Stable Role Labor of Love for Riley Mott
Special to the Breeders' Cup
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott met his son, Riley, in the paddock after training hours Oct. 31 at Del Mar. In a schooling line longer than the line at an In-and-Out, Riley held the shank attached to Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff contender Elate, who has been making quite an impression in the mornings at the seaside track.
When Mott sends Claiborne Farm and Adele Dillschneider's 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro to the gate Nov. 3, his son will be by his side. Brought up in the sport he loves, 25-year-old Riley is pursuing a role in his father's stable he was born to fill.
"Training is the only thing I've ever wanted to do," the University of Kentucky graduate remarked. "That's been it, and I never thought of doing anything else. Even going through college, I knew I would come back to this. I feel lucky I know what I want to do, and I knew what I wanted to do from an early age. I feel fortunate to have found a passion. I'm doing what I love."
Of working for his father, Mott added, "It's great. We have a really good relationship. At home, we goof off together and we're like best friends. But in the barn, it's all serious. I don't take being his son to my advantage or anything like that. Everything is all business at the barn, as it should be, except I try to keep it light sometimes, when the vibe is a little too serious."
Bill Mott won his first of 10 Breeders' Cup races (the Breeders' Cup Turf with Theatrical) in 1987, before Riley was even a twinkle. His next win, also in the Turf, came courtesy of Fraise in 1992, just a year after his son was born. Cigar's Breeders' Cup Classic score in 1995, a quintet of Breeders' Cup Distaff wins (Ajina, 1997; Escena, 1998; Royal Delta, 2011-12; Unriavaled Belle, 2010), and another Classic score by Drosselmeyer in the 2011 Classic came throughout the young man's formative years. And last year they won the Mile with WinStar Farm's Tourist, an emotional moment for the younger Mott.
"That was really special," he said. "Winning a Breeders' Cup for WinStar, an organization that has been really great to us over the years - we've had an extreme amount of luck with them - and it was his swan song ... it was really special for a number of different reasons. It was a great day."
In addition to Elate this season, Team Mott also has Capla Temptress in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and Ballagh Rocks in the Breeders' Cup Mile this year.
"We're blessed to be able to have the quality of horse to bring here to the Breeders' Cup," Riley Mott said. "Not everyone has that privilege. It teaches you how to handle being in that situation. You kind of want to just do the things that got you to that point, you don't want to do things out of the nature of your program. Everyone wants to do the best job they can and bring their horse into the race as well as they possibly can. But I think it's easy to over-think things, at times, leading up to the big day of racing like this weekend. I think if you just stick to your guns and do what you've been doing all along, it's OK."
Mott said his father's training program has taught him patience and confidence.
"Just don't over-think things," he said of the elder Mott's approach. "Do what you've been doing. Have confidence in your routine and your program and your staff."
While Elate has been touting herself in the mornings, the younger Mott backs that up with his high estimation of the filly.
"She really enjoys training, she enjoys the work," he said. "When you see her out there, she's got her ears pricked. She's happy and go-lucky. That's the main thing, I think. When you're shipping across the country like this, you want to just keep them as comfortable as possible and keep them happy, and that's what we've done with her and it seems like the rest of them as well."
- September 21, 2018
Owned by LNJ Foxwoods and trained by Brad Cox, Covfefe recently made her debut on September 16th, and while parody may have inspired her name, the filly proved no joke. Under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, she decimated her competition by 9-1/4 lengths, completing the six furlongs in 1:10.20, earning a solid 86 Beyer first time out. Making the victory even sweeter is that it happened beneath the spires of Churchill Downs, where the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held in November.
- September 21, 2018
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships in November will be held at Churchill Downs for the ninth time, thirty years after making its first appearance at the Louisville track and seven years since its latest swing through Derby City. When examining a list of past winners of the original seven Breeders’ Cup events that have been held at Churchill Downs, one notable aspect has been the tendency of the primary turf events, the Mile (G1) and the 1 1/2-mile Turf (G1), to produce minor-to-major upsets. Although the sample size of eight previous runnings held at Churchill is a small one, the recognizing of this emerging trend should be enough to convince handicappers to take a broader look at the two races once final fields are drawn.
- September 20, 2018
Three Guaranteed Berths into Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge on the Line This Weekend on Horseplayers.com
With just six weeks left until the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, qualifying contests for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) are in full swing with three guaranteed berths into the largest live-money handicapping contest in the world on the line this weekend, highlighted by Sunday’s (Sept. 23) tournament which has the lowest-ever qualifying ratio (1 per 5) and a $2,300 entry fee.