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Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby at The Downey Profile®

Mo Town Breezes at Payson


Looking for A Comeback Route

By Dick Downey

Mo Town breezed Wednesday morning at Payson Park, his first timed move since finishing fifth as the favorite in the Risen Star Stakes

Mo Town was officially clocked in 1:02.40 for five furlongs, but trainer Tony Dutrow said it was actually a four-furlong workout.

“He breezed in 49 and three and galloped out five-eighths in 1:02 and three," the trainer said. "It was pretty close to what we were hoping for, so we’re very happy."

Dutrow is still thinking about what happened in New Orleans, and he said he believes the colt didn't like the track.

“I felt Mo Town went into the Risen Star at the Fair Grounds in very good shape. I knew that he wasn’t 100 percent, physically, to run his best race – by design. But I was feeling really good about how that horse was going into the Risen Star and going forward,” Dutrow said.

“Johnny Velazquez was adamant that he did not like the racetrack. The horse hit himself in both hind legs, which bothered us and made us think he wasn’t getting over the surface as good as we would have liked," he continued. "The horse has no history of hitting himself on any of the other racetracks he’s been on. Back on the worktab, he didn’t hit himself today.  I have to feel like Mo Town did not care for the Fair Grounds surface ideally.”

No decision has been made concerning Mo Town’s next start. The Florida Derby is possible.

“There will be some discussion with ownership, of course, but he will be nominated and we will take a serious look at the Florida Derby,” Dutrow said.

Mo Town broke his maiden in his second career start by seven lengths at Belmont Park Sept. 24, after which the Coolmore principals privately purchased a majority interest in the Kentucky-bred colt. He returned to register a 2 1/2-length victory in the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 26. The Risen Star was his first race after the Remsen.


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