Mo Town rolls in Remsen

Profile Picture: James Scully

November 26th, 2016

Mo Town put away odds-on pacesetter Takaful in upper stretch and drew off in Saturday’s $300,000 Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct, scoring by 2 ½ lengths. Off as the 4-1 second choice among 10 juveniles, the Tony Dutrow-trained son of Uncle Mo netted 10 points for capturing the Kentucky Derby qualifier in his stakes debut.

John Velazquez had the mount on the bay colt, who posted his second straight convincing win after breaking his maiden in a one-mile maiden race at Belmont Park on September 24.

Takaful showed high speed after a slightly tardy beginning, sprinting clear to lead by 4 ½ lengths after an opening quarter-mile in :23.47. Mo Town was fourth rounding the first turn but accelerated forward entering the backstretch to be only a length behind in second after a half-mile in :48.84. He continued to track the 4-5 pacesetter through the far turn, edging closer after three-quarters in 1:14.02.

Velazquez asked for run turning for home and Mo Town seized control, reaching the eighth pole with a 1 ½-length advantage. No Dozing offered a solid rally to be a clear second but was never a serious threat to the winner, who cruised to the wire as much the best.

Mo Town finished 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.58 on the fast track.

No Dozing, the 4-1 third choice, wound up 3 ½ lengths better than Takaful, who saved third by a head over 40-1 outsider Win With Pride.

Bred in Kentucky by John D. Gunther & Eurowest Bloodstock, Mo Town was purchased for $200,000 at the Keeneland September yearling purchase by the Coolmore connections of Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.  He’s out the Bernardini mare Grazie Millie, a daughter of Grade 3-winning sprinter and Humana Distaff (G1) runner-up Molto Vita.

Second when making his debut in a 6-furlong Saratoga maiden special weight, Mo Town is now 2-for-3 with $243,600 in earnings.

Remsen Quotes:

MO TOWN trainer TONY DUTROW, who earned his first Remsen win:

"Going back to March, we always felt this was a good horse. Being around him, knowing all we do about how he went into each of his races, I felt strongly that he would run big today. For him to prove this much, I feel great. I wanted the horse fresh and happy going into his 3-year-old year. I didn't use this horse. I didn't pressure this horse in getting him ready for today. I feel strongly that we have not seen what this horse is capable of yet.

"He's going to go Payson [Park Training Center] and he'll have a very light December; next to nothing. I'll talk to the [owners] about what they are thinking, but if I owned the whole horse, I'd bring him up here for the Gotham [in March]. I'll talk to them about that and see how they feel.”

MO TOWN jockey JOHN VELAZQUEZ, who notched his fourth Remsen victory:

"He was very good. He got carried wide into the first turn and after that I had to do the dirty job with the horse in front. After that, he did everything well. Hopefully, he can come back better as a three-year-old."

TAKAFUL trainer Kiaran McLaughlin

"The break didn't help us and it looked like he was pretty keen the first eighth [of a mile] after the break, but he dug in and held on for third. It was a big step up from 6 ½ [furlongs] to a mile and an eighth. We'll regroup and probably head south from here."

TAKAFUL jockey Jose Ortiz:

"When my horse broke, he didn't stumble but he was bit slow today. As soon as he broke, he ran. He wanted to go the first three-sixteenths, the first quarter-mile, until I got him relaxed. Finally, on the backside, I did get him to relax. He tired a little bit but, I mean, he's a great horse. He came from 6 ½ to a mile and an eighth in a short period. You've got to give a lot of credit to Kiaran because he was able to do it. 

"He was rank a bit in the beginning and I wish he would've relaxed better, but he was coming from 21, 44 [seconds, for the first quarter- and half-mile fractions], so I knew he was going to be a little keen but we get to move forward," he added. "I think he will get it, he will relax better next time. He just needs some time to learn. He's a bit green but he's a runner, for sure."

(Adam Coglianese Photography)