Another son of young sire Uncle Mo is making his presence felt on the Kentucky Derby trail as the Coolmore partners and Team D's Mo Town dominated the G2 Remsen Stakes on Saturday at Aqueduct, crossing the line 2 1/2 lengths in front of his competition to earn 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The juvenile Mo Town, ridden by John Velazquez for trainer Anthony Dutrow, covered nine furlongs over the fast main track in 1:51.58, nearly a full two seconds faster than the final time of the Demoiselle two races earlier on the card.
“Going back to March, we always felt this was a good horse,” said Dutrow. “Being around him, knowing all we do about how he went into each of his races, I felt strongly that he would run big today. For him to prove this much, I feel great.”
Favorite Takaful shot out of the starting gates to take the lead, stretching out to nearly a four-length advantage through the first turn to set early fractions of :23.47 and :48.84. Newman and Mo Town tracked from second and third, respectively, as Takaful eased up to mark the half-mile in :48.84, decreasing his lead to just a length entering the far turn. Mo Town took over the second position tracked by No Dozing in third, both colts moving well within themselves as they rounded the far turn behind Takaful's 1:14.02 six-furlong time.
At the head of the lane, Takaful still held a half-length advantage, but as soon as he switched to his right lead the favorite started moving in the wrong direction. Mo Town, meanwhile, glided on by as Velazquez pleased, continuing to move away in impressive fashion down the lane to win by about 2 1/2 lengths on the wire. No Dozing took over second position in the stretch, but Takaful managed to hold on for third over Win With Pride.
“He was very good,” said Velazquez. “He got carried wide into the first turn and after that I had to do the dirty job with the horse in front. After that, he did everything well. Hopefully he can come back better as a three-year-old.”
Bred in Kentucky by John Gunther and Eurowest Bloodstock, Mo Town commanded $200,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September Sale. Second in his first start at Saratoga, Mo Town broke his maiden last out at Belmont Park by a convincing seven lengths. The Remsen is the colt's first graded stakes win, improving his career record to two wins from three starts, with earnings of over $240,000.
“I wanted the horse fresh and happy going into his 3-year-old year,” Dutrow continued. “I didn't use this horse. I didn't pressure this horse in getting him ready for today. I feel strongly that we have not seen what this horse is capable of yet.
“He's going to go Payson [Park Training Center] and he'll have a very light December; next to nothing. I'll talk to the [owners] about what they are thinking, but if I owned the whole horse, I'd bring him up here for the Gotham. I'll talk to them about that and see how they feel.”
Watch the race replay here:
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