Dear Mike Repole,
My, oh my, what a day you had Saturday. Was it quite what you wanted? No, it was a nose short, but none the less impressive. You can now say to the world that you have the two best three year olds in the nation. However, it must be noted that if you retire Uncle Mo, you can no longer say that. If you retire Uncle Mo, the sportsman image you have now will be ripped away and you will look like a hypocrite and spoiled child.
Forgive my bluntness, but I am not known for beating around the bush. Sir, I know that you were disappointed that Uncle Mo’s nose did not fall on the winning side of that photo. I know that maybe the possibility of the liver disease he just recovered from may resurface has you worried. Do those two reasons, however, mandate you saying that there is a strong possibility of his retirement? I do not think so.
Uncle Mo was coming off a potentially life threatening disease that saw him sidelined for four and a half months. He was making his return against some of the fastest, most brilliant sprinters of his class at the tricky distance of seven furlongs. He had all the cards stacked against him, no average grade one horse would have been able to place let alone win. Uncle Mo shocked many realists and silenced many doubters, running what was, in my opinion his best race yet.
First, as I said, no ordinary horse could have performed the way Uncle Mo did. After all he had to overcome, he gave Caleb’s Posse, now the head of the three year old sprinters, all he could handle. His six furlong split was 1.09.21, the exact same time he ran in his debut, last year. He and Caleb’s Posse ran the fastest 7f on the card. He came home his final eight of a mile in 12.38, an unbelievable time when trying to close over Saratoga’s main track. Lastly, he showed another dimension, his ability to rate. Many of his doubters cried that he would not be able to duplicate his top efforts when rated and he slashed that belief yesterday. To think, he did all of this without his right hind shoe.
If you are worried the disease may flare up again then why not wait a week and see how his energy level is. Listen to your trainer, Todd Pletcher, listen to Johnny V, who said Uncle Mo had more left in the tank. If he bounces back well, then I think the best road for you to take is to keep him at sprints for the remainder of 2011. Go to Belmont and run in the Vosburgh, over six furlongs; had the Kings Bishop been that long Uncle Mo would have been a three length winner. Should he dominate there, point him towards the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. You cannot deny that a race that contains him, The Factor, Smiling Tiger, and Big Drama, would not be an exciting race. After finish the year there, if you remain true to your word to bring Uncle Mo back at four, then you would have a whole year to prove that he can dominate at longer distances.
Mr. Repole, you have been a great positive influence on this industry since you surfaced. In Uncle Mo you have a great horse with the ability of capturing thousands of fans. To retire him off of such a big comeback would be a giant hit to thoroughbred racing. We need a star and we need somebody who won’t back down from a fight. Right now, that is you and Uncle Mo. Please, don’t back down now.