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Cairo Prince wins the Holy Bull Stakes

Cairo Prince wins the Holy Bull Stakes

  PICTURE: Wendy Wooley/Equisport 

Cairo Prince displays Kentucky Derby claims

Report: USA, Saturday

Gulfstream Park: Holy Bull Stakes (Grade 2) 1m½f, dirt, 3yo

CAIRO PRINCE (Kiaran McLaughlin/Luis Saez) confirmed his status as a potential major player on the Kentucky Derby trail with an impressive performance in the Holy Bull, on paper the best three-year-old race so far this year in the States.

Sent off favourite at just over 2-1 for the $400,000 contest, this son of Pioneerofthe Nile settled nicely just off the pace before moving up on the far turn and then clearing right away to score by five and three-quarter lengths.

"I love for the horse to make the statement, but it's hard not to get excited when you have these kind," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

"He just had a beautiful trip and when he asked him, he responded. He won carrying 122lb, giving a lot of weight away. We'll look at the Fountain of Youth (February 22) or we could wait until the Florida Derby (March 29)."

On his last start as a two-year-old, Cairo Prince had been touched off by top Derby contender Honor Code (rec 6lb).

"Obviously, we're holding a strong hand with this colt," added McLaughlin. "We feel very confident moving forward. You just hope we keep going forward because things happen to horses all the time. We just want to keep him the same happy and healthy horse and keep going."

Also on Saturday

Santa Anita: California Cup Derby (ungraded) 1m½f, dirt, 3yo

On his first try around two turns, California Chrome (Art Sherman/Victor Espinoza) scored by more than five lengths in this $250,000 event restricted to Cal-breds. A Kentucky Derby trial awaits.

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