It isn’t often that the most anticipated race of the year is a $100,000
non-graded stakes being run for the first time. The race, of course, was
the Timely Writer, a one-mile event Saturday at Gulfstream Park that
was selected as — if not created for — the 3-year-old debut of 2010
Juvenile Champion Uncle Mo.
The undefeated son of Indian Charlie
had little trouble dispatching a field that included four maiden winners
and just one horse with stakes experience. Neither the final time nor
the margin of victory really mattered. The important thing was to get a
race into the Kentucky Derby favorite, and to see that he galloped out
strongly afterward — which reportedly he did. Next stop: the Wood
Memorial April 9 at Aqueduct.
Not long after Uncle Mo returned to
the barn in Florida, Premier Pegasus delivered on his considerable
promise with a rousing 7 ¾-length victory in the Grade 2 San Felipe at
Santa Anita. The win shot the once-beaten colt to the top of the West
Coast 3-year-old division.
The racing highlight of the weekend
for this writer, however, was Tackleberry’s neck win in the Gulfstream
Park Handicap. Facing a solid field of mostly Grade 1-experienced
runners (including fellow late developers Tizway and Soaring Empire),
the 4-year-old gelding scored a gutsy, front-running victory in winning
for the seventh time in his past eight starts. Tizway, Soaring Empire
and Duke of Mischief all closed with a rush in a four-horse blanket
finish but were unable to get to the winner.