Stakes Winners Clash In Friday Allowance Event
By Ryan Martin/Fair Grounds Barn Notes
When Fair Grounds Racing Secretary Scott Jones wrote the conditions for Friday’s seventh race, a one mile allowance optional claiming event over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course, he did so with the intent of attracting some stakes caliber horses, and that’s exactly what he got.
Such stakes caliber horses in this allowance field include the likes of GMB Racing’s Mo Tom, who will look for his first win since the Ohio Derby on June 25, 2016. Trained by Tom Amoss, the son of Uncle Mo will be trying the turf for the first time when he looks to end a nine-race slump.
“If it’s not a straight conditioned allowance race at the Fair Grounds, whether or not it is on dirt or grass, you know it’s going to be written for just about every horse on the grounds,” Amoss said. “So it’s no surprise to see a tough field for Friday’s race and we were willing to go to the deep end of the pool.”
Mo Tom has been a rewarding horse for Amoss in the past. As a 3-year-old, he competed in all three of the Fair Grounds’ qualifying races on the Road To The Kentucky Derby including a victory in the Gr. III Lecomte. Mo Tom qualified for the Run for The Roses that year, where he ended up finishing eighth behind Nyquist.
“We’re trying to invent something with him that will bring back the Mo Tom we saw in the past and sometimes a change of surface does that,” Amoss said. “Uncle Mo progeny have shown that they can run on grass and so this is an experiment.”
Mo Tom break from post seven at 9-2 odds and will be guided by Joe Bravo.
Live Oak Planation’s Florida Won, who breaks from post eight under Brian Hernandez, Jr., will be making his first start since May 2016, where he was fourth in Woodbine’s Gr. II Eclipse. The Mark Casse-trainee last tasted victory nearly two-and-a-half years ago in the Presque Isle Downs Mile at its namesake track.
“He had been a while, he came down from Live Oak, and obviously it had been an awful long time,” Casse’s assistant trainer David Carroll said. “Basically, he’s ready to run. There’s no easy spot for him but we just want to get a race in him and see where he stands after the race but we got to start somewhere. We want to give him an opportunity with no pressure on the horse to just go out and run and we’ll take it from there. It’s a tough race for sure.”
One other stakes victor in this salty bunch is Applicator, who last won the Tourist Mile at Kentucky Downs in September and is trained by Mikhail Yanakov.
“He feels very good,” Yanakov said. “He can get any distance as long as he likes the track. He’s won at a mile-and-a-half wire-to-wire (in Gulfstream Park’s Gleaming Stakes in May 2016), but one mile is his best distance.”
Jockey Adam Beschizza will pilot the 5-year-old gelding who breaks from the six-hole at 6-1 odds.