Royal Mo Looks the Part in Robert B. Lewis Stakes
By: EverythingEQ News Team
The combination of owners Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer John Sheriffs has proved to be fruitful time and again, and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon. The partnership gained their latest win Saturday, February 4, as Royal Mo swept to the lead and did not relinquish that position throughout, going on to win the $150,000 Gr.3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park by 3 ½ lengths.
Under expert reinsman Victor Espinoza, the bay colt carried the field through fractions of :23.86, :47.37 and 1:11.50 before he pulled off for the victory. Irap, the maiden in the field, came within a head of Royal Mo through the six-furlong mark but could not gain any more than that, and ultimately finished second. Sheer Flattery, the favorite in the field, was third.
The final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.48 over a fast track.
“This is an amazing experience,” Jerry Moss said. “We haven’t had two horses in this position in a long time and it’s fun. We’re going to keep those two horses separated as long as we can. I’ll have to talk to John, but I think we’ll go to Arkansas with one and stay here with the other.”
The Mosses also own Gormley; both colts are trained by Sheriffs.
Lightly raced, Royal Mo is a large colt, standing at nearly 17 hands. He broke his maiden third time out last November, which was also his first start going two turns. From four starts, he now boasts two wins and two seconds, with Saturday’s victory boosting his earnings to $144,200.
The Robert B. Lewis is one of the early prep races of the year on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and awarded points on a 10-4-2-1 scale. Royal Mo is one of several horses with 10 points and is currently ranked 13th on the leaderboard.
Royal Mo, who was bred by Brandywine Farm in Kentucky, is by Uncle Mo and out of the Saint Ballado mare Royal Irish Lass. He was consigned by his breeders at the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where he was purchased by the Moss’s for $300,000.