Mo Town makes much anticipated 2018 debut in Danger's Hour

via NYRA
April 06, 2018 04:49pm
Mo Town will make his anticipated 2018 debut on Sunday, headlining a talented field of 4-year-olds and up in the fourth running of the $100,000 Danger's Hour at one mile on the Aqueduct outer turf.

A graded stakes winner on the dirt - capturing the 2016 Grade 2 Remsen - before running fifth in the 2017 Grade 2 Risen Star and seventh in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial, trainer Tony Dutrow moved the Uncle Mo colt to turf near the end of his 3-year-old campaign, and he responded with a 6 ½-length win in an optional claimer on October 12 at Belmont Park that earned him a personal-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure. A one-length win in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at 1 1/8 miles on November 25 at Del Mar bolstered his turf credentials.

With more than four months off, Dutrow said Mo Town has been training great heading into Sunday, where he drew the rail with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez aboard.

"We're very excited about getting Mo Town back in action," Dutrow said. "We're very happy with him. He's wintered very well in Payson Park [Indiantown, Florida] and we feel this is a good starting point to what we hope is an exciting year."

Mo Town, 4-1-1 in nine career starts, has recorded triple digit Beyers in both of his turf starts.

"He's simply awesome and I really don't see how he can be better than he is," Dutrow said. "He went into the Hollywood Derby last year fantastic. When I breezed him before, it wan an astonishing workout, and we went out there very confident in Mo Town and he was magnificent. I don't see anything but that type of level from Mo Town today."

Graded stakes winner Conquest Panthera will be making his first appearance of the year, returning to the site of his third-place finish in the Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship on November 25. Trained by Mark Casse, Conquest Panthera earned black type with a third-place effort in the Grade 2 Wise Dan on June 17 before winning the Grade 2 Play the King on August 19 at Woodbine. Dylan Davis will have the call from post 8.

Projected also joined the ranks of graded stakes winners, using a strong stretch-drive surge to win the Grade 2 Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup on September 30 at Laurel. The British-bred, who was second to World Approval in the Grade 2 Dixie and to Ballagh Rocks by a neck in the Grade 3 Poker, is trained by Chad Brown and will exit from the outside post with Irad Ortiz, Jr., who will return to New York after being scheduled to ride in five graded stakes on Saturday in Keeneland.

Secretary At War returns to stakes company after finishing second in an optional claimer last out on February 18 at Gulfstream Park. The Jimmy Jerkens trainee ended his 2017 campaign with a third-place finish in the Gio Pointi on November 24 at Aqueduct before running fourth in the Tropical Park Derby on December 30 at Gulfstream. The son of War Front drew post 6 with Junior Alvarado aboard.

Fire Away, who won the Artie Schiller and garnered a 102 Beyer on November 18 at Aqueduct, will return to New York after rallying for third in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay in his last start February 10 at Tampa Bay Downs. Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, the 6-year-old son of War Front will break from post 9.

Bolting will make his third career North American start for trainer Graham Motion and will be looking to place for the first time since arriving from France after running sixth in the Grade 2 Monmouth on July 30 at Monmouth Park and fifth in his U.S. debut in the Grade 3 Poker on June 18 at Belmont.

Bolting, who won four times in his first nine starts, has run at prestigious tracks such as Chantilly and Ascot, will break from post 4 with jockey Trevor McCarthy.

Rounding out the field is Hit It Once More, the winner of the Haynesfield trained by Gary Sciacca, from post 3; Macagone, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, from post 10; and Irish-bred Great Wide Open, for trainer Conor Murphy out of post 7.

Vulcan's Forge and Spartiatis are entered for the main track only.

 

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