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A Mo Reay won the 2023 Beholder Mile Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park after out-breaking the 4/5 favorite Bob Baffert trainee Fun to Dream in the stretch. Is the Brad Cox trainee currently the top older female dirt horse? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
In a thrilling finish, New Orleans-based shipper A Mo Reay was up to tag heavily favored local Fun to Dream by a head in Saturday’s main event at Santa Anita, the Grade I, $500,000 Beholder Mile. Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Flavien Prat, A Mo Reay got the mile in 1:36.25 over a main track listed as good.
Attentive to the early pace set by Ganadora and pressed by Fun to Dream, A Mo Reay was 1 ½ lengths off the lead at the half mile and with Ganadora falling back leaving the quarter pole, she engaged the favorite four-deep turning for home and in a resolute effort, gained the upper hand on the money.
“When you end up winning it is always better,” said Prat, who collected his third win on the day in his first time aboard A Mo Reay. “She really dug in when it was time to run, and she was travelling well all around. I watched her previous race and I talked to Brad (who watched the race from Oaklawn Park) and he was really high on her and really wanted her in this race. He was right.”
Fresh off victory at a mile and one sixteenth in the Grade III Bayakoa Stakes Feb. 4 at Oaklawn, A Mo Reay took an ungraded stakes at Fairgrounds in New Orleans two starts back and in her first West Coast appearance, was off at 7-1 in a field of eight older fillies and mares and returned $17.80, $5.20 and $4.60.
“Brad has a great team and they all did a fantastic job,” said Adrian Regan, who is part of the winning ownership that races as Hunter Valley Farm. “It’s the first Grade I in our colors, so it’s special. It is just great for the farm…everybody at home. It is unbelievable, really.”
A 4-year-old filly by Uncle Mo out of the Pioneerof the Nile mare Margaret Reay, A Mo Reay is now unbeaten now in three starts for Cox. A Mo Reay, who got her first Grade I stakes win and improved her overall mark to 11-5-1-3, picked up $300,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $692,650.
One of three Bob Baffert trainees and the lone California-bred in the lineup, Fun to Dream entered the Beholder Mile on a roll, having won the Grade I La Brea here on Dec. 26 and the Grade II Santa Monica, both at seven panels, on Dec. 26 and Feb. 2 and was seeking her fifth win in a row today.
Off at 4-5 as she stretched out a furlong with Juan Hernandez up, she paid $2.60 and $2.20 while finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of stablemate Midnight Memories.
Ridden by Ramon Vazquez, Midnight Memories was off at 8-1 and paid $4.20 while checking in 1 ¼ lengths in front of comebacking Desert Dawn.
Fractions on the Beholder Mile were 23.19, 47.14, 1:10.79 and 1:22.99.
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FLAVIEN PRAT, A MO REAY, WINNER: “When you end up winning it is always better. She really dug in when it was time to run, and she was travelling well all the way around. I watched her previous race and I talked to Brad (Cox) and he was really high on her and really wanted her in this race. He was right.”
ADRIAN REGAN, A MO REAY, WINNER: “It was all down to Brad (Cox), he is the master placer when it comes to where we go and after watching the race in Oaklawn today, I was very happy that we were coming here. Secret Oath (running in the Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn) looked fantastic today but it’s all Brad. We are very lucky to have a man like that with this team… Brad has a great team and they all did a fantastic job. I told Flavien he was unbelievable on her. I said to John, coming down the straight, ‘We got a shot! ’.. Flavien answered the call, full marks to him, he was great.
“It is the first (Grade I) in our colors, so it’s special it is just great for the farm Fergus (Galvin), Tony (Hegarty), everybody at home. It is just unbelievable really.”
JOHN WADE, A MO REAY, WINNER: “When I saw the rain in the forecast, I was kind of happy. She performed well over a muddy track in the Fairgrounds when it was taken off the turf, so we were happy enough.”
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