Kat has big 'Mo' in San Clemente

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

July 24th, 2016

J K Racing Stable’s Mokat tried the Kentucky Oaks (G1) trail without success this spring, but perhaps the grassy Del Mar Oaks (G1) on August 20 is more to her liking. Freshened by trainer Richard Baltas since her disappointing 13th behind Cathryn Sophia at Churchill Downs, the daughter of Uncle Mo found her true home on turf when dominating Saturday’s $201,725 San Clemente (G2) at Del Mar.

Mokat flashed talent over this same course and one-mile trip as a juvenile, romping by 5 1/2 lengths in a maiden and denied by only a half-length in the Jimmy Durante (G3). Earlier this campaign, she switched to Santa Anita’s dirt and tried unbeaten champion Songbird twice. Mokat was third in the Santa Ysabel (G3) and second in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1), both useful efforts. But after her conquering flair in the San Clemente, she deserves to stay on the lawn for a while.

With new rider Kent Desormeaux aboard, the 7-1 Mokat was reserved in a ground-saving spot off the pace. Up front, comebacker Belvoir Bay was rolling through splits of :23.14 and :47.06. Lady Valeur sneaked through on the rail to argue the issue, and took over as Belvoir Bay failed to negotiate the far turn well. After veering out a bit, Belvoir Bay gave way badly down the lane and wound up a tailed-off last of 10. This simply wasn’t the same filly we saw spread-eagle the field in the December 27 Blue Norther.

As Belvoir Bay began to misfire, Mokat was making eye-catching progress on the far turn and ranged alongside Lady Valeur at the six-furlong mark in 1:11.31. She inhaled Lady Valeur at the top of the stretch and put the race away with a sparkling seventh furlong (in :11.51, according to Trakus). Mokat could afford to let up inside the final furlong, but still widened her advantage to 3 3/4 lengths at the line. She toured the firm-turf mile in 1:35.23 and rewarded her loyalists with a $16.40 win payout.

Lady Valeur retained the runner-up spot by three-quarters of a length from Stays in Vegas. Be Mine raced evenly in fourth as the 5-2 favorite.

Mokat’s first stakes victory advanced her record to 9-2-2-2, $285,040. Out of the unraced Premiership mare Flashy Frolic, the Kentucky-bred is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Frolic’s Dream (dam of exciting Astoria heroine Bode’s Dream) and to Grade 3-placed stakes scorer Frolicing. Dam Flashy Frolic is in turn a half-sister to multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Smok’n Frolic, who has produced Canadian champion Hunters Bay.

Photo courtesy of Benoit