Charlotte - The path leading the way to this year's Kentucky Derby will have two stops this weekend. The main draw will be between 2 undefeated horses Mohaymen from the the East and Nyquist from the West.
Horse racing's newest stars will battle it out tomorrow in the $1 Million Florida Derby and it appears Mohaymen has a little more of the upper hand in this race. Normally, you don't see two horses of this caliber going against each other before the Kentucky Derby, but this is what it is all about.
Mohaymen has a very versatile running style and is no stranger to the Gulfstream track. He won the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth and has the home field advantage. This son of Tapit has great pedigree and has certainly lived up to his $2 million price tag from the Keeneland September sale.
While Nyquist shipped in from the west coast on Tuesday and trained in the starting gates Wednesday afternoon, he brings with him three Grade 1 wins including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. While post positions could play a role in this race, Nyquist drew post four and the jockey will have to determine how the break unfolds and get into position quickly. Mohaymen is to the outside and will have a little more room to come in.
Both horses are capable of kicking it in from mid-pack or pressing the pace. Mohaymen has great determination and Nyquist great will. Both have undefeated titles but only one can win. Will one of these contenders cross the finish line first or will another less anticipated rival step up and make their debut?
Fellowship, from Jack or Better Farm, has taken two thirds behind Mohaymen in the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth. He's at 15-1 in the morning line and the third choice in the field.
Awesome of Course won the Florida Sire Stakes in Reality in September. Jose Lezcano will take the ride.
Fashionable Freddy is being saddled by trainer Nick Zito who won the Florida Derby in 2005, 2010 and 2011.
Takeittotheedge is looking for a second career win after leading with a 7-3/4 length victory at Gulfstream on March 5.
Others listed for the race are Chovanes, Copingaway, Isofass, Majesto and Sawyers Mickey.
This is a strong Derby field. With two of the this season's best horses meeting for the first time everything will be on the line. Money, Kentucky Derby qualifying points and an undefeated title make this one of the most anticipated races of the season.