Riley Mott (far left) scored his first Oaklawn win with House Wrecker (Coady Photography)
By Robert Yates – Oaklawn Barn Notes
HOT SPRINGS, Ark.— Trainer Riley Mott recorded his first career Oaklawn victory in last Sunday’s second race with House Wrecker ($5.40) under leading rider Cristian Torres. Mott, 31, went out on his own Nov. 1 after assisting his father, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, for eight years.
House Wrecker, who captured the $6,250 claiming sprint for older fillies and mares by a half-length, marked Riley Mott’s 15th starter of the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting. He had three seconds and three thirds before the breakthrough victory, his second overall.
“That felt like a weight off the shoulders, that’s for sure,” Mott said Thursday morning.
Mott was already in Arkansas overseeing his Oaklawn stable when he recorded his first career victory Nov. 10 at Churchill Downs. Mott’s first winner, Unifying, marked his third and final starter of the Churchill Downs Fall meeting. Mott’s other 18 career starts have come at Oaklawn.
“The one in Churchill was, obviously, pretty meaningful, but it’s a little different when you’re not there in person,” Mott said.
House Wrecker was making her first start since Mott claimed the 5-year-old daughter of Congrats for $20,000 out of an eighth-place finish Dec. 18 at Oaklawn. A forward factor from the start last Sunday, House Wrecker led by two lengths in midstretch and held off a hard-charging Proud Victoria approaching the wire.
“We were in an aggressive spot,” Mott said. “It looked like the right spot because at the end of the day we won by a diminishing neck or head or whatever. But I felt that if we were going to win one that day that she was probably the one.”
Mott enters Friday with a 1-3-3 record from 18 starts and purse earnings of $118,168 at the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting that began Dec. 9.
Bill Mott recorded his first career Oaklawn victory Feb. 12, 1975, with Colorado Bay ($17) in an $11,000 claiming race for older horses. Mott was Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 1986 with 35 victories.