Black Mojo Steps Up In Foster

Black Mojo (MB Stables) captures the 2017 running of the Gr-1 Foster at CD

Foster Handicap (Grade 1) (BC)- $500.000 Purse
CD- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
June 17, 2017

About a year ago, Black Mojo burst on to the scene as one of the top three year olds in the game when he followed up his win in the Grade 2 Peter Pan with a runner up finish in the BEL. Things have continued to be good for him, but it looks like the black mojo rises this time of year in particular for Black Mojo, running great in mid-June for his first win of 2017. Surprisingly, this is also his first win since the Peter Pan, going to show that even though the wins have not been there, check earning finishes have been. Mb Stables added this one to his arsenal in private sales last December, and he was ridden by I Ortiz Jr, who completes the double with Sabre For Kathology having won the Wise Dan. It is Mb’s second win in the stake, and the fist time the jockey has ridden one of its winners. Congratulations to them! The time of the win on the track listed as good was 1:49.28, half a second quicker then the 2015 edition which was also on track declared as good. Here’s a look at the race.

(½ Mile- :47.94)- Bay O Fire broke very quickly out of the starting gate as trainer Oval Express Farms set his sights on winning two in a row here. This would be more of a surprise, as his entry went off at odds of 127/1. Contesting him early was the seriously weight disadvantaged Rajivs Roadblock, in what was a mild tactical surprise, though he has not exclusively been a closer in the past. These two pulled away by two lengths, as Royal Prodigy (Mb Stables) was third and sometimes looked like he wanted to run with the top two and may have been kept in check a bit by his jockey, J R Velazquez. Stablemate and eventual winner Black Mojo, ran just to his inside, about a length back. Then, we get to the back with Blue Eight (Blushing Meadows) running three wide, four lengths out, followed by Copper Beast (John Henry) and Swiss Bank Account (Threshold). Water Mummy (Mb Stables) was next to last while Rising Light (Nakamura Stables) watched it all unfold in front of him.

(3/4 Mile- 1:12.10)- While the running order did not change a whole lot, there were some noteworthy moves made during this portion of the race. Bay O Fire was unable to keep up with Rajivs Roadblock., and at this point, had only dropped to second, but it was obvious that he was done. The biggest move came from Royal Prodigy, who seemed to want to be more racy early, and now he was making his move as they rounded the turn. However, he had to be four wide as they made this move, and had some familiar company with him as Black Mojo stayed glued to his inside to also get by Rajivs Roadblock. Blue Eight was another one very impressive in the turn, not waiting until later on to make his move, looking to follow Royal Prodigy before going five wide while around the turn. Copper Beast was looking good along the rail here as well.

Top of Stretch (1.7 F To Go)- Black Mojo was outstanding in the turn, handling it exceptionally well, and making quick work of Rajivs Roadblock. That was not as surprising as the way he also fought off his stablemate Royal Prodigy, who was looking very good at this point. At the top of the stretch, then, it was Black Mojo looking to pull away. Rajivs Roadblock was tiring out, and Royal Prodigy could not keep up. Trouble was brewing for the leader in the form of Blue Eight, however, as this one continued to be in full stride and only had a length and a half to make up. Copper Beast is the victim of a poor trip, as while the jockey, R Bejarano, may have been trying to prepare for Bay O Fire to drop out, he didn’t seem like he expected Rajivs Roadblock to do the same, and he got caught up behind him, thus eliminating his chances. Water Mummy did what he could in the far outside lane, while Swiss Bank Account and Rising Light did not appear to have any push.

Finish (1:49.28)- In the stretch, Black Mojo did not really have to work as hard as we thought he might have to, or he just made it look really easy. He pulled away from those around him, and as Blue Eight was unable to made much progress, allowing him to get to the wire without much pressure. Blue Eight seemed to have some trouble getting by Royal Prodigy, who ends up being a good team player, but he did get the pass for second. Royal Prodigy is third, followed by Copper Beast, who once able to run, ran very well but the trip did him in. Those were the main threats in this race, afterwards it was Water Mummy, Rajivs Roadblock, Rising Light, Swiss Bank Account, and eventually, Bay O Fire.

About the winner: Black Mojo, trained by Mb Stables, and ridden to victory by I Ortiz Jr, is a four year old gelding by Black Road and out of Midnite Mojo. He was bred in California as a second quarter two year old by Running Farms and acquired by Mb Stables, via Heavens Own, for $660.000. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his third in 14 starts, and his second graded win. His career earnings now sit at $1,815.840.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Black Mojo Mb Stables Ortiz I Jr 3.75   11 1:49.28 — 
  Blue Eight Blushing Meadows Ortiz J L 5.55   21/2 1:49.48 — 
  Royal Prodigy Mb Stables Velazquez J R 5.35   3nk 1:49.59 — 
  Copper Beast John Henry Bejarano R 3.85   41 1:49.66 — 
  Water Mummy Mb Stables Albarado R J 27.60   53/4 1:50.00 — 
  Rajivs Roadblock Night Rider Stables Maragh R 6.75   6hd 1:50.16 — 
  Rising Light Nakamura Stables Desormeaux K J 4.90   71 1:50.19 — 
  Swiss Bank Account Threshold Pennington F 7.90   83 1:50.39 — 
  Bay O Fire Oval Express Farms McMahon C J 127.80   9 1:51.08 — 

Track: Good

Time: :474  1:12   1:363  1:491

$2 Mutuel Prices:

5 – Black Mojo 9.50 4.50 3.00
3 – Blue Eight   5.60 3.70
8 – Royal Prodigy     3.30

$1 Exacta: 5 – 3 Paid 42.60

$1 Trifecta: 5 – 3 – 8 Paid 73.30

Scratched: El Gran Black

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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