Mo Tom Impresses in First Pre-Derby Workout

Mo Tom Impresses in First Pre-Derby Workout

Photo by Amanda Weir Hodges/Hodges Photography

LeComte Stakes (gr. III) winner Mo Tom, who finished third in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) and fourth in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) after having his momentum stopped sharply in the homestretch of both races, turned in an impressive workout at Churchill Downs on the morning of April 13th.

The workout was the first for Mo Tom since the Louisiana Derby, a Churchill Downs clockers timed him going a half-mile in :48.40. With exercise rider Mario Garcia in the saddle, Mo Tom started off with fractions of :12.40, :24.20, and :36.20 and continued past the wire through five furlongs in 1:01.40, six furlongs in 1:14.20, and seven furlongs in 1:27.40.

“Mo Tom was very impressive this morning,” trainer Tom Amoss was quoted as saying in a Churchill Downs news release. “This was his first breeze since the Louisiana Derby and I think that when he’s right and breezes well the things that are going to catch someone’s attention are not only the breezes themselves but how much energy he has once he’s crosses the wire and the gallop out. He’s got a lot of energy and does a lot more.”

Amoss also shared some thoughts on Mo Tom’s troubled trips in the Risen Star and Louisiana Derby. “I’m not going to play the game of where we might have run if we didn’t encounter the trouble that we encountered in the Louisiana Derby,” Amoss said. “I’ll simply tell you that my horse has a devastating late run and he’s yet to be able to use it in his last two starts. I’m looking forward to getting that chance on the first Saturday in May.”

No definite decision has been made on who will ride Mo Tom in the Kentucky Derby, but Corey Lanerie, who has ridden Mo Tom in all three of his races this year, is a possibility. “We still have some moving parts here,” Amoss said. “Corey (Lanerie) ran third in the Blue Grass with Cherry Wine and he’s going down to Arkansas to ride [Unbridled Outlaw] in the Arkansas Derby. At this time we’re not doing anything. We aren’t putting our chips on the table yet, we’re going to see what happens after this weekend and talk to Corey and see what his feelings are about the horses he’s riding besides Mo Tom.”

Regarding Mo Tom’s training schedule in the final weeks before the Derby, Amoss added “You won’t see Mo Tom work more than a half-mile going into the Derby. When you watch his works and you see what he does past the wire, you recognize that today’s work was really more a three-quarter of a mile work rather than a half-mile work.”

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Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin's quest to become North America's richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the blog Unlocking Winners.

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