Talented type Mo Town (3c Uncle Mo x Grazie Mille, by Bernardini) earned TDN Rising Star status back in September last year and lived up to his early potential when taking out the Grade I Hollywood Derby at Del Mar on the weekend.
At the close of 2016, the Anthony Dutrow trained colt was seen as one of the brightest prospects for the classic season of 2017, but it has not been plain sailing.
Winless in four runs earlier this year, Mo Town was given a try over the Belmont turf on October 12 and produced an impressive win.
Despite a pedigree that is not obviously turf, Mo Town looked like a seasoned professional over the surface and earned a lofty 102 Beyer for a 6 1/2-length triumph.
Given his chance at this final age-restricted Grade I for 2017, Mo Town kept his perfect turf record intact with a resounding victory in the 1 and 1/8th mile feature.
Mo Town surged late to score a decisive length win taking his overall record to four wins from nine starts with prizemoney topping $500,000.
“My first trip to Del Mar, and the people out here are so nice, I can’t wait to get back some day,” Dutrow said.
“It was a grade 1 race and our horse had a chance, and I just felt like we had to be here. The race itself? I don’t know how this turf course plays, but I knew at the top of the stretch Mo Town had a lot of work to do and I’m glad he was up to it.”
A $200,000 Keeneland September purchase, Mo Town was later bought into by the Coolmore partners and carried their navy blue to victory.
The fourth Grade I winner for Uncle Mo, he is the first winner for Grazie Mille, a half-sister to stakes-winners Venetian Mask and Jaguar Paw from Grade III Molto Vita.