b c Into Mischief - Brooch (Empire Maker)
Mandaloun, the second foal out of Gr.2 winning Empire Maker mare Brooch, is bred on the same cross as Juddmonte's promising but ill-fated fellow homebred, Taraz.
The colt earned 'TDN Rising Star' status following his debut victory as a two-year-old in October 2020 at Keeneland, where he prevailed by half a length despite trouble in running. He followed that up with another win, this time an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Churchill Downs, in November.
His first start as a three-year-old on the Triple Crown trail was the Gr.3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds in January 2021. “He's trained very well at Fair Grounds since we got here,” trainer Brad Cox told the Fair Grounds notes team prior to the run. “We've always felt he was cut out to be a two-turn horse based on his physical make-up and how he trains. It shows how much talent he's got to be able to win his first two races at sprint distances and now we're going to do what we've thought he's wanted to do all along, and that's go long.”
Mandaloun ran third in the Lecomte after drawing stall 10 of 11, but made up for that in the Gr.2 Risen Star Stakes at the same track the next month, earning the necessary points for the Gr.1 Kentucky Derby.
"He's a good horse," said Cox after the race. "I really like him.
"I think he got so much out of the last race in the Lecomte. For him to come back in four weeks and run a big race means a lot. I think the [first time] blinkers did help out. Florent [Geroux, jockey] immediately made a comment after the race. Much more focused in the post parade, more focused on his job. It was just like a one-inch cup, but it seems to have done the trick to get him mentally over the top, mentally getting him where he needs to be."
"Everyone gets excited when they have a good three-year-old at this time of year," added Juddmonte General Manager Garrett O'Rourke. "He's an Into Mischief who is out of an Empire Maker mare and has a lot of the Empire Maker look in him and he has the color of Into Mischief about him. In breeding these Empire Maker mares to Into Mischief, you dream about getting a horse with Into Mischief's speed and Empire Maker's stamina and it looks like Mandaloun has it. He can get out there and just keep it going."
Mandaloun headed to the Gr.1 Kentucky Derby off the back of a unplaced run in the Gr.2 Louisiana Derby. He was close up for much of the race and made his run from six furlongs out. Despite pressing long-time leader Medina Spirit with two furlongs to go he was held into second place by half a length. The Gr.1 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park in July saw Mandaloun in a battle to the line with Hot Rod Charlie who prevailed by a nose. However, Mandaloun was awarded the race with Hot Rod Charlie demoted to last place following an incident that almost brought challenger Midnight Bourbon down.