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Taking another step forward on the road to the 2016 classics, Mohaymen (by Tapit) won the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream on Saturday with a visually impressive closing rush that left him alone at the finish, pricking his ears, in a time of 1:42.07 for the 1 1/16 miles.

The colt’s name translates as “dominant,” and his results on the track say the same thing. The son of two-time leading sire Tapit is unbeaten in four starts, and the Holy Bull was the Mohaymen’s third consecutive G2 stakes victory, all at distances from 8 to 9 furlongs, with the Nashua (8 furlongs) and Remsen (9) preceding the colt’s success on Jan. 30.

The strikingly handsome gray is a shade darker than his famous sire at this stage but is otherwise remarkably like Tapit in profile and racing style. Mohaymen has speed, has a kick, is tractable and versatile.

Those factors also mean that Mohaymen is a serious classic prospect, and he has been on the radar of racing people for a long time. When brought to the sales as a yearling at Keeneland September in 2014, he had the balance and the quality and the walk of a top athlete. Overall, this colt was one that a blind man could have picked out.

Mohaymen sold like it, bringing $2.2 million from Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Farm. That was the highest price of the year for a yearling by Tapit, and now the whole world knows the handsome gray was worth it.

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Mohaymen at the 2014 Keeneland September sale, where he sold for $2.2 million

 

Bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms, Mohaymen is yet another high-class son of leading sire Tapit and is out of the graded stakes winner Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union. The dam was a very appealing sales yearling who brought $425,000 at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale out of the Hermitage Farm consignment, selling to West Point Thoroughbreds and partners.

Terry Finley, founder and president of West Point, recalled that on the way back from winning the 2007 Gazelle Stakes (G1) at Belmont with Lear’s Princess, he got a call from Buzz Chace that they had gotten the “most beautiful filly” at the September yearling sale and that became Justwhistledixie.

The racing partnership paid serious money for the filly, and “we went in with some super partners to race her,” Finley recalled, that included Lewis Lakin’s Lakland Farm and Dee Hubbard. One of the West Point partners in the filly was “a hot young Wall Street trader named Rob Masiello,” Finley said. “Rob named her Justwhistledixie. She became the first really nice horse he was involved with, and that sequence of events has propelled Rob into a greater involvement with racing.”

Winner of a maiden in her third start for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who also trains Mohaymen, Justwhistledixie went on a tear, winning five consecutive races, four stakes, including the G2 Bonnie Miss and Davona Dale at Gulfstream.

Finley said that “Justwhistledixie was probably the most talented filly we had who never won a Grade 1. We had to scratch her out of the Kentucky Oaks when she came up with a ‘hot nail’ in a foot, but she ran a great second in the Acorn Stakes not long after.” The Oaks that Justwhistledixie scratched out of was won by the favorite, a bay beast by the name of Rachel Alexandra, and Finley said, “I guess we’d have been running for second in that one, anyway.”

Clearly, however, Justwhistledixie had tremendous athletic ability, and West Point is a racing partnership primarily focused on finding and developing racehorses. So after the filly’s racing career was over, the partners sold her to Clearsky Farms in a private transaction.

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And just like she has done at every other stage of her life, Justwhistledixie has become a huge success as a broodmare. The mare’s first foal was a bay colt by Street Cry who sold for $425,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September sale to Ben Glass, agent for Gary and Mary West. Named New Year’s Day, the colt raced in the Wests’ pink and black silks to win two of his three starts, including the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He stands at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm outside Lexington for $5,000 live foal.

The mare’s second foal is a bay colt by Distorted Humor who sold for $600,000 as a yearling at Keeneland. A winner, this colt is named Winslow and has done his racing in England for Godolphin.

The mare’s third foal is Mohaymen, who was born May 2. Due to the foaling date, Justwhistledixie was not bred in 2013, then did not get in foal in 2014, but she is back in foal to Tapit on an April 18 cover for 2016. That prospective foal will be a full brother or sister to Mohaymen, and the mare is booked back to Tapit.

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