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Del Mar Mile Preview: Mo Forza Faces Fierce Field For Return
Mo Forza winning the 2019 Mathis Brothers Mile (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Del Mar Mile Preview: Mo Forza Faces Fierce Field For Return

DEL MAR, CA – Trainer Peter Miller’s Mo Forza, the West Coast’s top 3-year-old turfer last year, faces a fierce field for his long-awaited return to the races in Sunday’s $150,000 Del Mar Mile Handicap (G2).

The Del Mar Mile is a turf route restricted to horses ages 3 and up. This year’s edition is the ninth event on an 11-race card with a local post time of 6:00 PM.

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Here is a look at the full field for the Del Mar Mile:

1. The Black Album 12/1 – He makes his first start since relocating to Miller’s barn and his first start as a gelding after winning July’s Schuster Memorial Stakes at Indiana Grand in his 2020 debut. He’s shown flashes of ability, including winning a Group 3 event in his native France as a 2018 juvenile, but he’ll likely need a career-best effort to find repeat success here.

2. Bombard 10/1 – He won the 2019 Wickerr Stakes over this course but went missing for an entire year plus five days, returning to finish a narrow second in a local 5-furlong turf sprint last month behind Sparky Ville, the favorite in Saturday’s Green Flash Handicap (G3). The War Front gelding has a record of 5-1-3-0 both at Del Mar and in turf miles.

3. Galilean 9/2 – He won his turf debut last time out in the local 1 1/16-mile California Dreamin’ Stakes against his fellow California-breds. The waters get much deeper here, but he picks up the services of Umberto Rispoli, who heading into the weekend is the meet’s leading rider and has won 7 of his past 19 mounts aboard John Sadler trainees. 

4. Mo Forza 7/2 – Though he didn’t debut until last June and was a maiden until his sixth start, he quickly caught fire at that point, winning 4 straight that included 3 at the graded stakes level. Off since he was well-beaten in January’s Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), he’s been working consistently well and sheds the blinkers – a 21% winning move for Miller.

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5. Dreams of Valor 20/1 – He’s looked like a new horse since adding blinkers late last year, posting a 6-1-2-3 record on dirt and turf and while both sprinting and routing against lesser competition. He faces a stiff test for his stakes debut, but all 4 career wins have come on grass, so if nothing else, he has a big opportunity to hit the board at a square price.

6. Sharp Samurai 6/1 – He will scratch after finishing second in the Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) a day prior.

7. Royal Ship 5/1 – The Brazilian import makes his North American racing debut after winning 5 straight on his native land’s turf, all by open lengths and with the last one coming against Group 1 rivals. Trainer Richard Mandella and jockey Mike Smith have enjoyed plenty of success together with runners from the Land of the Holy Cross, including Jolie Olimpica.

8. Restrainedvengence 10/1 – He’s remained in very good form since last summer, compiling a record of 10-4-1-1 that saw every success come at the stakes level. He won May’s All American Stakes after forcing a speed duel from the very start and earned a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure, his third triple-digit Beyer in his past 7 starts.

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9. Overdue 12/1 – The 5-year-old gelding waited until last year to hit the track, but he put together a 7-3-2-1 record before testing the graded stakes level. Off the board in both the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) and the San Gabriel (G2), he’s been unraced since that latter race in January, but he should be sharp: he recently worked 5 furlongs in :58 flat over the local dirt.

10. Kiwi’s Dream 8/1 – The speedy gelding’s nickname could be “Close But No Cigar” after he finished second by a head (twice) and a neck in his most recent 3 starts. He picks up the riding services of Ricky Gonzalez, known for expertly piloting early pace runners, but he’ll likely need a career-best effort in order to turn the tables on his recent string of bad-luck finishes.

11. Bob and Jackie 12/1 – He’s won 4 of his 6 career starts, including over the local lawn in last fall’s Let It Ride Stakes and last month’s Wickerr Stakes. The latter was his first appearance of 2020 and earned him a career-best 97 Beyer Speed Figure, so any improvement in his second start back makes him a serious threat against this deep field.

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