Cairo Prince romps home in Holy Bull

The Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park came up as easily the most loaded Kentucky Derby prep thus far. Handicappers could make a winning case for any number of the entrants, but in the end, it was Cairo Prince, the morning line and post time favorite, that made a huge statement and advanced forward on the Road to the 2014 Kentucky Derby.
Due to the distance of the Holy Bull, the field of 11 colts and geldings broke on top of the clubhouse turn, giving the inside posts first run at the lead. Coup de Grace and Almost Famous were sharpest of all and neither was willing to give an inch. With John Velazquez aboard the Fox Hill Farms owned colt and Calvin Borel aboard for Charles and Maribeth Sanford, the two dueled on the lead through splits of 23:63 and 46:75. Mr Speaker and Best Plan Yet followed the dueling pair closely with the rest of the field tightly bunched in behind them.
Midway down the backstretch, Cairo Prince began inching up on the leaders, moving up into third by the ¾ mile call. Before the field even hit the far turn, Cairo Prince had the dueling leaders squarely within his sight. The son of Pioneerof the Nile came away with the lead as he hit the stretch and drew away to win emphatically by 5 lengths. Conquest Titan, who had trailed the field in dead last, ran a huge race down the center of the track to be second best. Intense Holiday, who beat Conquest Titan to the punch, also closed from the back of the field to just be bested at the wire while gaining third.
The order of finish was completed by Almost Famous, Best Plan Yet, Financial Mogul, Mr Speaker, Our Caravan, Wicked Strong, Coup de Grace, and Big Bazinga. Mr Speaker, who finished 7th, was making his dirt debut for trainer Shug McGaughey and owner Phipps Stable.
Cairo Prince ran the mile and a sixteenth in 1.42:16. That time was less than a second off the record set by older stakes runner River Seven back in December. As the 2-1 favorite, Cairo Prince returned $6.20/$4.40/$3.20 for a $2 wager. Conquest Titan paid $8.60/$4.80, and Intense Holiday paid $6.40. The $2 exacta was worth $69.40, the $1 trifecta paid $283.60, and the $1 superfecta returned $2,237.60.
Given the high weight of 122 lbs, winner Cairo Prince conceded up to 6 lbs to his 10 other rivals. After the race, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was pleased as punch with the colt, stating, “I love for the horse to make the statement, but it’s hard not to get excited when you have these kind. He just had a beautiful trip and he (Luis Saez) asked him, he responded. He won carrying 122, giving a lot of weight away. Obviously, we’ll look at the Fountain of Youth February 22 or we could wait until the Florida Derby. We’ll see how it goes.”
Fresh off the victory, jockey Luis Saez was understandably enthusiastic about his mount. “He broke so well and the whole race I kept him in the clear. When we got to the half-mile pole, I know I have a lot of horse. When we got to the three-eighths pole, I knew I could win the race so when we came into the stretch I asked him and he responded. He just took off. I had so much horse. He’s a nice horse,” Saez stated.
As a yearling, Cairo Prince went through the auction ring twice. He was initially purchased by Vinery Bloodstock and Whisper Hill Farm for $200,000 at the Keeneland 2012 January Horses of All Ages Sale. Eight months later, the colt passed through the Keeneland 2012 September Yearling Sale ring where he was purchased by his current connections, Namcook Stables, etc., for $250,000. Cairo Prince is by 2009 Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile and out of the stakes winner Holy Bull mare Holy Bubbette. Today's win improved the colt's overall record to 4: 3-1-0 and brought his total earnings up to $512,000.
For his win, Cairo Prince earned 10 Road to the Kentucky Derby points, bringing his total to 14. Conquest Titan earned 4 points. Intense Holiday earned 2 points, bringing his total to 3, and Almost Famous earned 1 point. 


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Older Comments about Cairo Prince romps home in Holy Bull...

It's too bad Captain Bodgit was injured in the Preakness. 1997 was such a deep year. Just imagine if he had raced the rest of the year...
Floridaf- these two reminded me of Silver Charm & Capt. Bodgit, The Captain couldn't catch Silver Charm in the following races.
I think Conquest Titan has nailed down his preferred running style. He was definitely no match for the winner, but he sure looked good while getting there for 2nd.
Winners for me in the Holy Bull were Cairo Prince, Conquest Titan and Almost Famous. AF took pressure thru 1:10 and was there reasonably inside last 1/16th. Not beating winner but deceptively good performance. CT made wide run from what seemed like another zip code. Fast pace and tiring horses assisted him a bit. Hats off to the Prince on this day.
Just watched the race again, Conquest Titan reminds me a bit of Ice Box from a few years back in his 3 yr old campaign. Sometimes it may be too late, but a run is always coming. Titan sets up well as a Derby horse.
Tom, take a look at the race again. You'll see Calvin running JV right into the rail. Calvin thinks the rail is kin to him, and don't want nobody on it. That was meant as an example to anyone else who might want to challenge him again on his rail in the future. Calvin, as much as I hated his whipping of Rachel, is old school and will personally take anyone to the promised land for infringing on his rail. Personally I loved it. Had flashbacks to the 1960s
Really impressed with Cairo Prince. Conquest Titan, though... he just confirmed what I've thought about him for a while... he's legit.
Conquest Titan is a major Triple Crown threat.
It was a fantastic effort by Cairo Prince. Rather disappointed Wicked Strong didn't show up though.
Icy you happen to be 100% correct.What is Johhny V. doing from the rail whipping and slashing to keep pace. If he yields ,he probably protects his horse instead of probably breaking him down. Also the pace would of probably gone 24/48/1.12. Track was dead today,This is not an excuse.Famous was not beating Cairo today under any circumstance. But you have to take a step back and wonder ,what the hell was going through Johnny Vs' head. Unless of course those were the pre race instructions given to him.If that is the case,then maybe Chad Brown is the culprit. Either way,when you go into a Stakes race as a jockey.Your main objective is to win if you are sitting on a contender. Almost as Paramount,is to get the absolute best placing for your horse and their connections. Now when you know that there are only to potential pace horses in the race. When you go and see the guy outside of you has got a hold of his horse and you are urging yours.One with half a brain will yield and take his chances sitting off easy fractions and not abusing his horse.
Almost Famous for the trip he got aquitted himself well I think.
Speed collapsed after the 1:10-1 first six furlongs. The top 3 after the first quarter mile ended up in 10th, 4th, and 7th place.
I'm with ya Dani when it comes to final times. Like Jack Van Berg would say when folks criticized Alysheba's final scores, "Time only counts when you're in jail."
He looked very good today, very promising as did Top Billing. Most will be comparing final times. I will not, I will be comparing closing times, and it would seem that Top Billing is the one who gets stronger the longer they go.

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