Horse Racing

Mo Strike knocks out 11 opponents in Sanford Stakes

When Brad Cox got a phone call asking if he wanted to train a 2-year-old pony named Mo Strike as for Nasser Bin Omairah, he was caught off guard.

He had never trained Bin Omairah, was unfamiliar with the name and required only a single horse.

Is Cox’s name picked up in the phone book?

“I think so,” he said with a laugh.

But when Cox does his homework, he learns that Mo Strike is the son of Uncle Mo out of Smart Strike mare Featherbed. The pony was on his shortlist from Gene Recio’s shipment at this year’s OBS 2-year-old Spring Promotion in Training. So he agreed to marry him.

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Cox said: “He was a handsome horse and I liked his works, but (Bin Omairah) paid the price and got him.

Mo Strike's connection (#6) with jockey Florent Geroux on board in the winners' circle after winning the 107th run of The Sanford Racecourse in Saratoga on Saturday, July 16, 2022 at Saratoga Springs, NY
Photo: Skip Dickstein

Mo Strike in the winner’s circle

Stand in the winner’s circle on the first Saturday of the honor Racecourse Saratoga When they met, Cox was quite happy to bring Mo Strike into his cage. The $325,000 purchase improved his record to 2 for 2 by skyrocketing in the last 16 and taking the $175,000 Sanford Stakes (G3) on July 16, a day when 30,024 came out. at Spa and handle all sources is $37,068,005.

“He definitely showed some ability and fought a good horse in the eighth column. It was a big win,” Cox said.

Make your mark with a 3 1/2 length win before a late finish Great navigator Mo Strike faces a full 11 opponents after dominating the field 10 in his first win on June 19 at Churchill Downs. While he may have only raced twice, having beaten 20 opponents means he’s got a pair of highly educated starters.

“Usually, this race comes with a short pitch,” Cox said. “A horse fears a lot and may not have many horses breaking their maidenhood. It has run against a large group in Churchill Downs and has had to fight a lot of horses before. It has have some experience and have overcome a number of things.”

While Cox is making no secret of the foal’s next start, the likely target for the tier 3 winner’s half-brother Dynamic Impact (Tiznow) should be the Hope Stake (Tiznow) G1) on September 5, the seven-day stretch feature ends at Spa.

“He’s a pretty smart horse and I think he can stretch a bit. I wouldn’t say he can go a mile and a half, but he’s a good horse,” Cox said. “I don’t think seven clothespins are a problem. I think Hopeful is more likely to be Uncle Mo. He’s in 1st grade and will take a lot of the pressure off.”

Coach Brad Cox receives the winner's trophy from Stephen Sanford's great-niece Suzi Salmen after the Mo Strike with jockey Florent Geroux on the winner's train after winning The Sanford's 107th run at Saratoga Racecourse Saturday, July 16, 2022 in Saratoga Springs, NY
Photo: Skip Dickstein

(LR): Suzi Salmen, granddaughter of Stephen Sanford, presents the trophy to Florent Geroux and Brad Cox

To avoid any traffic problems in the vast field, Mo Strike quickly broke through in Sanford under the guidance of Florent Geroux, who celebrated his 36th birthday on Saturday. They engaged in a three-way speed fight with Curly Jack and Mr. Amore Stable’s Andiamo a Firenze , second choice 4-1 bred by New York. The trio went a quarter mile in: 22.59 and a half mile in: 45.94.

Geroux said: “He breaks super sharp. “I was clear from the beginning.”

Curly Jack dropped out first, falling back to fifth, and in the middle of the six-point test, Mo Strike shot 8-1 ($18.40) and Andiamo a Firenze locked together, with Mo Strike leading head to head. But from there, Mo Strike led and crossed the rope in a clear 1:11.35 before his pursuers.

Geroux said: “When the other horse came to me down the lane, my horse was able to give me another gear and fight to the fullest. “Last 1/8 mile, I think the race is over.”

Holly Crest Farm’s Great Navigator, first winner at Monmouth Park, rose late from Friday to second. The son of Sea Wizard coached by Eddie Owens Jr., he was preceded by Andiamo a Firenze, a Sightstown ponies trained by Kelly Breen.

“I knew it was going to be a tough race, but we got here and he ran really well,” rider Jairo Rendon said of the New Jersey runner, who won 5 3/ 4 lengths of June. 4 open races on his debut.

He went 17-1 in that first start and 18-1 in Sanford, a race won by the Triple Crown Secretariat champions (1972) and Confirmed (1977).

Forte (Violence ), the 7-5 favorite coached by Todd Pletcher, staged a gentle rally from Saturday to last Wednesday, nearly six miles behind the winner.

Bred by Blue Heaven Farm and Ashford Stud, Mo Strike is the ninth of 11 ponies from the 1st ranked Featherbed class, they have produced five runners, all human. win. Her most recent productions include a Vino Rosso longing colt and a little cat by McKinzie born this year.

Video: Sanford S. (G3)

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