For Immediate Release February 15, 2016
Shadwell Stable’s unbeaten Mohaymen is the near-unanimous top pick in the first Ultimate Kentucky Derby Poll presented by
The poll will appear every Monday morning at, the website of Eclipse Award-winning Horse Racing Radio Network, which is partnering with, the official data source of the Kentucky Derby, to produce rankings that combine high-profile turf journalists with high-profile professional handicappers. In addition, there will be a bonus poll published this Tuesday to reflect Monday’s $500,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park and Santa Anita’s $200,000 San Vicente.
Mohaymen, impressive winner of Gulfstream Park’s Grade II Holy Bull in his 3-year-old debut to go to 4-for-4, earned 12 of 13 first-place votes. The $2.2 million son of Tapit has earned a Bris speed figure of at least 91 in his four starts, including a 97 in the Holy Bull off a two-month layoff and a 102 in Aqueduct’s Remsen Stakes last November. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin says Mohaymen will target Gulfstream’s Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby in his path to the May 7 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
“At this early point on the Kentucky Derby trail, I’m looking for horses that pass my eye test, meaning did the horse make a move or look like a Derby winner?” said pollster Michael Beychok, the 2012 National Handicapping Championship winner and Eclipse Award Handicapper of the Year. “Speed figures are not as important to me in February and March. Mohaymen was visually impressive in his last, and I could see him making that move on the first Saturday in May.”
"Mohaymen is a small colt with a huge stride and a big heart,” said pollster Jude Feld, the HRRN analyst who was a multiple graded-stakes winner during a 20-year training career. “Everything he does seems effortless.”
The lone exception in putting Mohaymen at No. 1 was Ed DeRosa,’s director of marketing and director of publicity for, who went with unbeaten 2-year-old champion Nyquist, who runs in the San Vicente. Nyquist has been assigned a Bris “fig” of at least 94 in his five starts, topped by a 102 in his second start, Del Mar’s Grade II Best Pal, and a 97 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland.
“I don’t mind anyone who thinks Mohaymen has looked flashier in his career than Nyquist has,” DeRosa said. “But from a top-spot-in-a-Kentucky-Derby-poll-in-February perspective, I have to side with the champion undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, multiple Grade I winner for the top spot.”
The Ultimate Kentucky Derby Poll presented by is overseen by five-time Eclipse Award-winning turf writer Jennie Rees, who will provide comments on the consensus top 10 at will provide past performances for the poll, which will expand to 20 in a couple of weeks.
The Ultimate Kentucky Derby Poll brings together 13 highly-regarded experts, including reigning NHC Tour winner Jonathon Kinchen. Other pollsters are James Scully, head of’s editorial department and a lead contributor and content manager for’s blog and Kentucky Derby website; HRRN president and co-founder Mike Penna; HRRN analyst and 2014 Miss Connecticut Acacia Courtney; well-known racing broadcast journalist Caton Bredar, on scene at Gulfstream Park’s Championship meet; Steve Byk, host of the popular national radio program weekday “At the Races With Steve Byk” and a horse owner and bettor; Jim Mulvihill, director of media and industry relations for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association; Gary Palmisano, VIP services manager for Churchill Downs/; and Jeff Siegel, long-time horse owner, racing analyst and public handicapper.
About HRRN
The Horse Racing Radio Network is your home for Eclipse Award winning coverage of the biggest events in racing throughout the year. HRRN broadcasts more than 100 stakes races and is the official radio network of the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup World Championships. HRRN also produces a series of popular talk shows aired throughout the week on SiriusXM satellite radio: Xpressbet Radio on HRRN (Wednesday – Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET), Jock Talk presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka (Tuesday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Trainer Talk presented by Fasig-Tipton (Wednesday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Brisnet Call In Show (Thursday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Xpressbet Weekend Stakes Preview (Friday, 6-7 p.m. ET) and the Equine Forum (Saturday, 8-10 a.m. ET).
For more information visit, follow us on Twitter @HRRN and like “Horse Racing Radio Network” on Facebook.
About is the official data source of the Kentucky Derby,, and Churchill Downs Inc.’s family of racetracks. Founded in 1971 by Richard “Dick” Broadbent III as Bloodstock Research Information Services, was the first large-scale website to offer past performances online when it launched in 1996. Acquired by CDI in 1996, is a leading provider of horse racing information. Follow on Twitter @Brisnet.
About Jennie Rees
Jennie Rees, a five-time Eclipse Award winner and 2014 inductee into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor, covered racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal for 32 years before leaving newspaper journalism to specialize in horse-racing communications, advocacy and fan education. Follow her on Twitter @TracksideJennie and at “Trackside Jennie” on Facebook.