Uncle Mo came into the sport of horse racing looking like a future Hall of Famer. But after a dominating two year old campaign he suffered a rare liver illness as a three year old that kept him out of the Triple Crown and eventually cut short his racing career. The sport of kings hasn’t heard the last of Mo, however, and with his first crop of offspring now three years old he could finally become a Kentucky Derby winner–as a sire.
Todd Pletcher’s Uncle Mo looked like a future Kentucky Derby winner from the beginning of his horse racing career. He was undefeated as a two year old, winning a MSW at Saratoga to begin his racing career followed by a pair of impressive Grade 1 victories in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. His three year old campaign started like you’d expect–with a victory that looked more like a training session in the Timely Writer. But after a third place finish in the Wood Memorial it was revealed that Uncle Mo was suffering from an infection that eventually took him off of the Triple Crown trail. Several months later, after recovering from what was a severe liver illness Uncle Mo mounted a valiant comeback effort. He finished second in the Grade 1 Kings Bishop and won the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap but after a 10th place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic he was retired to stud.
Now his first crop of offspring are reaching maturity and Uncle Mo could be a dominant breeding stallion for years to come. He could have as many as four colts in the Kentucky Derby including race favorite Nyquist and Wood Memorial Champion Outwork. Mo Tom (18th) and Laoban (21st) could also make the field. He also has the #22 ranked horse in the qualification points standings but the connections of Uncle Lino have already ruled him out for the Derby. And while the Kentucky Oaks looks like a battle between Songbird and everyone else one of Uncle Mo’s daughters–Mo d’Amour–is currently eighth in qualification points and should be in the field.