Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty

Posted by Brian Appleton on April 28, 2011

A week and two days, that’s how much time is left until the running of the 137th Kentucky Derby (gr.1) on May 7th. There’s been so much news relating to the prestigious race that it’s hard to know what to think or where to start when trying to break down the prospective contenders. The Factor is one of many to join the list of high-profile dropouts after undergoing a myectomy to correct a displaced palate the colt received during a 7th place finish in the Arkansas Derby (gr.1) as the heavy favorite. It’s possible he could make the Preakness Stakes on May 21st but trainer Bob Baffert made it clear there is no rush to get him back to the races prematurely. J P’s Gusto joined The Factor as another of the latest  drop-outs, opening up the door for both Shackleford and Twinspired to break their way into the top 20 on the Derby graded earnings list. Silver Medallion now becomes the latest horse on the outside looking in as he currently stands at #21 on the list.

With things constantly changing on the Derby scene you could probably just as easily choose a winner by throwing a dart at the 20 different contenders names while blindfolded as you could by pouring over the PP’s and recent works. Uncle Mo has a knack for making headlines no matter what he does and ever since his disappointing third place finish in the Wood Memorial (gr.1) he’s been making just as many, if not more, headlines then when he was the heavy Kentucky Derby favorite. Lately theories have been flying thick and fast as to the soundness of the Champion Two Year Old Male but owner Mike Repole has come out with definitive statements saying that Uncle Mo is 100% fit. When the GI Infection was discovered after his Wood loss things looked a little brighter for us ‘Mo’ supporters and now it appears the talented colt is coming around much faster and showing good signs of progress. He is reportedly back on his feed with greater enthusiasm and has been showing high energy levels and his GI infection seems to be clearing up well. On Tuesday morning he turned in a very promising work at Churchill Downs with workmate Calibrachoa that had both jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher pleased. He went the 5 furlongs in 1:01.80 while finishing a neck ahead of his older workmate under no urging and galloped out well past Calibrachoa. It’s safe to say my confidence in Uncle Mo has been seriously bolstered in the last few days. He’s still my Derby pick.

Stay Thirsty looked terrible when finishing 7th in the Florida Derby, sweating like a stuck pig in the post parade and appearing absolutely soaked after the race in the 90+ degree weather. According to Repole he hated the blinkers and didn’t handle the heat well at well. He and Todd Pletcher are calling the race a toss and moving forward with their charge. On Sunday things looked a whole lot brighter in the Stay Thirsty camp when the Bernardini colt fired off a bullet 5 furlong work over the Churchill Downs surface, covering the distance in 1:00.00 flat. It looks like stable mates Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty could be headed for the front of the class once again.

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2 Responses to “Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty”

  1. mary petrecz said

    You echo my feelings on Uncle Mo. I just love this talented champion. We always seem to have a hefty “trail of tears” heading to the Derby and this year is no different. I’m a fan of Stay Thirsty but still question his speed factor…..I am interested in seeing how Pants On Fire, Dialed In and Soldat are shaping up….If Mo is at his best, if’s a race for 2nd.

    • So true Mary, I forget every year how much the pictures changes and how rapidly it changes as the Derby begins to approach. I’m going to be keeping an eye on Soldat, Dialed In, Nehro and Archarcharch for starters. Most of my energy will be spent cheering on Uncle Mo, I really hope he pulls it off.

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