Keying Miss Mo Mentum in the Forward Gal Stakes
Talk about a quality field! Eight three-year-old fillies are set to contest Saturday’s $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, and their accomplishments to date ensure that the race will be worthy of its Grade 2 status.Five of the eight entrants in the seven-furlong Kentucky Oaks prep race will enter the race off of a victory, and three of them have never suffered a defeat. That includes #3 Heavenhasmynikki, who made headlines last year when she was pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), only to have her entry declined since she had yet to run in a race. Since then, the daughter of Majestic Warrior has won two straight races sprinting six furlongs, breaking her maiden by 5 ¼ lengths at Mahoning Valley before rallying to win an allowance optional claiming race at Gulfstream by a hard-fought head.
Heavenhasmynikki will have Gulfstream’s leading jockey Luis Saez in the saddle and looms as one of the main contenders, but I prefer the chances of #7 Miss Mo Mentum. Trained by Mark Casse, the daughter of Uncle Mo showed some promise on turf last year, but turned into a different filly when switched to dirt late in the year. After rallying to win a one-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs by an easy 3 ¾ lengths, Miss Mo Mentum shipped south to Gulfstream Park and absolutely crushed seven rivals in the one-mile Hut Hut Stakes, circling the field on the turn and drawing off to win by 8 ¾ lengths over a muddy track.
The slight cutback in distance to seven furlongs shouldn’t be an issue for Miss Mo Mentum, who has drawn well in post position seven and should benefit from the fact that several speedy fillies have been entered in the Forward Gal, which should ensure a quick pace to favor Miss Mo Mentum’s late run. I think Miss Mo Mentum could be a young star in the making.
Other fillies to consider are #1 Sultry, who has won her last three sprint races with sharp late runs; #4 Take Charge Paula, a three-time stakes winner that enters off a pace-tracking victory in the six-furlong House Party Stakes at Gulfstream; and #6 Violent Times, who won her debut on December 24th at Gulfstream by four easy lengths for trainer Ralph Nicks.
Since I believe that Miss Mo Mentum is a standout and should be tough to beat, I view her as a logical single for the multi-race wagers and will key her on top of a trifecta.
$16 to win on #7 Miss Mo Mentum at 2-1 or higher $2 trifecta: 7 with 1,3,4,6 with 1,3,4,6 ($24)