Cairo Prince colt gets first stakes win on Fair Grounds lawn

Marquee Prince made a successful return to turf when taking the Lloyd ‘Captain’ Maestri Memorial S. at Fair Grounds on Saturday afternoon, the first stakes victory for the 3-year-old Cairo Prince colt, who was also making his 2019 debut.

A romping 12 1/4-length winner in a Churchill Downs allowance on Sept. 30, Marquee Prince tried the main track twice in stakes company before Saturday’s turf outing.

Settled along the inside after breaking from post 1, Marquee Prince got a very patient ride from Florent Geroux, who allowed his colt to track in fourth through the first six furlongs. Given his cue at the top of the stretch, Marquee Prince closed ground stoutly in the stretch, going outside of pacesetter Spectacular Gem to win by 1 1/4-lengths in 1:39.48 for the “about” one mile on the firm turf [WATCH RACE].

“He was sneaky good last time at Remington (on Dec. 16 in the Springboard Mile) and he already won an (allowance race) so he had experience,” Geroux said. “Today he was back on turf and had a great trip down on the inside saving ground. When I cut him loose at the eighth pole it took him a stride or two to get going but he was best at the end.” 

Bred in Kentucky by Brereton Jones, Marquee Prince is out of the Include broodmare Try to Remember, who produced produced Grade 1-placed Holiday Soiree. He was purchased for $215,000 at the Fasig-Tipton October Kentucky Yearling Sale, where he was consigned by Airdrie Stud. 

Cairo Prince, whose first crop are 3-year-olds of 2019, was the #3 First-Crop Sire of 2018. Among his Kentucky Derby (G1) hopefuls are the stakes-winning duo of Mihos and Cairo Cat.