Mo Town (Uncle Mo), winner of last year's GII Remsen S., but a disappointing fifth in his sophomore debut in the Feb. 25 GII Risen Star S., worked at Payson Park Wednesday morning and remains possible for the Apr. 1 GI Xpressbet.com Florida Derby. Trainer Tony Dutrow had planned the work to be four furlongs, but the bay colt, owned by Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Team D, was officially credited with a five-furlong work in 1:02.40.
“He breezed in :49 3/5 and galloped out five-eighths in 1:02 3/5,” Dutrow said. “It was pretty close to what we were hoping for, so we're very happy.”
The work was Mo Town's first since the Risen Star.
“I felt Mo Town went into the Risen Star at the Fair Grounds in very good shape,” Dutrow said. “I knew that he wasn't 100%, physically, to run his best race–by design. But I was feeling really good about how that horse was going into the Risen Star and going forward. [Jockey] Johnny Velazquez was adamant that he did not like the racetrack. The horse hit himself in both hind legs, which bothered us and made us think he wasn't getting over the surface as good as we would have liked. The horse has no history of hitting himself on any of the other racetracks he's been on. Back on the worktab, he didn't hit himself today. I have to feel like Mo Town did not care for the Fair Grounds surface ideally.”
Of his charge's next start, Dutrow added, “There will be some discussion with ownership, of course, but he will be nominated and we will take a serious look at the Florida Derby.”