Friday, November 19, 2010
Golden Moka looks for breakthrough
By Mike Farrell
Daily Racing Form
Already a stakes winner in Panama and Canada, Golden Moka looks to break through in the United States when he faces six rivals Saturday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Discovery Handicap for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct.
Golden Moka has the rail in the 1 1/8-mile race.
The chestnut colt, a modest $8,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland in 2008, is 4 for 5 in his brief career.
He swept all three races last year in Panama, including a Grade 3 stakes. Golden Moka lost training time earlier this year when he got sick after shipping to Canada and trainer Brian Lynch.
Golden Moka's debut for the new barn came in July, a 10-1 upset in the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes for Ontario-breds at Fort Erie in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. The Prince of Wales at 1 3-16 miles was the first time Golden Moka stretched out beyond six furlongs.
The victory was a rewarding moment for paralyzed rider Rene Douglas who is part of the ownership group, the Good Friends Stable, that also includes former NHL star Denis Savard.
Golden Moka suffered his first defeat in his latest effort, a fifth-place effort in the Super Derby in September.
"We tried to take him back in the Super Derby, but he pulled a little bit hard early," said Lynch. "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."
Lynch was heartened by the fact that Apart, the Super Derby winner, came back to capture the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs earlier this month.
Teaks North and Stormy's Majesty are the other stakes winners in the field.
The versatile Teaks North has won three of his last four, posting stakes wins at Monmouth Park on turf and dirt. His only loss in that span was a fifth-place finish in Belmont Park's Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap on the grass.
Stormy's Majesty beat New York breds in the Albany Stakes at Saratoga.