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The Kentucky Derby Post

Will 24 Points Qualify Cairo Prince for the Kentucky Derby?

Kentucky Derby Starting Gate 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire

At 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 

Track Date Race Finish Points
Belmont 10/6/2013 MSW 1 N/A
Aqueduct 11/3/2013 G2 Nashua 1 N/A
Aqueduct 11/30/2013 G2 Remsen 2 4
Gulfstream 1/25/2014 G2 Holy Bull 1 10
Gulfstream 3/29/2014 G1 Florida Derby 4 10


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 weekend.


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 chances.


Another 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.


Then 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.


Should 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 burst.


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.


What’s 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.


That’s 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.


Let’s 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?


What’s 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.  


There’s 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 get there.


Cairo Prince Watch List


Chitu 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. 


Toast 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.


Harry’s 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 finish. 


Commissioner (10 Points) - Has been confirmed for the Arkansas Derby following a 3rd place effort in the Sunland Derby.




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Older Comments about Will 24 Points Qualify Cairo Prince for the Kentucky Derby?...

Take Care Jay!
Catch ya later Lisa.
Funny, I was just thinking that. He either split, or got himself a new handle. :)
LMAO! That was the guys one and only post ever made! He has no idea what that turned into!
Quote:" Orb is bro spelled backwards, and I'm not sure I'm good with that." Something very similar to that. It didn't Bother Dr. Ofelk Cash, I do know that. (of course, that's backwards pronunciation instead of spelling.)
Jay, what was that post from that guy last year that sid something like he liked Orb but he couldnt bet him because it spelled Bro backward?? !! What was it exactly?? LOLOLOl
Hey, Awesome! Will definitely need to see some of those pix get posted, if able.
I'm ready to go! Planning on a trip to the Belmont Stakes just today. I love it so much.
Good deal Lisa. We're gonna insist on seeing some scenic let that shutter click. :)
Have not had the pleasure yet but Im planning my summer vacation and its on the top of my list. I plan on meeting the jackholes , ummm... I mean the LOCALS, who I hear are the most hospitable in all of Delaware.
Ain't that the truth! Maybe someday we'll get an invite. :) Now Lisa, for the really important question...Did you ever visit Skunk Sound, Delaware?
Well Jay, you had better get your act together! There is some serious information from some major handicappers that have incredible knowledge on all odf this! We are really missing out!
Sorry Lisa, I'm not privvy to that list either. :)
Apparently not!!! Seems Cairo had no business running in a 9f race this past Saturday but it was just fine when he was only two!! Gees! Will somebody get me on that email list that tells what the rules are fast! PLEASE!
Hehe. Apparently not. :)
Jay, she didn't get the memo ;)
Lisa. You weren't aware??? better get you some awareness. :)
I wasnt aware that a colt had to go undefeated as a 3 year old to get respect as a Derby Contender. This guy lost by a nose to Honor Code at 9f and then he hits one race and doesnt win and he's totally knocked. As far as his 7.00 dosage, this one received some serious speed from his sires, no doubt about it, but his mares gave him stamina. If he gets into a gate at Churchill, I wouldnt bet heavily to win on him, but I sure as heck would not leave him off the bottom of exotics. They hit that board 9 times out of ten.
I really believe the KD and the TC as a whole continues to lose racing relevance when the best North America horses either get injured or don't qualify based on some obscure system.
I think there is a VERY good chance that Toast Of New York comes for the KDerby. He was nominated, and won easily in Dubai.

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About Me

Meet Bryan Brinkmeyer – Chicago, IL


Growing up across the river from the Bluegrass State I was able to spend a lot of summer days at Ellis Park, Henderson, KY. 


In the spring of 2000, I made my inaugural Kentucky Derby appearance and the tradition continues because there is no other city in the racing world like Louisville, KY on Derby Day. 


Although the story of a Kentucky Derby winner is legendary, a champions trail is what The Kentucky Derby Post is all about. The coverage begins when Juvenile season starts and continues until the field is set, the picks are in and the roses are awarded. 



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