Mo Forza and jockey Flavien Prat win the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile at Del Mar.
Mo Forza repeated as race champion in his first start in more than 10 months, recording his third Grade 2 victory in a row, edging out Smooth Like Strait by a head in the final strides.
“I was worried if I had him fit enough, I really was,” trainer Peter Miller said. “But he’s a champion and he’s got that heart of a champion. I’m just glad I had him fit enough. Just enough.”
Mo Forza was owned by the late Barry Abrams, a highly-respected trainer/owner/breeder on the Southern California circuit for many years who died last October after a 15-year battle with cancer.
“I’ve never had a horse that brought so much emotion to me,” Miller said. “Just seeing him in the barn, I think of Barry. The horse is special, big time.”
Smooth Like Strait was the first of two runner-up efforts for trainees of Mike McCarthy, who sent out stable newcomer Master Piece in the Del Mar Handicap.
“They both came back well and we’re happy with the efforts,” McCarthy said.
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