Fresh off the bench in his first start since October of 2020, Mo Forza added a sixth graded stakes score to his resume Aug. 21 and defended his title with a victory in the $300,000 Del Mar Mile (G2T) at Del Mar.
The 5-year-old son of Uncle Mo built a three-race win streak, all in grade 2 events, when he closed to score by a head.
Mo Forza was the pride and joy of the late Barry Abrams, who bred and raced him under the banner Bardy Farm. He now races for Abrams’ widow, Dyan Abrams, and their friend Onofrio Pecoraro’s OG Boss operation.
Sidelined after a victory in the 2020 City of Hope Mile Stakes (G2T) at Santa Anita Park, which followed a win almost a year ago to the day in this same event for trainer Peter Miller, Mo Forza returned Saturday with powerful strides to nip Smooth Like Strait on the line. Despite being widest of all through the lane in a field of five, he rallied from fourth under Flavien Prat to get the win.
The final time was 1:35.03 on a firm course.
“He did it last year and he did it again this year, so all the credit goes to the trainer,” Prat said. “He broke well and then relaxed nicely for me. He really responded when I asked him to run and we were in a sprint from the eighth-mile pole home. I knew we got up.”
Neptune’s Storm set the pace, posting fractions of :23.69, :48.52, and 1:12.17, while Mo Forza was as far back as fourth by four lengths. Smooth Like Strait took the lead as the frontrunner began to fade, but despite coming off a more than 10-month layoff, Mo Forza was ready to get the picture.
“I was worried if I had him fit enough, I really was,” Miller said.
Mo Forza improved his record to 7-3-1 from 13 starts, adding to a résumé that already included the 2019 Hollywood Derby (G1T), Qatar Twilight Derby (G2T), and Mathis Brothers Mile Stakes (G2T). His earnings stand at $914,460. He paid $4.20 on a $2 win ticket.
Bred in Kentucky out of the Unusual Heat mare Inflamed, Mo Forza is his dam’s first offspring. She produced an unnamed Graydar colt in 2017, a Munnings colt named Highly Flammable in 2019, and a Tapiture filly—her last reported foal—in 2020.