A Mo Reay wins off turf in Pago Hop 

December 31, 2022

A Mo Reay with jockey Florent Geroux aboard wins the 39th running of the $100,000 Pago Hop Stakes at Fair Grounds. (Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr.)

Kevin Kilroy/Fair Grounds Press Office

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Hunter Valley Farm’s A Mo Reay made her debut for Brad Cox’s barn a winning one, posting a three-length score in the $100,000 Pago Hop at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. After torrential rains on Friday, the Pago Hop was taken off the turf and run at 1 mile and 70 yards across the main track listed as good.

Now just seven wins away from 2,000 in his career, Florent Geroux rode A Mo Reay across the finish line to her first career stakes win in 1:42.97.

Elle of the Ball broke from the rail to lead the six 3-year-old fillies through early fractions of :23.54 and :46.99. Geroux settled A Mo Reay near the back and bided his time to make a move on Free Like a Girl, who took the lead through the second turn. Free Like a Girl ran hard to the wire but A Mo Reay proved too much and ran away in the final sixteenth. Trobairitz did her running late flying down the center of the track but Free Like a Girl hung on by a nose to take place honors over that foe.

“She had trained great in the mornings coming into this race,” Geroux said. “We were excited about seeing what she could do. She broke sharp and put me in a great spot. I was a little worried when Free Like a Girl got a little breather, but as soon as I pressed on the gas my filly responded.” 

Forward to 12:17 for Race 8.

The victory was worth $60,000 and boosted the daughter of Uncle Mo’s earnings to $235,025. Previously trained by Todd Pletcher, A Mo Reay now sports a 3-1-3 record in 10 starts. 

“We felt good either way, but I really wanted to try her on the dirt,” Cox said. “Her breezes were getting better and better each week. I don’t know what the plan with her is. I know this (stakes win) was a big update on her (breeding) page today. She’s a happy, sound filly. Maybe we can get a few more runs in her before breeding season.”

A Mo Reay was the 6-5 favorite and returned $4.40, $2.80 and $2.60. 

Blissful finished fourth and was followed by Elle of the Ball and Dressed.

Racing at Fair Grounds resumes New Year’s Day at the regular first post of 1:15 p.m. CT. The first stakes action of 2023 will commence on Saturday, Jan 7 with the inaugural running of the $75,000 Gary P. Palmisano Memorial Stakes and the $75,000 Bob F. Wright Memorial Stakes, a pair Louisiana-bred sprints for 4-year-olds and up.

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