Talented colt Mo Tom (3c Uncle Mo x Caroni, by Rubiano) was a stakes-winner in November last year and upped the ante when winning the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds on Saturday.
Prepared by Tom Amoss, Mo Tom charged home from back in the field with a powerful sustained finishing burst to win the 1m and 70yd contest by two and a quarter lengths from his stablemate Tom’s Ready with Uncle Walter (3c Uncle Mo x Look for Good, by Unbridled’s Song) in third place.
The performance will have connections now thinking Kentucky Derby with the improving colt, who has the overall record of three wins and two placings from five starts with prizemoney topping $211,000.
Mo Tom runs for G M B Racing is the nom de course of Gayle Marie Benson, wife of New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson.
“I’m sure [jockey] Corey [Lanerie] would agree, when the distance gets further, the better our horse is going to get so we’re really excited about that,” said Tom Amoss.
“I have to say Gayle Benson has been great, she’s a great owner and she gets a big assist from her partner Tom Benson. We’re really pleased, they’re both New Orleans natives–we’re really happy.”
Winning rider Corey Lanerie was impressed with Mo Tom.
“It was good, he broke really good and got pinched a little bit going into the first turn,” Lanerie said.
“We got knocked a little off stride there, but he gathered himself up really good. Down the backside I was pretty confident, especially when I called on him to get in a little bit better position. On the middle of the turn I was going to try to maybe weave my way through, but I had so much horse I said, ‘let me just put him in the clear.’”
A $150,000 Keeneland September purchase, Mo Tom is a half-brother to stakes-winners Beautician and Bella Castani from good producer Caroni.
Uncle Mo was also in the news over the weekend with his star son Nyquist honoured at the Eclipse Awards as Champion 2YO Colt.