10/05/2017 11:26AM

Mo Dont No seeks repeat in Best of Ohio Endurance Stakes

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John Engelhardt/OTBO
Mo Dont No will try to repeat last year's victory in the Best of Ohio Endurance Stakes.

Mo Dont No’s connections say he is an intelligent horse. That mental soundness gives the gelding the tractability to relax over long distances – and the results show in his race record. The reigning Ohio-bred horse of the year, he is looking for a repeat in Saturday’s $150,000 Best of Ohio Endurance Stakes, which locked up his title last year.

The Endurance is part of a Best of Ohio card at Belterra Park, which includes five stakes for Ohio-breds worth a combined $650,000. Other highlights on the program include the state’s reigning champion sprinter, Rivers Run Deep, seeking his fourth straight win in the Sprint.

At the other end of the distance spectrum, Mo Dont No is 3 for 3 at the classic 1 1/4-mile distance of the Endurance. He also has won consecutive runnings of the Governor’s Buckeye Cup at that distance.

“Smart horses are faster horses, and he’s a very smart animal,” said Jeffrey Radosevich, who trains the 4-year-old Uncle Mo gelding for owner Ron Paolucci’s Loooch Racing. “He doesn’t use himself up. In his last race, he hopped a little leaving the gate, but he didn’t try to rush up. He can be on the lead or come off the pace. It’s easy on the jock because he doesn’t have to fight him. He’s a pleasure to be around.”

:: Get bonus PPs for Saturday's card at Belterra Park

Mo Dont No comes into his Best of Ohio defense off an open-company allowance win last month at Thistledown, pushing his win streak to four races. He has been first or second in his last 14 starts, a streak dating to July 2016.

Mo Dont No has drawn post 8 under Ricardo Feliciano in a bulky field of 15 which includes several familiar rivals. Gone too Soon, who finished third in the Endurance last year, handed Mo Dont No a rare defeat earlier this year, winning the Sydney Gendelman Memorial Handicap in June on the Belterra turf.

Eightthehardway and Cake Pop finished second and third in the Buckeye Cup. The consistent Eightthehardway has finished second or third in five stakes this season, including a second by a nose to Leona’s Reward in the George Lewis Memorial. Leona’s Reward is likely to go favored Saturday in the Best of Ohio Distaff. The versatile Cake Pop has won two stakes this year, taking the Tall Stack Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs and stretching out to 1 1/8 miles to take the Cleveland Gold Cup.

Strike Your Light, who won the Green Carpet on turf earlier this year, was third behind Cake Pop in the Gold Cup.