Golden Moka Returns in Discovery Handicap
The Discovery drew a field of seven 3-year-olds that will go nine furlongs on the main track. Golden Moka will carry top weight of 118 pounds. Post time is scheduled for 3:44 p.m. EST.
Ontario-bred Golden Moka won the first four starts of his career, including the July 25 Prince of Wales—the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown—in a 10-1 upset at Fort Erie. The son of Golden Missile , who is based at Woodbine for trainer Brian Lynch, made his first start stateside in the Sept. 25 Super Derby (gr. II) at Harrah's Louisiana Downs. He was part of the early pace but faded to finish fifth as the 2-1 second choice, beaten nearly four lengths by Apart.
“I thought his race in the Prince of Wales was solid, especially as it was his first start going long," Lynch said. "We tried to take him back in the Super Derby, but he pulled a little bit hard early. I think that hampered him because he seems to run better if you let him dictate his pace.
"We were disappointed with how he ran, but it was a long ship and the form of that race has not been too bad as the winner came back to win the Ack Ack at Churchill."
Golden Moka, who was bred by Adena Springs and is owned by Good Friends Stable, will break from the rail under Eddie Razo Jr. He was pegged as the 5-2 morning-line choice.
Good Friends Stable is a Peruvian-based partnership that includes disabled former jockey Rene Douglas. The colt made his first three starts in Peru, winning all of them by a combined 17 1/2 lengths. He was an $80,000 buy at the Keeneland September 2008 yearling sale.
The other open stakes winner in the field is Florida-bred gelding Teaks North, winner on the Big Brown Stakes at Monmouth Park Oct. 30. Based in New Jersey for Justin Sallusto, Teaks North has won three of his last four starts, his lone setback coming in the grade I Jamaica Handicap on turf when fifth in October.
The son of Northern Afleet owned by Jules Boutelle has started nine times, winning four races. Jose Valdivia Jr. will have the mount.
“He’s a multi-talented horse,” Sallusto said. “He handles dirt and turf equally. Good horses can handle any surface.”
West Point Thoroughbreds and Robert Masiello’s Dominant Jeannes has never finished outside the exacta in three career starts, finishing second in his debut at Saratoga Aug. 29, breaking his maiden by three-parts of a length at Belmont Park Sept. 26, and missing by a head at Aqueduct Nov. 7 after setting the pace.
“We’re coming back a little quick off his last race, but it looks like he fits well and will be very competitive,” trainer Tom Albertrani said. “We’re taking a shot as it may be one of the last opportunities to run him against straight 3-year-olds. It will be a good test for him, but we can always fall back on an allowance race on another day. He definitely looks like a two-turn horse.”
Other contenders include New York-bred Stormy's Majesty, winner of the Albany Stakes at Saratoga this summer; multiple stakes-placed Not Abroad; and Al Muhtasib and Overcommunication, who each will make their stakes debuts.
$100,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III, Race 8, 3:44 p.m. EST), 3YO, 1 1/8 Miles (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Golden Moka (ON), E Razo Jr., 118, B A Lynch
2. Stormy's Majesty (NY), E S Prado, 116, D G Galluscio
3. Teaks North (FL), J Valdivia Jr., 117, J Sallusto
4. Overcommunication (KY), J R Velazquez, 114, T A Pletcher
5. Not Abroad (MD), N J Petro, 116, K Ritvo
6. Al Muhtasib (KY), E Castro, 115, K P McLaughlin
7. Dominant Jeannes (KY), R Maragh, 114, T Albertrani
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