Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fighting for Mo

Cholangiohepatitis. For most people, it’s just a big word. For Uncle Mo, it was a big problem. Cholangiohepatitis is a liver disease which causes inflammation of the bile passages and liver, irregularly causing hepatic failure.

Uncle Mo
Photo: Terri Cage

Two days before the Kentucky Derby, Uncle Mo was scratched from the prestigious race and was sent to WinStar Farm in Versailles, Kentucky for recovery. For over two months, he stayed at the renowned farm, recovering from his illness while gaining about one hundred pounds. After some galloping at WinStar, the bay son of Indian Charlie returned to trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn at Saratoga Race Course on July 11.
After three steady workouts, Uncle Mo fired two consecutive bullets and a near-bullet in preparation for the Foxwoods King’s Bishop Stakes (GI). Many doubted his connection’s decision to enter him in such a tough race for his comeback, but he was entered in the prominent seven furlong race regardless. He wasn’t the only talented horse in the field. Graded stakes winners Flashpoint, Caleb’s Posse, Dominus, and Justin Phillip were entered, as well as stakes winner Poseidon’s Warrior and graded stakes-placed horses Runflatout and Cool Blue Red Hot.
Sent off as the favorite, Uncle Mo broke from post seven, sitting a few lengths off the leaders down the backstretch before John Velazquez urged him to catch the front-runners around the far turn. On a track that was favoring inside runners, Uncle Mo surged on the far outside, taking the lead just before the eighth pole.

However, Caleb’s Posse was coming with his run on the outside. Uncle Mo was all out up front, but Caleb’s Posse caught him right at the wire, winning by a nose. Yet the 2010 Two-Year-Old Champion Male galloped out past the winner after the wire. It was an incredible comeback for Mike Repole’s champion, especially when you throw in the fact that he lost a shoe during the race.

Uncle Mo winning the the 2010
Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
Photo: Terri Cage

Nonetheless, Mike Repole – who won the Travers Stakes (GI) with Stay Thirsty in the next race – has since mentioned that the King’s Bishop might have been Uncle Mo’s last race. On the other hand, Todd Pletcher has made statements concerning the colt hinting at either the Kelso Handicap (GII) on October 1 or the Pennsylvania Derby (GII) on September 24. Stay Thirsty is also possible for the Pennsylvania Derby, but his connections seem to be leaning towards the Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI) on October 1. Plans are to keep the two separated.

Fans across the country hope that Uncle Mo will remain in training with hopes of making it to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships this November at Churchill Downs. After all, the colt obviously loves running and has already made it this far. Why not just keep running?
Of course, the well-being of Uncle Mo should be the first priority. However, if he remains healthy, it seems that the son of Indian Charlie should remain doing what he loves and was bred to do: race.
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1 comment:

  1. As long as Mo's healthy I hope Mike and Todd let him run!