Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Some ‘Mo’ Good Things: Derby Works

Posted by Brian Appleton on May 2, 2011

Ever since his smashing 16 length Saratoga debut, Uncle Mo has been the idol of the public and the darling of the media. After his shocking defeat in the Wood Memorial Stakes in early April Uncle Mo underwent treatment for a GI Infection and came back on April 26th with an encouraging five furlong work he ran in 1:01.60 at Churchill Downs. On Sunday Uncle Mo had his final work before the derby in company with stablemate and fellow Kentucky Derby contender Stay Thirsty. Over a very sloppy Churchill Downs track Uncle Mo broke off about a length behind Stay Thirsty and finished on even terms with his partner after running head and head down the homestretch. His final time for the five furlongs was a solid 1:01.60 while Stay Thirsty finished up in 1:01.80. It was apparent watching the work that both colts were eager to do more and continued to gallop out around the far turn strongly, Uncle Mo getting six furlongs in 1:14.28 and seven furlongs in 1:28.01.

In a press conference held shortly after the work, owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher expressed great pleasure at the progress especially Uncle Mo has made since the Wood.

Pants On Fire was also on the track Sunday morning for his final Derby move, getting four furlongs in a strong :47.80 to rank 7th fastest of 37 horses to work the distance. Trainer Kelly Breen said after the race “For us, that was a very good work out.” Pants On Fire will have Rosie Napravnik in the irons for the Kentucky Derby run next Saturday and if they win it will be the first time in history that the prestigious race was won by a female jockey.

Wood Memorial hero Toby’s Corner breezed six furlongs in 1:15.00 flat for trainer Graham Motion Fair Hill Training Center’s synthetic surface. The son of Bellamy Road colt has won four of his six starts.

Comma to the Top turned in a excellent 1:00 2/5 five furlong breeze at Hollywood Park Sunday morning that had trainer Peter Miller and jockey Patrick Valenzuela extremely pleased as evidenced by an enthusiastic exchange of high-five’s.

Make sure to check out my latest post on Horse Racing Nation that discusses the most recent Kentucky Oaks contenders works. Joyful Victory just keeps looking better and better! See the post Here.

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2 Responses to “Some ‘Mo’ Good Things: Derby Works”

  1. What did you think of ‘MO’s work? I thought, like the HRTV crew did, that he was okay but not up to the 2010 version of himself. If Pletcher gets ‘MO fit enough to win the Derby, I only see him getting stronger (barring injury or illness) and perhaps he’ll become the Triple Crown winner we’re all hoping for.

    Is it possible that JOYFUL VICTORY is entered in the Derby and the Oaks considering the wide open Derby field (no Beyers over 100 this year) and the possibility of an “off” track?

    Who are you leaning toward in the Derby?

    • It looked really good to me but I agree, still probably not as good as his 2010 self yet. He appeared aggressive and was pulling pretty hard well past the wire and into the turn and did it all with very little encouragement. I’m relieved he got two five furlong moves in before the Derby, that’s essential though I would have really liked to see a 6 furlong work last week and then a 5 furlong work on Sunday. I’ll be rooting for him to win the Derby for sure and if that happens the Triple Crown. He just needs to return to form.

      If Joyful Victory goes in the Derby that would be awesome but I think they’ll stick with the Oaks. The Oaks is still really stacked even without R Heat Lightning, this year it truly rivals the Derby.

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