Check out all the latest podcasts including Blinkers Off and The Magic Mike Show
Check out all the big upcoming stakes races
ARCADIA, CA – For the second straight race, Mo Forza nailed a too-good-to-lose Smooth Like Strait in the shadow of the wire to defend his title in Saturday’s $200,000 City of Hope Mile Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.
Did you know active subscribers receive our Inside Track wagering guides absolutely FREE? Subscribe today and be the first to receive our upcoming MONSTER wagering guide to the 2021 Breeders’ Cup!
Mo Forza broke from post 2 under Flavien Prat as the 3/5 favorite in the field of five and was the only runner to not challenge for the early pace.
Jockey Umberto Rispoli guided Smooth Like Strait to the front from the far outside post as the field entered the clubhouse turn, then posted opening fractions of :22.61 and :46.66.
Pressing runner Red Storm Risen cranked up the heat halfway home, passing Smooth Like Strait for the lead heading into the far turn and forcing that rival to speed up.
Prat tipped Mo Forza out at the top of the stretch, and the bettors’ choice initially appeared to struggle to find his best footing while refusing to change leads.
Despite the errant running style, however, the Peter Miller trainee was able to grind his way up to take the lead 3 jumps from the wire, then crossed a 1/2-length the winner in 1:32.45 for the firm turf route.
“It was a bit of an awkward race,” Prat said. “First 1/4 was pretty fast, then we hit the first turn and slowed down a lot, then we got to the backside and took off again. After that, they all came up to me around the far turn. I was trying to get him together, to regroup and get a good run down the lane, and that’s what he did. He showed a lot of class today.”
Smooth Like Strait held off Grade 1 winner Hit the Road by a head for second. Further back came Red Storm Risen and Order and Law to complete the order of finish.
Mo Forza’s win was his fourth straight dating back to last year’s Del Mar Mile (G2) and City of Hope Mile, his final 2 starts before injuries kept him from the track until his Del Mar Mile title defense in late August. The 5-year-old son of Uncle Mo improved his overall record to 14-8-3-1 and became racing’s newest millionaire with now $1,034,460 earned for co-owners Bardy Farm (who also bred him) and OG Boss.
“I was very worried the first minute and 30 seconds; I felt a lot better the last 2 1/2 seconds,” said Miller, who celebrated his birthday Saturday. “I left the plans in Flavien’s hands. It is up to him. He knows the horse. If the pace is fast, he’ll lay back. If it’s a moderate pace, we’ll be up close. Our next stop is the Breeders’ Cup.”
Mo Forza returned $3.20 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Smooth Like Strait brought back $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show. Hit the Road paid $2.10 to show.
The Racing Dudes take a look at all 14 Breeders’… Read More
The Magic Mike Show guys preview and give their tickets… Read More
With Mike dining on prime filets and freshly-caught shrimp, Magic… Read More
The Magic Mike Show guys discuss what they learned from… Read More
The Racing Dudes preview and give picks for 11 different… Read More
On November 5-6, 2021, the 38th annual Breeders’ Cup World… Read More
An annual tradition in horse racing is debating the strength… Read More
For the final weeks leading up to the 2021 Breeders’… Read More
We are now just two weeks away from the Breeders’… Read More
Looking to cash in big?
Be the first to access our daily free and premium horse racing picks, articles, podcasts, and more!