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Mo Forza wins Del Mar Mile

San Luis Rey Thoroughbred Training Center colt Mo Forza won the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile stakes race Sunday, Aug. 23, at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Mo Forza, who was ridden by Flavien Prat, won the one-mile turf race in 1:33.27 and finished 4 1/4 lengths in front of second-place Restrainedvengence.

"We expected him to run well, and he did," trainer Peter Miller said.

The race was the first for Mo Forza since the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes race Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park in Florida.

"Just needed a break. Just needed a little rest and relaxation," Miller said.

Nine horses ran in the Del Mar Mile. Miller's primary instructions to Prat were to get Mo Forza to relax and to save ground.

"I didn't want to start slow. You always want to start with the rest of the field," Miller said.

Mo Forza and Prat broke seventh. Dreams of Valor broke first and had a one-length lead over second-place Kiwi's Dream a quarter of a mile into the race. At that point Mo Forza was sixth, six lengths in back of Dreams of Valor and a head behind Restrainedvengence, who was fifth after the first two furlongs.

Kiwi's Dream held the lead half a mile into the race and was a head in front of Dreams of Valor. Mo Forza was still sixth, trailing Kiwi's Dream by 6 1/4 lengths and Restrainedvengence by a head.

Three-quarters of a mile past the starting gate Kiwi's Dream was still in front. Dreams of Valor was second and trailed Kiwi's Dream by a head. Mo Forza remained sixth and a head in back of Restrainedvengence, who was ridden by Tiago Pereira, but the gap between Kiwi's Dream and Mo Forza had narrowed to 3 3/4 lengths.

"He's a come-from-behinder, so that's kind of where we want him," Miller said.

Prat and Pereira made their moves as the horses approached the stretch while Kiwi's Dream and Dreams of Valor fell back. Mo Forza entered the stretch 1:22.06 into the race and held a one-length lead over Restrainedvengence, who was a head in front of third-place Royal Ship.

Mo Forza expanded his lead in the stretch.

"I was surprised by the margin of victory," Miller said.

The victory was the fifth career win for Mo Forza in 11 career races.

"You never expect to win. You hope to win," Miller said.

Mo Forza was foaled in Kentucky April 5, 2016. He was sired by Uncle Mo out of Unusual Heat. He made his racing debut at Santa Anita Park in June 2019, and his first victory was at Santa Anita in November 2019. He followed that with three more wins, all in stakes races, before finishing ninth in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes.

The Del Mar Mile put Mo Forza back into the winner's circle. The $90,000 first-place share of the total $150,000 purse brought his career earnings to $614,460.

"He came out of the race well and we're going to look to run him one more time between now and the Breeders' Cup," Miller said.

Miller and Mo Forza's owners are being flexible on Mo Forza's next race.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].

Author Bio

Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


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