11/01/2015 5:36PM

Stageplay, Mo Tom win stakes on opening day


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Stageplay and Mo Tom were the most notable winners on opening day Sunday at Churchill Downs, capturing a pair of  one-mile stakes on a 10-race Stars of Tomorrow program.

Stageplay remained unbeaten in two starts for trainer Steve Asmussen in winning the $84,400 Rags to Riches on a card exclusively for 2-year-olds. Some 30 minutes beforehand, Mo Tom captured the $83,800 Street Sense.

Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. merely kept Stageplay out of harm’s way as the heavy favorite circled her 12 rivals, drawing clear in midstretch before settling for a 1 1/2-length triumph over Dream Dance. Stageplay, a gray daughter of Curlin,  returned $3.20 after getting the mile in 1:36.58 over a fast track.

“We’re really excited about this one,” owner-breeder Mike Rutherford said afterward.

Mo Tom ($12.20), owned by G M B Racing, also looped his field under Corey Lanerie in prevailing by a length over Tom’s Ready in the Street Sense. Mo Tom, a son of  Uncle Mo, finished in 1:36.78 when making his third career start.

“We’ve always thought a lot of this colt,” said trainer Chris Richard. “He’ll get better with more distance. He should make a good 3-year-old.”

The twin stakes anchored an opening-day card that also included two allowances and six maiden-special races.

A second Stars of Tomorrow program is set for Nov. 28. Stageplay and Mo Tom are likely to run back that day in respective Grade 2 stakes in their divisions, the Golden Rod and Kentucky Jockey Club.

Racing at Churchill resumes Wednesday at 12:40 p.m. Eastern when beginning the first of four five-day weeks (Wednesdays through Sunday). The 21-day fall meet runs through Nov. 29.