Devious Mo upsets Times Square division of Stallion Series

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

Manny Franco and Devious Mo upset Saturday’s $200,000 Times Square division of the New York Stallion Series. Joe Labozzetta Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Almost exactly a month after breaking his maiden in a New York-bred maiden-claiming race, Repole Stable’s Devious Mo took another step forward to win Saturday’s $200,000 Times Square division of the New York Stallion Series at Aqueduct.

The big bay 3-year-old Laoban colt making his stakes debut in the 6 1/2-furlong Times Square off his easy 8 3/4-length maiden victory over the same track when going 6 furlongs.

“We put blinkers on him [after they claimed him in November] and maybe the level, dropping him in for $25,000, helped his confidence a bit,” winning trainer Rudy Rodriguez said. “He showed up. I thought we might lose him for $25,000 but thank God we didn’t.”

Breaking from the inside post in the Times Square, the 11-1 Devious Mo was among an early four-way battle for the lead in the opening furlong. When all was sorted out, Lobsta took command with only Devious Mo staying within a length. Devious Mo kept his spot on the rail as he raced at Lobsta’s hip through fractions of :22.52 and :45.87.

Devious Mo took advantage of the room he’d created on the inside of the leader to slide up the rail and stick his nose in front around the turn. By the time the field entered the stretch, Devious Mo had a length on the field and started to open up. Devious Mo held off a late challenge in deep stretch from maiden runner-up Sinful Dancer, a second-time starter by War Dancer who was closing with every stride.

Sinful Dancer could only get within three-quarters of a length of Devious Mo at the finish with It’s Gravy another 5 1/4 lengths back in third. Devious Mo won in 1:17.10.

“I just kept him up there,” said Devious Mo’s jockey Manny Franco. “By the three-eighths pole, I had to go because the hole was closing up, so I asked more of my horse. When [Sinful Dancer] came to me, my horse was really trying. When I asked him, he was there for me. I felt like he was getting a little tired, but at the same time, he was giving me his all.”

Devious Mo outfinishes Sinful Dancer late to win Times Square. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

Bred by and foaled at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs, Devious Mo became the latest stakes winner for former New York-based sire Laoban. Sold for $15,000 at the OBS October yearling sale in 2019, he returned to the Florida sales ring again last year in the OBS July 2-year-olds in training sale and brough $37,000 from Gary Contessa on behalf of John Irwin.

Devious Mo made his debut the final weekend of last summer’s Saratoga meet for trainer Bruce Brown and Irwin to kick off a string of four straight fourth-place finishes. It was in the final race of that streak that Repole and Rodriguez snapped him up for $40,000 in mid-November in his first start for a tag. It took about four months and three more starts for Devious Mo to break his maiden but when he did, he did it in style.

Devious Mo is both the first stakes winner and winner overall for the winning Harlan’s Holiday mare Devious Chic, which McMahon of Saratoga purchased for $6,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton February mixed sale. A two-time winner, the mare is the dam of two named foals with Devious Mo joined by the Bellamy Road gelding Mischief Mike.

Devious Chic is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Sky Cape and stakes winner Sunny Skies among five stakes horses out of the Marquetry mare Skyscape.

Devious Chic foaled out a New York-bred Central Banker colt in 2019 and had a filly by the same stallion last year. She visited Redesdale last year during his second season at stud at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds.

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