Mohaymen: Pedigree of Today, Yester-Day or Yester-Year?
Each day, we will look all over the country to discover a horse running that has a pedigree worth noting. We will not always pick a stakes race. In fact, we may even try to find a horse running in a claiming race that may just have a pedigree worth noting. And, you may argue that there is a horse running on that day that deserves to be noted more than the one that we have selected. If so, then submit your horse and your arguments. We may print your selection and your short bio. We hope to engage conversation.
Yesterday’s Selection was supposed to be Today’s Selection. Instead, we got a curve. Mohaymen, who was entered and ran in an Allowance-Optional Claimer on the Grass at Belmont Friday, July 14 instead of running today in the Forbidden Apple Stakes, in which he was cross entered, as well, at Belmont.
Owner: Shadwell Stable
Breeder: Clearsky Farms
Sold at Public Auction: $2.2 Million at the 2014 Keeneland September Yearling Sales
Trainer: Kiaran P. McLaughlin
Jockey: Junior Alvarado
Sire: Tapit is, undoubtedly, the best stallion in the game today. And, he is rapidly becoming one of the most significant sires in the history of the game and sport. The son of Pulpit and out of the Unbridled mare Tap Your Heels has been America’s Leading Sire for each of the last three years with record earnings each year. Just a year ago, he had 5 G1 winners and this year he stood the breeding season for the impressive stud fee of $300,000 for a live foal that stands and nurses. And, this year appears to be just another great one. And, if possible, maybe the best year ever for Tapit. His son Tapwrit won the Belmont Stakes. His son Cupid won the G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita. His daughter Actress won the G2 Black-Eyed Susan. And, his daughter Unique Bella – who won the G2 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita before being sidelined with sore shins – may be the best of the bunch. Many wanted trainer Jerry Hollendorfer to put her against the colts in this year’s Kentucky Derby and she has already been compared to the grand Songbird. Obviously, sons of Tapit are in demand. And, Mohaymen figures to be one of those that are recruited heavily to carry on this legacy.
Dam: Justwhistledixie, who was bred by Oldham County’s own and proud Hermitage Farm (owned at the time by Carl Pollard and all breeding matches assisted by long-time farm manager Bill Landes), is the rare and grand combination of pedigree, race performance and proven broodmare. In her family past, she is a half sister to Chace City, who had 3 wins in just 4 starts as a 2YO and won the Saratoga Special and the Victoria Stakes at Woodbine. In addition, she is also a half-sister to Bakken, a colt by Distorted Humor, who had three wins at 3 and 4 and was stakes placed. As a runner, she had five wins as a 2YO and a 3YO and won nearly $450,000. Included in her wins were the G2 Bonnie Miss Stakes, the G2 Davona Dale Stakes, the Ruthless Stakes and the Love Affair Stakes. She ran second in the G1 Acorn Stakes and the G2 Top Flight Handicap. And, as a broodmare, she has already produced the likes of Mohaymen and New Year’s Day, a Street Cry colt that had two wins in 3 starts as a 2YO, capturing the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita and earning over $1.1 million. Justwhistledixie was sold as a yearling by Hermitage Farm for $425,000 as a yearling in 2007 and was purchased then by noted bloodstock agent Buzz Chace. She ended up running for West Point Thoroughbreds, Lakland Farm and Dee Hubbard.
Second Dam: General Jeanne, who is by Honour and Glory, was bred by Julia N. Sublett and was offered at the 2000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale by Dromoland Farm as agent. She did not meet her reserve price of $185,000 and did not sell at that time, but ended up being owned by Carl Pollard and running out of the barn of Churchill Downs-based trainer David Vance. General Jeanne raced 13 times in her career, with 2 wins, 3 seconds and 2 thirds and earnings of $72,797. But what a family. She is a half-sister to Graded Stakes winner Penny’s Reshoot, Stakes-winner Daimon, Stakes-winner Hope Rises, Stakes Winner Twin Propeller and Stakes-placed winners Jack Wilson and Ahpo Here. Better than that, though, she is the dam of both Chace City and Bakken, as well.
