Mo d’Amour jumped from nowhere to the number three spot on the Kentucky Oaks (G1) leaderboard on Saturday when taking the $125,000 Busher S. at Aqueduct by two lengths.
The Busher is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races and offered up 50-20-10-5 points to the respective top four in the 1 1/16-mile contest.
It’s been used in the very recent past as a steppingstone to Kentucky Oaks glory courtesy of Princess of Sylmar in 2013. Coincidentally enough, Mo d’Amour is from the same connections as Princess of Sylmar – Ed Stanco’s King of Prussia Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher.
Chris DeCarlo piloted Mo d’Amour to victory on Saturday over Dreams to Reality, who added 20 points to her already one point earned for finishing fourth last out in the Busanda S.
Katniss the Victor, the 6-5 Busher favorite, was headed for second and garnered 10 points for coming in 3 1/2 lengths in front of Flora Dora in fourth. That filly, who captured the Busanda last out, took home five points and now boasts a total of 16 on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard.
Mo d’Amour stopped the clock for the Busher in 1:47.37, and not only earned 50 points for the Kentucky Oaks with her Busher win but also added a first stakes score to her resume. Her prior two attempts against stakes rivals resulted in a third-place run in the Ruthless S. at Aqueduct on January 17 and a subpar seventh in the Demoiselle S. (G2) last November on that track’s main dirt.
Mo d’Amour’s career line now stands at 5-3-0-1, $147,940. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Scat Daddy is the first registered foal out of the unraced Scat Daddy mare Neverthesame. This female family also includes 2011 American Oaks (G1) heroine Cambina.
Chris DeCarlo, jockey Mo d’Amour, winner: "I thought I was going to be closer than I was. I broke and we got jostled a little bit and two (horses) were in front of me that I really didn't expect and there was an opportunity for me to get to the fence, so that's what I did.
“They said she waits on horses, so I tried to wait as long as I could. I really waited until about the three-sixteenths pole before I really set her down and when she ran by, she kind of kicked on. She did idle a little bit, but I had plenty in the tank."
Byron Hughes, assistant trainer Mo d’Amour, winner: "I thought it worked out perfect. Chris did a good job getting her to the rail when the opportunity was present at the first turn and saved ground. Coming home he got her out just in time and it was nice.
“She seems to be maturing with the added experience from every race. I still think she got a little green when she got the lead kind of waiting but hopefully she can get better."
Ed Stanco, principal owner of King of Prussia Stable, owner Mo d’Amour, winner: "We'll see. It's all up to Todd and how the horse trains. We have a long way to go before that. This was a nice performance."