Mother Mother wires Churchill Downs' Rags to Riches Stakes

October 28, 2018 04:57pm
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Photo: Coady Photography

Bob Baffert-trained Mother Mother was not in town for the Breeders’ Cup, but the promising filly starred at Churchill Downs nonetheless when wiring Sunday's $100,000 Rags to Riches Stakes.

Big things were expected from the 2-year-old filly after she won on debut at Del Mar. She then ran second in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) to Bellafina, the favorite for Friday's Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at the same track. Mother Mother then missed the Chandelier (G1) with a fever.

“She came up with a temperature before the race at Santa Anita, so we weren’t able to run there and it kind of threw our Breeders’ Cup plans out,” assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said. “This race was up. Bob said, ‘You know what? Let’s throw her out there and see what happens.’”

Mother Mother wore blinkers for the first time in the Rags to Riches. She jumped to the front and led the field through quick fractions of 22.55 and 45.16 before turning for home in 1:09.82. Take Charge Angel, a debut winner for trainer Brad Cox, sat in third early and went off as the slight 7-5 favorite over Mother Mother at 8-5.

As the Mother Mother came into the stretch it was not Take Charge Angel chasing her, but 26-1 longshot Molto Bella. Mother Mother, making her first start at a mile, had to dig deep to maintain her open lead. She was able to pull it off, winning by 1 ¾ lengths in 1:36.72.

Also complicating the stretch run was a headwind that rolled in.

“She acted pretty good. She was very professional,” jockey Florent Geroux said of Mother Mother. “A lot of horses earlier were acting immature and green, going left and right and switching leads left and right, but her, she kept on her right lead and she put her head down and she was not bothered by it.”

Geroux also won the Rags to Riches a year ago aboard eventual Kentucky Oaks winner Monomoy Girl, who is now preparing for a start in the Breeders' Cup Disaff.

Molto Bella was second over High Regard, Princess Carolina, Take Charge Angel and Into Mystic. Chocolate Kisses through jockey Julien Leparoux at the break before being caught by an outrider. Leparoux was quick to get on his feet.

George Bolton purchased Mother Mother for $450,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and co-owns her with Barry Hall, Barry Lipman, Mark Mathiesen and Andrew Molasky. Following her Rags to Riches victory, she has made $159,177 of that back.

The performance Mother Mother gave in the Rags to Riches was an improvement off her 4 ¼-length defeat in the Del Mar Debutante, with the blinkers appearing to do the trick.

“She was just maybe a little too laid back,” Barnes said, “and we just wanted her a little more aggressive.”


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