Heavily Favored Mo Forza Rolls To Another Victory In City Of Hope Mile Stakes

Heavily favored and on his way.  That pretty much sums up the performance tendered by Mo Forza in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 City of Hope Mile at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., as the 4-year-old son of Uncle Mo rallied from off the pace to win by 1 3/4 lengths while in-hand under Flavien Prat.  Trained by Peter Miller, Mo Forza got a mile on turf in 1:32.09 and he and his connections now eye an engagement in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland on Nov. 7.

Breaking alertly from the outside in a field of seven, Mo Forza rated kindly and settled into a fluid rhythm down the backside, about five lengths off pacesetting Blitzkrieg with a half mile to run.  Three-deep turning for home, he was hand ridden while lugging in a bit through the lane and won with consummate ease over multiple graded stakes winner Sharp Samurai.

“He pretty much had the same trip as he did in the Del Mar Mile (G2, Aug. 23),” said Prat.  “I think he’s getting more professional, which is great.  Today he showed up again.  We can probably go further, but as of right now, he’s running pretty well, so I wouldn’t change anything.”

A 4 1/4-length winner of the Del Mar Mile Handicap on turf, Mo Forza was off as the 3-5 favorite and paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10.

“That’s him,” said Ruben Alvarado, assistant to Miller.  “He relaxes early and then you saw the way he finished up.  He ran today just like he did at Del Mar.  We’re very happy and we’re looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup.

Bred in Kentucky by former trainer Barry Abrams’ Bardy Farm and owned by Bardy Farm and OG Boss, Mo Forza, who is out of the Unusual Heat mare Inflamed, notched his fifth graded stakes win and he has now won five out of his last six races with four of them over the Santa Anita turf.  With six wins from 12 overall starts, he’s four for five at one mile on grass and with the winner’s share of $120,000, has earnings of $734,460.

Sharp Samurai, who sat a close third behind Blitzkrieg and eventual third-place finisher Bob and Jackie, kept to his task to finish second by 1 1/4 lengths and paid $3.00 and $2.60 as the 7-2 second choice with Juan Hernandez up.

Off at 24-1 with Heriberto Figueroa, Bob and Jackie prevailed by a head over Blitzkrieg and paid $5.60 to show.

Fractions on the race were 22.58, 45.61, 1:08.76 and 1:20.53.

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