March 27, 2023

Mo Mosa upsets Sexton Mile; Warrant rallies in Texas Derby

Breeders' Cup sunrise 2019

Mo Mosa, the second longest shot on the board at 23-1, wound up dominating a messy renewal of the $400,000 Steve Sexton Mile (G3) at Lone Star Day on Memorial Day evening.

With the field reduced to seven after the weekend defection of early favorite By My Standards, the Steve Sexton Mile also endured a natural disturbance when strong storms hit Lone Star during the latter half of the card, turning the main track sloppy.

The complexion of the race changed somewhat at the start when second choice Warrior’s Charge, who was widely expected to set the pace or be a part of it, completely missed the break and remained near the back throughout. That left Hunka Burning Love to rattle off fractions of :24.70, :47.83, and 1:11.55, with 8-5 favorite C Z Rocket perched on his outside in second and Mo Mosa outside that one in third.

Turning for home, Hunka Burning Love began to weaken and C Z Rocket was also beginning to find the distance a bit much. In contrast, Mo Mosa moved like a horse with plenty left in the tank, seized control approaching the eighth pole and drew off to win by 3 1/2 lengths under Ramon Vasquez.

Owned and bred by Perry Martin and Denise Martin, Mo Mosa covered one lap of Lone Star in 1:37.15 and paid $48.60. C Z Rockey held second by a half-length over the rallying Silver Prospector, who edged Hunka Burning Love for third by a neck. Sheriff Brown finished fifth and was followed by Warrior’s Charge and Harvey Wallbanger.

Trained by Mike Maker, Mo Mosa was winning his second stakes in succession following a minor upset of Sleepy Eyes Todd in the April 24 Gus Fonner S. at Fonner Park. His best previous finish in graded company had been a second in the Oklahoma Derby (G3) at Remington Park last September. Mo Mosa has now earned $453,875 from a line of 16-4-4-3.

Bred in Kentucky, Mo Mosa is by Uncle Mo and out of Rouging, an Eskendereya half-sister to Grade 1 winner Diplomat Lady and Grade 2 scorer Dream Play.

Texas Derby

Kept wide and in the clear by jockey Joel Rosario over the wet going, Warrant stayed relatively clean in midpack before rallying in the stretch and grinding his way to victory in the inaugural running of the $300,000 Texas Derby.

Favored in the 1 1/16-mile heat over nine rivals, Warrant scored by three parts of a length over 14-1 chance Mr. Wireless, with Rightandjust third and Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Super Stock fourth.

A homebred racing for Twin Creeks Racing Stable and trained by Brad Cox, Warrant paid $7.80 after completing the distance in 1:45.03.

Third in his debut and a maiden graduate over six furlongs in his second start, both at Fair Grounds, Warrant next finished second by a nose in a Keeneland allowance. Stretching out for the first time in the nine-furlong Oaklawn S. on May 1, Warrant finished second behind stablemate Fulsome, who subsequently captured the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs this past Saturday.

By Constitution, Warrant was produced by Whisper Number, by First Samurai, and is half-brother to Grade 2 winner Ms Locust Point. The Kentucky-bred’s record now stands at 5-2-2-1, $294,700.

In other stakes action:

*Laura’s Light ($3.60) outclassed four rivals in the $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff, one of two stakes belated moved from a saturated turf to the main track due to the heavy rain storm that hit Lone Star during the stakes portion of the card. Ridden by Florent Geroux, Laura’s Light won by 4 3/4 lengths over Raven’s Cry and completed one mile in 1:38.07. A three-time graded stakes winner on turf last season in Southern California, the four-year-old daughter of Constitution is owned by Gary Barber and trained by Peter Miller.

*My Boanerges ($11.20) won for the sixth time in 10 lifetime starts with a three-quarters of a length victory over 2-1 favorite Share the Upside in the $100,000 Chamberlain Bridge S., a five-furlong dash which was transferred from the turf to the dirt shortly before post time. Rodolfo Guerra was aboard the five-year-old New Mexico-bred, who covered the distance in :57.34. A two-time stakes winner over state-breds in 2019, My Boanerges is a homebred racing for Nancy Lock and is trained by Dallas Keen.

*Our Iris Rose ($48.40), the longest shot on the board, benefited from 2-5 favorite Mundaye Call’s slow start and beat her three parts of a length in the $100,000 Memorial Day Sprint for fillies and mares. Richard Eramia guided the four-year-old Ghostzapper filly to her first stakes win in 1:10.27 for six furlongs. A full sister to Sunland Derby (G3) winner Runaway Ghost, Our Iris Rose is owned by Joe Peacock Jr. and trained by Todd Fincher.