In 2013, King of Prussia Stable utilized Aqueduct’s three-year-old filly series of stakes as a springboard to Kentucky Oaks (G1) glory with Princess of Sylmar.
That chestnut miss captured the Busanda and Busher, ran second in the Gazelle (G2) and then shipped to Churchill Downs for a half-length victory over eventual supermare Beholder in the Kentucky Oaks.
King of Prussia Stable could have another Princess of Sylmar on its hands as Mo d’Amour pulled off a two-length victory in this year’s $125,000 Busher S. on Saturday at Aqueduct with jockey Chris DeCarlo holding the reins.
Mo d’Amour suffered a hard bump at the start of the 1 1/16-mile contest when Arch or Nothing was forced into her by Dreams to Reality veering out when the gates opened. DeCarlo quickly settled his mount into an inside stalking position as Whistling Straits moved up to take command through splits of :24.78, :49.51 and 1:14.05.
Lost Raven and 6-5 favorite Katniss the Victor were both tracking just outside of Whistling Straits and moved up to run in tandem rounding the turn. Mo d’Amour maintained her inside spot heading into the lane before angling out about four wide in upper stretch.
Katniss the Victor was putting her best hoof forward but proved no match for Mo d’Amour, who swept on by to finish 1 1/16 miles over Aqueduct fast inner dirt in 1:47.37.
Mo d’Amour paid $10 as the 4-1 third choice in the seven-filly field. She joined the Kentucky Oaks (G1) leaderboard with 50 points as the Busher is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races.
Dreams to Reality rallied from last to stick her head in front of Katniss the Victor for second and 20 points toward a starting berth in the Kentucky Oaks. Katniss the Victor earned 10 points in third while last-out Busanda winner and 3-1 second favorite Flora Dora took home five points for fourth place.
Just like Princess of Sylmar, Mo d’Amour is trained by Todd Pletcher and is likely headed to the April 9 Gazelle next ahead of the Kentucky Oaks on May 6. Thus far the Uncle Mo filly has racked up a 5-3-0-1 career line that includes a third-place finish in the Ruthless S. to open her 2016 campaign and a seventh-placing in the Demoiselle (G2) to close out her juvenile season.
Mo d’Amour, who doubled her career earnings to $147,940 on Saturday, is the first registered foal out of the unraced Scat Daddy mare Neverthesame. Her second dam is multiple Group 2-placed listed winner Salut d’Amour and this female family also includes 2011 American Oaks (G1) heroine Cambina.
Mo d’Amour photo courtesy of NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography
Chris DeCarlo, jockey Mo d’Amour, winner: “I thought I was going to be closer than I was. I broke and we got jostled a little bit and two (horses) were in front of me that I really didn’t expect and there was an opportunity for me to get to the fence, so that’s what I did.
“They said she waits on horses, so I tried to wait as long as I could. I really waited until about the three-sixteenths pole before I really set her down and when she ran by, she kind of kicked on. She did idle a little bit, but I had plenty in the tank.”
Byron Hughes, assistant trainer Mo d’Amour, winner: “I thought it worked out perfect. Chris did a good job getting her to the rail when the opportunity was present at the first turn and saved ground. Coming home he got her out just in time and it was nice.
“She seems to be maturing with the added experience from every race. I still think she got a little green when she got the lead kind of waiting but hopefully she can get better.”
Ed Stanco, principal owner of King of Prussia Stable, owner Mo d’Amour: “We’ll see. It’s all up to Todd and how the horse trains. We have a long way to go before that. This was a nice performance.”