DRF Nicole Russo | Apr 07, 2023
Mo Stash set a comfortable pace in the 1 1/16-mile Transylvania and had enough left to hold off favored Nagirroc by a length.
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Mo Stash led the way the first time by the Keeneland stands, and found more in the tank the second time, lasting on the lead to win the Grade 3, $400,000 Transylvania Stakes for 3-year-olds on the turf.
Mo Stash ($12.96), who is trained by Vicki Oliver for BBN Racing, has now won twice from six career starts. This was the first stakes win for the Mo Town colt, who last year was second, beaten less than a length, in the Indian Summer Stakes sprinting on the Keeneland turf. She then stretched out to a mile and finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf locally, after briefly holding the lead in the stretch.
Mo Stash made the first start of his 3-year-old season on March 11 at Tampa, again leading in the stretch before finishing second by 2 1/2 lengths in the Columbia Stakes.
Mo Stash, with Luis Saez in the irons, ran comfortably while ticking off fractions of 23.69 seconds for the quarter, 48.41 for the half, and 1:13.84 for six furlongs on turf rated good, taking a clear lead into the stretch.
“I just put my hands down, and he relaxed,” Saez said. “He’s a pretty smart horse.”
Grade 3 winner Nagirroc, third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, and the post-time favorite for his first start since December, had dead aim on the winner through the lane, but Mo Stash held sway to cross the wire a length in front.
The Mo Town colt stopped the clock in 1:43.05 for 1 1/16 miles.
“It’s still going to be a question mark about how far he will go, but today it looked like he just kept going and could go another sixteenth,” Oliver said. “That might just be his running style. There’s a lot of races out there between a mile, mile and an eighth. We’ll just have to pick them out as we go.”
Stakes-winning juvenile Webslinger launched a bid on the far turn and sustained his rally to finish third, a length behind Nagirroc. The top three were followed, in order, by Mi Hermano Ramon, Andthewinneris, Candidate, Freedom Trail, Dude N Colorado, Wonderful Justice, and Rarified Flair.