Horse Racing

Mo Forza goes from strength to strength


Taylor Made sometimes collaborates with other farms in stallion joint ventures, most notably with WinStar on Sightstown and Tiznow. However, they are dipping their toes into the California stallion market for the first time with a Class I winner Mo Forza (Uncle Mo–Inflamed, by Unusual Heat) featuring Tom and Nancy Clark’s Rancho San Miguel. The lawn millionaire star – whose name roughly means “strength” in Italian – retired in 2022 to his 210-acre ranch in San Miguel, a small and sleepy Spanish town. House in the famous Paso Robles wine region of Central California.

The picturesque Rancho San Miguel is famous in California car racing, with a current lineup of nine stallions, including Sir Prancealot (Ire) (Tamayuz {GB}) and Danzing Candy (Spinning candy).

“We’re really trying to focus on quality over quantity,” says Tom Clark, “and that was really our strategy from day one. Just to try to get the best stallions we can buy and buy especially for this market and hope and pray that others with mares will bring better mares and better come to California to breed for us. And we actually learned very early on that you want to strive for the highest possible quality. ”

With his grandfather a coach and a father who owns racehorses, Clark is the third generation in the racing family. Raised on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, he started his career as a runner at Timonium while in high school. His love and involvement in racing was flanked by a career in finance for many years until he purchased the property that would become Rancho San Miguel just over two decades ago.

“I’ve actually been in the game for a long time, but I went to school and got into finance,” says Clark. “I always say the reason I do it is so that one day I can buy a good horse. I was lucky enough to do a good job of investing and was able to pass it on to Rancho San Miguel and get into the racing game in a big way. ”

Clark has owned a number of racehorses, including 2007 GI Humana Distaff winner and GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff runner-up teamed by a Hystericalady fan, which has had several major selling points. and bred a number of horses in the commonwealth of Kentucky. The purchase and development of Rancho San Miguel reshaped his focus.

“I’ve really focused my resources here on the farm over the past few years,” says Clark. “I am so immersed in what we are trying to do here, that it is as rewarding – and sometimes more rewarding – than ever to be involved in a racehorse. The livestock business brings a whole different level of rewards to it as a sport. ”

Clark has been with Taylor Made’s Taylor family for “25-30 years,” so it was easy to transition into a partner in the equine career of Mo Forza, who was raised and raised at Taylor Made.

“We have done a lot of dealings together over the years and they always represent me in the sale of my horses in the September or November sales, so I am very fortunate with the entire team. office. Very respectful. I called Ben Taylor and said, ‘What do you think about [Mo Forza]? Do you think this is the kind of horse that can stay in California? ‘”

Taylor Made has two new stallions in their own stall this year – Horse of the Year Knicks Go (Payer) and MGSW & MGISP Tacitus (Tapit) –And Clark thinks that maybe Mo Forza, despite his win in the 2019 GI Hollywood Derby and six second place slots, could be overshadowed.

“And, you know, we don’t have enough commercial horses in California,” says Clark. “So there was a lot we talked about and we still think that on the road, this is a horse that could end up in Kentucky.

“It’s really amazing [for us] that he broke poorly in [2021 GI] Farmer’s Cup [Mile] and have a beat length of five or so for the first time. That allows him to be here. Otherwise, if he wins the Breeders’ Cup, I know he’ll be in Kentucky. I think this is a big coup for the state of California, as one of Kentucky’s leading stallions and breeders has named a horse here. They had never had a business in California before. They are great, wonderful and incredibly knowledgeable partners and very very easy to work with. They are supporting the horse in an important way. And I will give him every chance to succeed in California. ”

Mo Forza stands for $9,000, an unusual amount for a stud fee. Clark has a reason behind the single number.

“Californias are always looking for a bargain,” he said with a laugh. “And at $10,000 we think people are just having a hard time paying it back, but $9,000 shows we are serious about delivering high value on a horse like this. We are providing a Category I winner by Uncle Mo for just $9,000 here in California. And I just think it’s just outstanding value. We also really wanted to try to attract the best mares we could in the state of California, and here is one way to do it. ”

Tom Clark | Jill Williams

Clark also said more than a dozen mares have been shipped from Kentucky to be mated to Mo Forza, who has been shown to have an excellent sex drive. Earlier this week, at least 15 mares were discovered among the bay ponies, which will check all the boxes Clark looks for in a stallion.

“I think you really have to consider every aspect when thinking about a good stallion,” says Clark. “He must have a great race record. He must have a great structure and he must have a good pedigree. And in California, we’ve historically had to give up at least one of them. So you have a great pedigree and good looks, but a horse doesn’t race well. The unique thing about Mo Forza is that he has all three [attributes]. He really has the whole package. And I think that’s what people need to understand and realize that we don’t just have a Class I winner, but we also have a really handsome horse and he Uncle Mo. Can you ask about another one?”

Six of Mo Forza’s eight career victories have come by a mile, and Clark was quick to point to the adage that miners often make the best males. The 6-year-old is a fierce competitor, with two wins in four races interrupted only by an off-season match in the GI Pegasus World Cup Turf that left him on the bench for seven months. He only races on grass.

“It’s not because they think he’s necessarily a grass horse,” Clark commented. “But once you have something for yourself, why change it? The fact is that he has performed very well on the pitch, so they really don’t want to risk or change what is working. Don’t fix something that isn’t broken, as they say. He did a great job on the land. There was no reason why he couldn’t run on the ground. We think this is a horse that can throw both a dirt horse as well as a grass horse in California.”

As seen in the entire North American livestock industry, the number of mares bred has decreased over the past few years in California. Clark is an optimist.

“I think this is a challenging time for everyone, and it is the most challenging time I have ever seen in this industry in California. But you know, we always hope. We always think about the glass half full. We think the only way to approach that is to try to bring quality horses, quality stallions and quality measures to this market and find a way to try to attract people from out of state. and bring fresh blood into the state and do what we can to support the industry. So that’s our approach. And we may be crazy, but we’ll stick with it. ”





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