Gary Barber’s Miss Mo Mentum and jockey Patrick Husbands chased down 8-5 favourite Dixie Moon in the stretch to win the $125,000 Selene Stakes (Grade 3) by a neck on Saturday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.
Last in the eight-filly field early on, the three-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo mustered up the momentum down the stretch to propel to victory in the 1-1/16 mile event on the Tapeta, giving trainer Mark Casse his fourth stakes title of the meet. Supplemental entry Safe to Say, also trained by Casse for Barber and co-owner Windways Farm, finished third.
Remember Daisy was upfront through fractions of :23.94, :47.37 and 1:11.44 with Get Explicit and Go Noni Go pressing the pace and Dixie Moon stalking in behind. Meanwhile, Miss Mo Mentum began to improve her position down the backstretch along the rail and made it up behind the leaders as they turned for home. Dixie Moon emerged between fillies down the stretch and Miss Mo Mentum chased after her in a two-horse breakaway, eventually collaring the favourite at the wire in 1:42.36.
Sent postward as the 5-1 third choice in her Woodbine debut after finishing well back in a pair of graded stakes at Gulfstream Park earlier this year, Miss Mo Mentum returned $12.50, $5.10 and $4.10.
“When this horse comes to the [synthetic track], it’s a whole different scenario,” said Husbands, who described Miss Mo Mentum as a ‘monster’ filly. “Going into this race, I was very sweet on her. I only had one problem, the rail is good, the speed is holding and I draw the outside [post seven] – that’s the only concern. Six furlongs out, I knew it was going along pretty fast – it was really clicking – so I started to feel happy and then I dashed back on the inside by the five-eighths pole and I saw Eurico [Rosa Da Silva aboard Dixie Moon] and my heart got big.”
Bred by Ralph Kinder, Erv Woolsey and Uncle Mo Syndicate, Miss Mo Mentum now has four career wins from 10 starts with earnings climbing over $200,000.
“She’s a horse we’ve really liked right from the beginning and she’s just had some bad luck and run in some tough races and it’s really nice to see her get to the winner’s circle where she should be,” said Kathryn Sullivan, acknowledging the change in track surface and crediting fellow assistant trainer David Adams for his work with the Kentucky-bred filly at Woodbine.
Miss Mo Mentum combined with Dixie Moon ($3.20, $2.80) for a 7-2 exacta worth $40.90. A $1 trifecta of 7-2-6 (Safe to Say, $7.10) paid $184.50 and a $1 superfecta of 7-2-6-1 (Avie’s Mineshaft) returned $953.10. The second through fourth-place finishers are all eligible to the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser, scheduled for next month on June 9. Go Noni Go, Oaks eligible Glamanation, Get Explicit and Remember Daisy completed the order of finish.