Although no decision has been reached on MEDINA SPIRIT's keeping or forfeiting his Derby title, the MANDALOUN show must go on! The son of INTO MISCHIEF has business to take care of this summer.
As you know, the Brad Cox trainee is first in line to inherit the Kentucky Derby title from MEDINA SPIRIT, should the title be stripped of the son of PROTANICO. Let's recall the statements that were made:
"The connections of Medina Spirit have the right to request a test of a split sample and we understand they intend to do so," the Churchill Downs press said.
"To be clear, if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit's results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the winner."
If the son of INTO MISCHIEF inherits the Kentucky Derby title, he'll give Brad Cox and Florent Geroux their first Derby wins. When Cox was asked how it would feel, he wasn't so sure.
"Everybody is asking me, 'What's it feel like?' " Cox told DRF. "Well, I don't know. It's a feeling I've never had before. It'd be cool . . . I guess? It'd be something you'd mark off your bucket list, but something you'd want to do again, maybe in a different way. It's certainly not the way you'd expect to win a race, especially as something as special as the Kentucky Derby."
Inheriting the win would also jump MANDALOUN back in the race for Three-year-old Honors, with a vengeance. But first things first: the here and now.
MANDALOUN's primary goal is now the Haskell Invitational (G1) on July 17th at Monmouth Park, which Brad Cox confirmed to DRF last week. But in preparation for that contest, he is likely to make his next start on Sunday June 13th, in the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Aimed for the Pegasus Stakes?
The Pegasus Stakes is a one mile and one-sixteenth race for three-year-olds on the dirt. One of the potential competitors waiting for MANDALOUN is BROOKLYN STRONG, who is looking to have a fair shake at showing what he's made of.
BROOKLYN STRONG has been compromised in both of his last two starts: in the Wood Memorial, where he had a "strangled" trip and found daylight only when it was too late; and the Kentucky Derby, where he was bounced around at the start, needing all of two furlongs just to settle into stride. By then, he'd already given the leaders a double-digit length advantage. Well, come Sunday, will BROOKLYN STRONG fire big? It was around this time of the year when his sire, WICKED STRONG, turned up the heat on his own three-year-old division back in 2014 — winning the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and placing in the Travers Stakes (G1) consecutively. We shall see.
Another probable is WEYBURN for tainer James Jerkins. The son of PIONEER OF THE NILE will make his first start since the Wood Memorial Stakes, where he finished a well-beaten fourth. We'll hopefully see a rebound performance from him. Afterall, its easy to suspect he's sitting on another big race. WEYBURN's victory in the Gotham Stakes was too impressive to dismiss, especially when he defeated HIGHLY MOTIVATED in that race.
The other proables are: HIDDEN STASH, LUGAMO, DR JACK, and HARVARD. (per HorseRacingNation)
Source: HorseRacingNation, Paulick Report, NBCSports