Mowins was exceptional last year at two as a two-time stakes winner. He proved he’s going to be just as tough as a three-year-old with an impressive win in the 14th running of the $100,000 Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes Wednesday in Shelbyville at Horseshoe Indianapolis.
Veteran jockey Jon Court was aboard Mowins for the first time in a race, but he has plenty of time aboard the Indiana-bred standout. This winter, he breezed him numerous times for trainer Mike Lauer while at Oaklawn Park. The Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes was his first time to test the three-year-old in a race.
Mowins had early speed at the start of the one and one-sixteenth mile race and moved into the lead from the middle of the pack, securing the top spot before the first turn. He was joined on the outside by Oro Azteca and Marcelino Pedroza Jr. and was even passed up for a portion of the second quarter before Mowins moved back up to stand his ground. The field of 12 was tightly bunched behind the top two for most of the race.
“We were able to take the task early on,” said Court, winner of more than 4,200 career races. “The horse on the outside (Oro Azteca) was pressing early and could have gone on, but we were able to keep him at bay. It worked out well for us in the end.”
Around the turn, Court asked Mowins to accelerate, and he responded. By the time they moved into the stretch, Mowins had taken over and sped away from the field, opening up to a five-and-one-quarter length advantage at the wire. Mr Chaos and Rodney Prescott moved in for second on the outside over Latigo and Tommy Pompell for third.
“He’s a pretty neat horse,” said Lauer. “We gave him some time off and then took him to Arkansas this winter. He had won several races, so he didn’t have a lot of options to race (in Arkansas). We tried him in a stakes out there before coming back to Indiana.”
Mowins was the favorite of the field, paying $7 for the win. The homebred son of Mohaymen is now four-for-eight in his career and has more than $220,000 in career earnings. The win in the Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes is his third title at Horseshoe Indianapolis for Mike and Penny Lauer and Clary Thoroughbreds. The colt is out of Lauer’s mare, Prize Winner, who made more than $250,000 on the track before becoming a brood mare.
“Prize Winner was a nice racehorse for us and won a stakes (Malvern Rose at Presque Isle Downs),” said Lauer. “She’s thrown a couple other nice horses for us, too.”
One would be hard pressed to find many stakes in the Indiana record books that Jon Court has not won. The two-time winner of Indiana’s top race, the Grade 3 Indiana Derby, earned his first win in the Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes. Court was Indiana’s first all-time leading rider before moving his tack to Kentucky and later to California where he experienced great success. However, he has always returned to Indiana to ride when he can and has racked up numerous stakes wins over the years in Indiana.
For Lauer, this was his third win in the Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes, connecting with Mister Pollard in 2014 and Badabing Badaboom in 2016. The win with Mowins was his 45th career stakes win at Horseshoe Indianapolis.