to see a horse with this much potential miss the
starting gate but maybe, just maybe, he will still
Prince Watch List
and Midnight Hawk - Both Baffert horses have qualified for the Kentucky Derby
but no decision has been made as to whether they will be entered.
of New York – The UAE Derby winner has never raced in North America but he has earned his ticket. His Kentucky Derby status is unofficial.
Holiday (20 points), Tamarando (12 points), Coastline (10 points) – Should any of these three Spiral
Stakes contenders enter the Bluegrass Stakes then they could pass CP
with a top 3 finish. Harry’s Holiday could also pass him with a 4th place
Commissioner (10 Points) - Has been confirmed for the Arkansas Derby following a 3rd place effort in the Sunland Derby.