07/17/2012 1:01PM

Louisiana Downs: Jake Mo returns in sprint

Tom Keyser
Jake Mo will make his first start since the Arkansas Derby on Thursday at Louisiana Downs.

Jake Mo, a stakes winner who has not raced since finishing 10th in the Arkansas Derby, makes his comeback Thursday in the fifth race at Louisiana Downs. The optional $17,500 claiming race carries second-level allowance conditions and will be run over six furlongs. The race will be the first since April 14 for Jake Mo, who earlier this year ran fourth in the $100,000 Smarty Jones, second in a division of the Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest, and fourth in the Grade 2, $500,000 Rebel, all at Oaklawn.

“We gave him a little time off at the end of the Oaklawn meet,” said Allen Milligan, who trains Jake Mo for Stephen Brown. “He’s the only horse who ran in all four [3-year-old route series stakes at Oaklawn]. I should have skipped one of them. It took its toll on him.”

Jake Mo has since turned in a series of sharp works for Milligan, the latest a bullet five furlongs in 59 seconds July 8 at Louisiana Downs. He also worked five furlongs in a near-bullet 1:00.60 at Churchill Downs on June 30 and breezed the same distance from the gate in 1:02 on June 20, also at Churchill.

“He’s come back good, is working lights out,” Millgan said. “The last work at Churchill was the first one that really told me he was back. He galloped out strong.”

Milligan said he also liked how sharply Jake Mo had worked from the gate June 20, and as a result the horse will make his return sprinting. He is a stakes winner at one turn, having won the $75,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile last July. Jake Mo also ran fifth in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint.

Don Simington has the mount from post 2.

Milligan has not yet determined a specific stakes goal for Jake Mo, but he does have plans set for King Coral, who won an allowance last Sunday at Louisiana Downs with a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 82. Milligan said the horse is now being pointed to the $100,000 Prelude, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds Aug. 4 at Louisiana Downs. King Coral won the two-turn allowance Sunday by 1 1/4 lengths, sitting in fourth and then going on under Simington.

“It was perfect,” Milligan said. “He rated good, did everything Donnie asked him to do. I was worried about running back on the dirt because he took to the grass good, but I think he can run on either one.”

King Coral, who is multiple stakes placed, races for M.H. Carson.

Milligan, who finished second in the trainer standings this spring at Oaklawn, will be branching into the New Mexico market for the first time in September as he said he plans to bring a division of horses to Zia Park. Milligan also has divisions at Louisiana Downs and Prairie Meadows and will be racing next month at Remington Park.

◗ Arabian Ritz, a 2-year-old daughter of five-time stakes-winning mare Miss Ritz, debuts in the first race Thursday.