Don’t Give Up on Mohaymen in the Kentucky Derby

After Mohaymen won the Holy Bull (G2) in January and the Fountain of Youth (G2) in February we had a rock solid betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1), but how things can change in just a couple of minutes.

The colt went into the Florida Derby (G1) on April 2 as the 4-5 betting favorite and at the time was at betting odds of 7-2 for the Run for the Roses.

He was facing the undefeated Nyquist, who shipped in from the west coast looking for a $1 million bonus by being a Fasig Tipton sales grad, and for the first time in decades the top two betting favorites for the Kentucky Derby would meet in a final prep.

The duo came together at the top of the stretch, but it was Nyquist who was going the better of the two, winning by 3 ¼ lengths, with Mohaymen beaten soundly by 8 ¼ lengths in a fourth place finish.

Horses that win the Kentucky Derby rarely come into the race without at least an in-the-money finish.

Bettors jumped off the Mohaymen bandwagon, his price drifting up to 8-1 at Bovada, the same price he stands at today.

The $2.2 million Keeneland purchase is now the co-second choice in Kentucky Derby futures betting along with Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Exaggerator.

Is it wise to give up on this colt? He looked like the real deal in his first five career starts.

One clue came on Tuesday when the colt worked four furlongs over the Churchill Downs main track in 46 4/5, wowing the morning clockers and his connections.

"That gave me goosebumps," assistant trainer Neal McLaughlin said. "That was a 'wow' breeze."

His brother Kiaran is one of the most respected trainers in the world, and he has shown confidence we will see the old Mohaymen on the first Saturday of May.

"We're going to draw a line through that race. He was very wide, and the track was very wet,” McLaughlin told Bloodhorse. “Not that he wouldn't handle wet here, but at least that's an excuse for us trainers. And the wide trip, he ran 54 feet farther than the winner. That's a lot of lengths difference."

Can he make up more than eight lengths on Nyquist? The betting price may be right to find out.

Handicapper Michael Dempsey provides his full card analysis for Keeneland daily and selections for Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Day at