08/20/2016 5:45PM

Unbridled Mo outlasts Tejana to win Monmouth Oaks

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Taylor Ejdys/EQUI-PHOTO
Unbridled Mo, with Paco Lopez riding, wins the Monmouth Oaks at Monmouth Park on Saturday.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Unbridled Mo won her third consecutive race at the Monmouth Park meet Saturday, wearing down undefeated Tejana by a neck after a long stretch drive while making her stakes debut in the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks.

Unbridled Mo, with Paco Lopez aboard, stalked the early pace three wide. She moved up outside pacesetting Tejana on the far turn, then continued doggedly in the stretch to get up in the final sixteenth.

"My filly doesn’t have too much speed, so I wanted to just sit off the pace," Lopez said. "She didn’t have too much patience and wanted to go pressure the horse on the lead in the backstretch. She ran very well today and had to work for the win.”

Tejana, who was 2 for 2 coming into the Oaks, set realistic fractions of 24.06, 47.92, and 1:12.25 in the 1 1/16-mile race. She dug in gamely when challenged by the winner and just failed to last.

Mo d'Amour, who raced between horses in the second flight on the backstretch, moved up outside the top pair in upper stretch but lacked the needed closing kick and finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Tejana. It was 7 3/4 lengths back to A Place to Shine in fourth.

Mo' Green, who raced inside of Mo d'Amour on the backstretch, hit the inner rail and was checked when things tightened up nearing the far turn. The stewards conducted an inquiry into the incident and jockey Antonio Gallardo aboard Mo' Green lodged an objection against Nik Juarez, the rider of Mo d'Amour, for interference. The stewards ultimately ruled there would be no change in the order of finish.

Unbridled Mo is trained by Todd Pletcher, who also conditions Mo d'Amour. Unbridled Mo paid $6.80 as the third choice in the six-horse field behind 17-10 Tejana and 19-10 Mo d'Amour. She was timed in 1:44.35.

Unbridled Mo finished seventh in her career debut at Gulfstream Park in April. She won a Monmouth maiden race May 29 and a first-level optional-claiming race July 3.