Mo Tom Returns in Ohio Derby

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Ed DeRosa

June 22nd, 2016

Mo Tom will make his first start since finishing eighth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands in the $500,000 Ohio Derby on Saturday, June 25, at Jack Thistledown near Cleveland.

The Kentucky Derby has already proven to be a productive race with runner-up Exaggerator, third-place finisher Gun Runner, 12th-place finisher Tom’s Ready, and 13th-place finisher Creator all coming back to win their next race. Exaggerator won the Preakness and Creator the Belmont Stakes.

Trained by Tom Amoss for Gayle Benson’s GMB Racing, Mo Tom took the Louisiana path to the Kentucky Derby, winning the Lecomte Stakes before finishing a troubled third and fourth in the Risen Star Stakes and Louisiana Derby. The Benson family owns the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans.

Gun Runner won both the Risen Star and Louisiana Derby before finishing third in the Kentucky Derby and winning the Matt Winn Stakes. GMB’s Tom’s Ready finished second in the Louisiana Derby and won the Woody Stephens Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard following his Kentucky Derby performance.

Eclipse Award-winning jockey Javier Castellano will have the mount on Mo Tom from Corey Lanerie.

Another Eclipse Award-winning jockey scheduled to ride in the Ohio Derby is John Velazquez, who has the call for Todd Pletcher aboard Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Decorated Soldier, who is one of three also-rans from the Peter Pan Stakes entered in the Ohio Derby. The others are third-place finisher Wild About Deb and fourth-place finisher Adventist.

Peter Pan winner Unified was unplaced as the favorite in the Pegasus Stakes in his next start, but Peter Pan runner-up Governor Malbu fared better, finishing fourth behind Creator, Destin and Lani in the Belmont Stakes.

The other graded stakes winners in the field in the field besides Mo Tom are Barry Butzer’s Marine Stakes winner Thatlookonyerface and Richard Ravin and Patricia Hope’s Iroquois Stakes winner Cocked and Loaded.

Thatlookonyerface will be making his dirt debut in the Ohio Derby after eight starts on Woodbine’s synthetic surface. Cocked and Loaded returns to dirt following a last-place finish behind Spiral Stakes third-place finisher Surgical Strike in the Arlington Classic.

Rounding out the field is Ohio-bred Mo Don’t Know, local prep winner Van Damme, Midlantic shipper Discreet Lover and Ohio-bred stakes winner Riding in the Wind.

For FREE Ultimate Past Performances of the Ohio Derby, click here. For all handicapping reports, click here.

Mo Tom photo courtesy of Rickelle Nelson/