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Uncle Mo Begins Working Toward Return
By New York Racing Association
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Uncle Mo took the first steps toward a return to the races early Friday morning at Saratoga Race Course, breezing three furlongs in a move that trainer Todd Pletcher called “perfect.”
With exercise rider Patti Krotenko aboard, Uncle Mo covered the distance in an easy 38.40, according to NYRA clockers, and galloping out a half-mile in 51.62 shortly after 6 a.m.
It was the first workout for Uncle Mo since May, when he was knocked off the Triple Crown trail and scratched from the Kentucky Derby with a liver disorder.
“It was perfect,” said Pletcher said of the move. “I told Patti to go between 37 and 39, and he went in :38 2/5 and galloped out in 51, so it was exactly what we were hoping for today.”
Both Pletcher and owner Mike Repole, who was on hand for the breeze, said they were delighted with the colt’s progress since he returned to training on July 1 at WinStar Farm, where he had been recuperating. Last year’s 2-year-old champion, Uncle Mo arrived at Saratoga on July 11 having gained back 100 pounds, and has been galloping daily since then.
“He’s a different horse. He’s the horse he was when he was a 2-year-old. He’s been here for over a week now and gained five more pounds with heavy training,” said Repole. “His blood work keeps improving every single day, which is great. It’s nice to see him out there.
“It’s kind of déjà vu,” he added. “Last time I saw him running down the stretch at Saratoga he was winning by 14 ½ lengths in his maiden, and today it looked like there was a horse 15 lengths behind him. It’s a good day. It feels like I won a big race today and it was only a three-furlong work.”
The goal for Uncle Mo is Saratoga’s Grade 1, seven-furlong Foxwoods King’s Bishop on Saturday, August 27, which would be his first start since finishing third in the Grade 1 Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack on April 9, his first loss after four straight wins.