It’s been a very long year for both trainer Tom Amoss and his prized three-year old, Mo Tom. Beginning the derby trail as the fourth choice of the oddsmakers way back in November, the GMB Racing prodigy was sacked in major stakes races by bad luck. With the Triple Crown now firmly behind him, Mo Tom will seek his second stakes victory as the 5/2 favorite at the Ohio Derby.
Mo Tom placed 8th at the Kentucky Derby, which was a respectable finish given how tightly packed the field was in general, but it wasn’t up to the standard that Amoss had set out for the horse. A win at the Lecomte in January put him on a perfect path, but he was tripped up by horses drifting off the pace at both the Risen Star Stakes and the Louisiana Derby as the prohibitive preference on the betting board. Gun Runner won both of those contests instead.
He doesn’t have a free ride at the $500,000 Ohio Derby this weekend. The main attraction at Thisledown this weekend features a bevy of known contenders and a handful of others that could draw some interest. It will be another tough challenge for Mo Tom, who has shown difficulty in finding a winning line. Racing against a 10-horse field will essentially prove that he has what it takes to be a worthy bet for the rest of the year.
His main competition is Adventist, a three-year old who finished third in three consecutive appearances at the Withers, Gotham and Wood Memorial. He also placed 4th at the Peter Pan Stakes on Preakness Day. The Treadway Racing Stables product will enter as the second choice with 3/1 odds.
Closing in on him are two horses with favorable post positions. Cocked and Loaded will run out of the center gate at 4/1 despite horrible performances at the Pat Day Mile and the Arlington Classic, two grade-three stakes races where he finished at the back of the pack.
Wild About Deb is perhaps the best value play at 5/1 with a 1-1-1 record over three races. The seldom run Philip D’Amoto trainee is coming off a third place finish at the aforementioned Peter Pan and could be a horse worth slotting in as a place bet considering how well he’s trending upwards.
Thatlookonyourface is also getting single digit odds at 8/1 after a third place finish at the Wando. The rest of the Ohio Derby field is receiving odds of 12/1 or higher.
Despite rough performances in his last three outings, Mo Tom is still the most talented of the bunch. I prefer him and Wild About Deb over many others in the field. The Ohio Derby runs this Saturday evening from Thistledown.
Ohio Derby – Saturday, June 25th at 5:30pm EST
(1 1/8 mile, 3 y/o, $500,00)
|1||Thatlookonyerface (KY)||Walter De La Cruz||122||David Cotey||8/1|
|2||Mo Dont No (OH)||Luis H. Colon||120||Jeffrey A. Radosevich||15/1|
|3||Adventist (KY)||Aaron T. Gryder||120||Leah Gyarmati||3/1|
|4||Van Damme (KY)||T. D. Houghton||120||Robert M. Gorham||20/1|
|5||Cocked and Loaded (KY)||Willie Martinez||120||Larry Rivelli||4/1|
|6||Wild About Deb (KY)||Trevor McCarthy||120||Philip D’Amato||5/1|
|7||Discreet Lover (FL)||Jose Luis Flores||120||Uriah St. Lewis||15/1|
|8||Mo Tom (KY)||Javier Castellano||122||Thomas M. Amoss||5/2|
|9||Riding in the Wind (OH)||Juan C. Enriquez||120||Jose L. Lopez||20/1|
|10||Decorated Soldier (KY)||John R. Velazquez||122||Todd A. Pletcher||12/1|