03/31/2012 12:13PM

Mountaineer: Dirt surface may be key to Mo'millions


Based on bloodlines, Mo’millions should have been an exceptional racehorse. His sire, Horse Chestnut, won 8 of 9 starts in South Africa, where he was named Horse of the Year, and won the Grade 3 Broward in his lone United States start. His dam, Plenty of Sugar, won 10 of 34 starts and seven stakes, including the 1994 Canadian Oaks and the Grade 3 Violet in 1996.

In addition, Mo’millions is a half-brother to Sermon of Love, a successful jumper who captured the Grade 1 New York Turf Writers for trainer Jonathan Sheppard in 2010, and Sugar Mom, whose brief career was highlighted by a victory in the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Despite his rich heritage, Mo’millions has displayed only modest ability on the racetrack. He needed 12 tries to win his maiden and subsequently lost seven in a row before scoring a 20-1 surprise in his first visit to Mountaineer Racetrack three weeks ago.

Mo’millions will try to build on that success when he returns to Mountaineer and stretches out to a mile for Monday night’s featured eighth race, a $23,000 allowance for nonwinners of three races lifetime.

A 5-year-old gelding, Mo’millions has run 12 times for trainer Brian Cain since last June. Nine of those races came on either turf or Polytrack. Mo’millions relished the muddy going he caught on March  12, when he rallied from sixth and turned an 8 1/2-length deficit with a quarter-mile remaining into a three-quarter length win in a first-level level optional $15,000 claimer.

Among his six rivals Monday night, the most dangerous appear to be More Than Noble, who has two wins and a second in three previous visits to Mountaineer, and Smokin Star, who ships in for high-percentage trainer Joe Woodard after a win going a mile on Turfway Park’s Polytrack.