Cox’s Mo Strike endures scorching tempo to seize Sanford Stakes


Scott Serio / Eclipse Sportswire

Mo Strike attended a robust tempo however had loads of stamina to spare en path to a powerful rating in Saturday’s Grade 3, $175,000 Sanford, a six-furlong dash for juveniles at Saratoga Race Course.

Skilled by Brad Cox and owned by Nasser Bin Omairah, the Uncle Mo bay entered from a outstanding three-quarter size debut win in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden particular weight on June 19 at Churchill Downs.

Mo Strike exited publish 6 underneath returning rider Florent Geroux within the 12-horse Sanford subject and was once more hustled into the midst of a pointy early tempo as Curly Jack marked the opening quarter-mile in 22.59 seconds and the half-mile in 45.94 with Andiamo a Firenze in shut attendance to their exterior.

Curly Jack and Mo Strike battled by means of the flip with Andiamo a Firenze looming massive to their exterior earlier than advancing right into a slender lead on the stretch name. The Jairo Rendon-piloted Nice Navigator made strides alongside the rail out of the flip and was in want of racing room as Curly Jack persevered to the within of Mo Strike and Andiamo a Firenze.

Mo Strike lastly put away his rivals inside the ultimate sixteenth and powered away to a 3 1/2-length rating in a closing time of 1:11.35 over the quick fundamental observe. Nice Navigator, angled huge for racing room, discovered one other gear as soon as clear and reeled in Andiamo a Firenze to earn place honors by a head.

Forte, the 7-5 mutuel favourite, completed fourth adopted by Curly Jack, Main Dude, Roman Large, Show Proper, Valenzan Day, Boppy O, I’m Broad Awake and Puttheblameonme.

Cox stated he was happy with how Mo Strike put away the spectacular debut winner Andiamo a Firenze, a three-quarter brother to Grade 1-winner Firenze Hearth.

“He undoubtedly confirmed some capacity and fought off an excellent horse on the eighth pole,” stated Cox. “That horse ran an enormous determine in his race at Belmont, I consider, and when Florent actually requested him on the eighth-pole, he was in a position to get away.”

Cox stated the debut rating engineered from the outermost publish 10 proved useful for Mo Strike in opposition to a double-digit Sanford subject.

“He did run in opposition to a bigger group at Churchill, he broke from the skin and did get a superb journey that day, however clearly needed to struggle off some horses that day as properly. It labored out properly and he acquired plenty of expertise and overcame some issues.” Cox stated.

Geroux stated he felt comfy being forwardly positioned to the skin of Curly Jack and to the within of Andiamo a Firenze.

“He broke tremendous sharp. From there, I used to be within the clear proper from the start,” Geroux stated. “I let the within horse go. I stored an eye fixed on the 9 (Andiamo a Firenze). We have been in a position to gradual it down a bit bit the second quarter and when the horse got here to me down the lane, my horse was in a position to give me one other gear and struggle all the best way to the wire. I used to be very happy along with his effort. The final eighth of a mile, I felt the race was just about over and he was simply conserving alongside properly. If another person was going to assault me, I felt I had one other gear to struggle them down.”

Cox stated he now will contemplate giving Mo Strike a begin within the $200,000 Saratoga Particular (G2) on Aug. 13, however famous the $300,000 Hopeful (G1) on Sept. 5 is extra probably.

“We’ll watch him – it could most likely be so much to ask him (to race) within the Particular and the Hopeful, however we’ll let him decide our plans, and as soon as once more how he comes out of it, and go from there,” Cox stated. “I feel the Hopeful is extra probably being he’s an Uncle Mo, it’s a Grade 1, and it could take plenty of strain off. He is a pleasant colt.”

Bred in Kentucky by Blue Heaven Farm and Ashford Stud, Mo Strike, out of the Good Strike mare Featherbed, is a half-brother to 2014 Illinois Derby-winner Dynamic Affect.

The $325,000 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Yr-Olds in Coaching buy banked $96,250 in victory. He returned $18.40 for a $2 win wager.

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