Saturday, May 7, 2016

Shadwell's Mohaymen keeps getting respect from Derby handicappers; some see Shagaf as 'longshot to like'

Mohaymen won the Gotham Stakes.
(Photo by Arianna Spadoni/Coglianese)
Shadwell Farm's Mohaymen is no longer the Kentucky Derby favorite, but he is still getting lots of respect as he and stablemate Shagaf head toward the track at Churchill Downs today.

In The Courier-Journal's poll of 16 racing journalists and industry observers, Mohaymen scored better than any horse except Florida Derby winner Nyquist, which got seven first-place votes and 31 points on a scale of three for first, two for second and one for third.

Mohaymen, who lost his favorite status when he placed fourth in the Florida Derby, got 13 points, including two first-place votes. Exaggerator got 12 points, including two picks for first. Outlook got three first-place votes and 11 points. They were the only horses with double-digit point scores.

Shagaf got one third-place vote and two "longshot to like" calls, from Marty McGee of the Daily Racing Form and Jon White of Santa Anita Park.

In early betting, the horse was "surprisingly the longest shot on the board" this morning, at 72-1, The C-J's Jonathan Lintner reports. "While flat late last time in the Wood Memorial, the son of Bernardini is undefeated on fast tracks." The Wood track was muddy.

Nyquist, the morning-line favorite at 3-1, was bet down to 2-1 by this morning, as bettors liked his chances of being the fourth straight favorite to win the Derby. He will start from post position 13.

Mohaymen, trained by Lexington native Kiaran McLaughin and now at 12-1, will start from post No. 14, the last slot in the regular starting gate.

Shagaf will break from post No. 16, in the auxiliary gate that is used for the Derby, which is limited to 20 horses. He has a new rider, Joel Rosario, and is trained  by Chad Brown.

Stepper Toth of the Midway Messenger is at Churchill Downs today and will report on the Derby.

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