Todd Pletcher said Sunday morning that Uncle Mo, who suffered his first
career defeat from five starts when finishing third in the Wood, came out of
the race in good order.
he seemed okay this morning,” said Pletcher of Mike Repole’s juvenile champion,
who was bright-eyed and happy to see visitors Sunday morning. “He grabbed a
quarter, about the size of a nickel, but that will heal quickly and it
shouldn’t be an issue.”
said plans for Uncle Mo to ship to Churchill Downs on April 18
see if we can get him prepared to step up,” said the trainer, adding: “It was
not a typical Uncle Mo performance, but I do not feel like the
mile and an eighth was an issue.”
what he thought of this year’s crop of 3-year-olds, Pletcher said: “I went into
yesterday thinking Uncle Mo was a standout; today it is a very
said Repole took the colt’s first loss in stride.
think he took it better than I did,” said the trainer. “Anytime you run an
undefeated champion [and he loses] your feelings are not going to change two
minutes, two hours, or two days after the race.”
Uncle Mo on the
trip to Kentucky
will be Grade 3 Gulfstream Oaks winner R Heat Lighting, who is being
pointed to the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 6.
last two races were exceptional,” said Pletcher of the 3-year-old daughter of
Trippi, who also won the Grade 2 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park
on February 26. “She’s a very hardy filly and she’s held up well.”
said R Heat Lightning, like Uncle
Mo, is scheduled to have two
works over the track at Churchill Downs in advance of the race.
has a number of candidates for the Kentucky Derby; in addition to Uncle Mo and
Grade 3 Gotham winner Stay Thirsty, the trainer will send out Brethren,
half-brother to last year’s Derby winning Super Saver, in the April 16 Arkansas
Derby and the trio of Praetereo, Queen’splatekitten and Sensational
Slam in the April 16 Blue Grass at Keeneland. However, Joe Vann, who
won Saturday’s Illinois Derby, is not nominated to the Triple Crown.
Pletcher’s worktab at Belmont
Park was multiple Grade 3
winner Rule, who breezed four furlongs in 49.08 on the training track,
the 22nd fastest of 61 workouts at the distance. The 4-year-old of
son of Roman Ruler, who finished third in the 2010 Grade 1 Florida Derby, is
expected to next run in the Grade 3, $1 million Charles Town Classic at Charles
Town Races in West Virginia on Saturday, April 16.
breezed extremely well,” Pletcher said. “He had success at Delta Downs as a
2-year-old which is encouraging in that he should like the tighter turns at
added that the Grade 1, $500,000 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park
on Monday, May 30 is definitely on Rule’s radar.
working Sunday morning at Belmont for the five-time Eclipse winner trainer was Cal
Nation, the promising 3-year-old Distorted Humor colt that broke his maiden
by 7 ¾-lengths in his debut at Gulfstream Park in February and most recently
ran second by a nose in an allowance at the same track.
worked very well this morning and seems to have shipped in [from Florida] very good
order,” said Pletcher of the colt who worked four furlongs in 48.63 on the
training track, the 12th fastest of 61 workouts at the distance.
Nation is pointing for the Grade 2, $150,000 Jerome at Aqueduct on closing
weekend, Saturday, April 23 for 3-year-olds going a mile on the main track.