Mo Tom, Lani, Mohaymen Work
By Dick Downey
Updated 11:03 a.m. ET and 3:00 p.m. ET
As the Kentucky Derby draws nearer, workouts for the race at Churchill Downs are increasing.
Mo Tom, trained by Tom Amoss, worked four furlongs early this monring in 47.00 (2/27), breezing. He had internal fractions of 11.60, 23.00, and a quick 34.80. The son of Uncle Mo galloped out five furlongs in 59.80, six in 112.40, seven in 126.20 and a mile in 1:42.00.
“It went well,” Amoss said. “We went a little quick early in the work but he came back to the rider nicely and coming to the wire he was full force. He did like he always does, galloped out very strongly, which is his ammo. With that in mind when we work back next week, which will be our last work, we’ll push back from the Derby pretty good because the work is going to be significant even though we’re out to do a little less than we have the past two weeks.”
Lani is truly international. He was bred in Kentucky, raced in Japan and qualified for the Kentucky Derby by winning the UAE Derby. The son of Tapit is trained by Mikio Matsunaga. Based on a tweet he posted two days ago, Matsunaga is in Louisville with Lani now.
Lani has never raced less than a mile and debuted going about 1 1/4 mile. He finished fourth.
Lani put in his first official U. S. workout today at Churchill before the renovation break. After galloping once around the track, he broke off at the five furlong marker and was timed in a slow 1:06.00 (21/21), breezing. His splits were 13.80, 27.20, 40.40 and 52.80. He galloped out six furlongs in in 1:23.40.
It might be wise to overlook the slow time for now. Lani's Japanese trainer's methods differ from North American-style training.
“Everything has gone according to plan, so I’m happy with that,” said spokesperson Kieta Tanaka. “We don’t do super-fast works around this time, so everything is what I have planned. We’ll do something faster next week and three or four days before the Derby.”
Lani arrived at Churchill Downs on April 3 and is stabled in barn 17.
The Florida Derby favorite's stock went down when he finished fourth, but now that he's at Churchill Downs, heads are turning. Today he was timed going four furlongs in a sharp bullet 46.80 (1/27), breezing, in his first workout since the April 2 loss to Nyquist.
The move came jjust after the renovation break, and clockers caught Mohaymen, another son of Tapit, in splits of 12.00 23.60 and 35.20, out five furlongs in 59.60 and six in 1:12.80.
Assistant trainer Neal McLaughlin said watching Mohaymen today gave him goosebumps. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said some tweaks have been made and that the team is drawing a line through Mohaymen's relatively poor effort in the Florida Derby.
“That was a ‘Wow’ breeze,” said Neal McLaughlin. “You don’t know what you’re going to get coming here. It’s a bit of a different surface, some of them like it, some of them don’t, and that’s why we are here early and give him a couple of breezes here We were looking for a :48, up in 1:01 and he went :46.8 and up in :59.6, galloped out, came back, took one sip of water and not any sweat on him.”
Kiaran McLaughlin, who spent most of the winter with Mohaymen at Palm Meadows training center in Florida, was heartened by the work.
“It was a great work,” the trainer said. “I kind of predicted that the track was deeper at Palm Meadows, and this is a little bit lighter, and he was going to work pretty fast. He hasn’t worked since he ran and he was feeling really good, so we thought he was going to work well. He’ll have one more work.”
McLaughlin is not giving up on Mohaymen.
“We are going to draw a line through (the Florida Derby,” McLaughlin said. “He was very wide and the track was very wet, not that he wouldn’t handle it wet here, but at least it’s an excuse for us trainers. He ran 54 feet further than the winner and that’s a matter of fact quite a bit of feet further and a lot of lengths difference.”