Third Dam: Ahpo Hel, by Mr. Leader who was bred and owned by Mrs. Barbara Labrot, was not overly accomplished as a runner, either, but carried on the family tradition as a broodmare extraordinaire. After four lifetime starts, with two wins and a third, she was retired to the breeding shed. She produced the likes of Penny’s Reshoot, who won the G2 Prioress Stakes and ran second in the G1 Test Stakes, the G2 Comely Stakes and the G3 Columbia Stakes. She produced the likes of Daimon, a filly who won the Berlo Stakes at Aqueduct and produced Saint Daimon (a Graded Stakes-placed winner), and Not Tricky (a Graded-Stakes-placed winner, as well).
Point of Interest: This is also the family of Smooth Air, who had 6 wins from 2 to 4 and earned over $1.1 million. He captured the G2 Ohio Derby, the G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap, the G2 Hutcheson Stakes and was second in the G1 Florida Derby. Smooth Air now stands as a stallion at Gulf Coast Equine in Louisiana for a stud fee of $2,500 Live Foal. Smooth Air is the son of Twin Propeller, another Stake-winning daughter of Ahpo Hel.
Racing Notes: Mohaymen – trained by Kiaran McLaughlin for Shadwell Stables — began his race career like a lightning bolt, winning his first five starts. As a 2YO, the steel gray colt was undefeated, winning his MSW, and two straight stakes – the G2 Nashua Stakes, the G2 Remsen Stakes. And, he started his 3YO campaign much like he finished the 2YO season – winning the G2 Holy Bull and the G2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park. Suddenly, the racing world had a Triple Crown threat. But something not so funny happened on his way to stardom. Some say reality. Others say bad luck. Most really don’t know. In the G1 Florida Derby on April 2, 2016, the undefeated Mohaymen faced off against the undefeated, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champ Nyquist. It was a monumental matchup. But it didn’t turn out that way. Nyquist went on to easily win the Florida Derby and then win the Kentucky Derby. Mohaymen, running on a “good” but “off” track for the first time, never put up much of a real challenge and faded to fourth. He has never been closer than 4th in a race since. He ran 4th to Nyquist, again, in the Kentucky Derby and then ran another 4th in the Jim Dandy and the bombed, running 11th in the King’s Bishop at Saratoga last August. It was time for a break. But it hasn’t helped much. This year, Mohaymen ran 4th in the Winchester Stakes and then 11th in the Met Mile at Belmont.
Ultimate Fact: Yesterday’s experiment to try Mohaymen on the turf for the first time was a disappointment and a failure. After stalking the lead for much of the 1-mile race on the turf, Mohaymen stalked the lead of both Lubash and then eventual-winner Tombelaine. But when the real running began, Mohaymen looked anything but comfortable or the horse that won his first five races of his career. Instead, he ran much like the horse that has not run better than fourth since winning the G2 Fountain of Youth a year ago. In his last seven starts, Mohaymen has not been close. So the question is: What to do now? Once on the cusp of rewriting Thoroughbred racing history, Mohaymen now is on the cusp in writing himself out of the stallion career that once appeared to be so promising, and at the very top of the game.
The question that begs to be asked – and answered – is whether it is time to retire Mohaymen to stud, where he may join Albertus Maximus, Tamarkuz and Daaher at Shadwell’s Stallion Operation in Lexington. Or, perhaps, selling him to another possible Stud Farm. Undoubtedly, there would be many, to be sure, that would try to negotiate that deal, considering Mohaymen’s pedigree and the fantastic beginning to his race career. After all, there have been other really good 2YOs and early 3YOs to not make it at the track later on. Storm Cat comes to mind.
But it may be time for that discussion to be the serious one. More than the one about what race is next on his schedule.