By Margaret Ransom
Mo Forza, a talented son of Uncle Mo, burst onto the scene late last year, but in just three starts earned a spot as one of three finalists for an Eclipse Award in the older turf male division.
The 4-year-old colt has won his last four starts, including the Hollywood Derby (G1), and Twilight Derby (G2) and Mathis Brothers Mile (G2), dating back to his maiden in late September. And though it took him five near-misses to earn that initial victory, he’s always been consistent and has just one finish worse than third (fourth) in his nine-race career.
Mo Forza looks to make it five in a row in the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1). He is among 12 main invitees to the race at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25.
“He’s like a big kid that finally learns to use his feet and hands and it’s all over,” trainer Peter Miller said. “He always had the talent but he never really could put it all together; I think we haven’t seen the best of him yet. He is just starting to learn and once he relaxes a little bit better and doesn’t want to lay in when he passes that last horse I think the sky is the limit, he’s just a tremendous horse.”
Trainer: Peter Miller
Owners: Bardy Farm and OG Boss
Career record: 9-4-3-1
Career earnings: $499,460
Pedigree: Uncle Mo-Inflamed, by Unusual Heat
Running style: Mid-pack/Closer
“Won three in a row, two stakes; serious threat.’’ – Ed McNamara
“Meteoric rise from September maiden winner to Grade 1 winner with consistently strong speed figures through three straight graded stakes wins … a top Pegasus Turf win contender. — Noel Michaels
Notes: Bred in Kentucky by former trainer Barry Abrams’ Bardy Farm, who co-owns with Onofrio Pecoraro, who races as OG Boss … Abrams, a native of Minsk, Russia, has been battling throat cancer and beating it for 15 years … was also a former harness trainer and conditioned California’s all-time leading sire Unusual Heat, who is Mo Forza’s grandsire, after he was claimed in 1996 … based out of Miller’s San Luis Rey Downs base in Bonsall, California.
|1||Zulu Alpha||Tyler Gaffalione||Michael Maker||12-1|
|2||Arklow||Luis Saez||Brad Cox||6-1|
|3||Without Parole||Frankie Dettori||Chad Brown||4-1|
|4||Sadler’s Joy||Javier Castellano||Tom Albertrani||8-1|
|5||Channel Cat||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||10-1|
|6||Instilled Regard||N/A||Chad Brown||10-1|
|7||Admission Office||Jose L. Ortiz||Brian Lynch||30-1|
|8||Henley’s Joy||Julien Leparoux||Michael Maker||30-1|
|9||Next Shares||Jose Valdivia, Jr.||Richard Baltas||30-1|
|10||Mo Forza||Joel Rosario||Pete Miller||5-1|
|11||Sacred Life||N/A||Chad Brown||12-1|
|12||Magic Wand||Ryan Moore||Aidan O’Brien||7-2|
For more information/tickets: PegasusWorldCup.com
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.
After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.
She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.
In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”
Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.