Darley buys favourite for Kentucky Derby

Darley has purchased a majority interest in pre-post Kentucky Derby favourite Cairo Prince.

The grey colt will remain with trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and race in the blue colours of Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Stable.  He is currently the 13-1 favourite in the Kentucky Derby for owners Terry Murray, Paul Braverman, Harvey Clarke and Craig Robertson.

Cairo Prince (3c Pioneerof the Nile – Holy Bubbette by Holy Bull) broke his maiden on debut at Belmont Park in October and then stepped up to claim the G2 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct in November.  He finished last year’s campaign with a nose second to Honor Code in the G2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct.

“We’ve observed Cairo Prince all along and he makes us excited about what could be,” Darley America president Jimmy Bell said.  “Obviously, we will take it one step at a time.”

The G1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 29 is the next target in his Run for the Roses on May 3.

Bred in Kentucky by Richard and Katherine Elam, Cairo Prince was purchased by Vinery Bloodstock and Whisper Hill Farm for $200,000 at the 2012 Keeneland January yearling sale.  He was resold for $250,000 to Murray later that year at Keeneland’s September yearling sale.

His sire Pioneerof the Nile won the 2009 Santa Anita Derby and ran second behind long-shot Mine That Bird in that year’s Kentucky Derby.  The son of Empire Maker stands for $20,000 at WinStar Farm in Kentucky.