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Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin

Florida Derby Likely Next for Cairo Prince

Holy Bull winner expected to bypass Fountain of Youth for $1 million race March 29.

Cairo Prince , impressive winner of the $400,000 Miller Lite Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II), is bypassing the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and will likely make his next start in the March 29 Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I).

"The plans right now are to probably just point for the Florida Derby," trainer Kiaren McLaughlin said of the $1 milion race that is the main prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park. "The Holy Bull was a huge effort, and they're not machines. It's hard to run every four weeks and run your best. We'll still look at (the Fountain of Youth), but we might very well skip it."

Cairo Prince came from just off the pace to win the Holy Bull Jan. 25 by 5 3/4 lengths in 1:42.16 for 1 1/16 miles, the largest margin of victory since Suave Prospect won by eight in 1995. The son of Pioneerof the Nile  has won three of four starts and earned $512,000.

Owned by Namcook Stables, Paul Braverman, Harvey Clarke, and Craig Robertson, Cairo Prince has run four times in 16 weeks since his debut last October at Belmont Park. He subsequently won the Nashua Stakes (gr. II) in his second start and finished second to Honor Code  in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II).

McLaughlin has started four horses in the Derby, including 2005 runner-up Closing Argument, who also won the Holy Bull.

"Cairo's doing great and eating up well," McLaughlin said. "He's just doing real well. He's back to the track training. The Holy Bull was such a huge effort, and we have to look down the road to the first Saturday in May."