Uncle Mo is set to make his 3-year-old debut against five others in Saturday's $100,000 Timely Writer at Gulfstream Park. Post time is set for 4:25 ET.
All eyes will be on the 2-year-old champ Uncle Mo, who makes his first start since his smashing Breeders' Cup Juvenile victory just over four months ago. The son of Indian Charlie has recorded six workouts at Palm Meadows training facility leading up to the race, but only started working with a slow three furlong breeze on January 30th. The quickest of his works was a bullet 1:00 3/5 breeze on February 27.
HorseRacingNation handicappers have made Uncle Mo a 1-5 favorite over his overmatched rivals, who include four runners with a maiden win to their credit and stakes-winning sprinter Madman Diaries, who won the G3 Sapling at Monmouth in September. The Wesley Ward trainee also set the pace in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf before fading to fourth, but was a soundly beaten seventh in his 3-year-old debut in the Hutcheson Stakes on February 26.
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The rest of the field includes Rattlesnake Bridge, a son of Tapit who earned a 79 Beyer figure as a debut winner for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin on February 12; Rocking Out, a highly regarded three-year-old from the Rick Dutrow Barn who won his debut by 4 1/4 at Aqueduct in November, but ran a disappointing third as the even-money choice in a Feb. 13 Gulfstream allowance; Gallant Dreams who hasn't run since breaking his maiden at Belmont in October; and Schoolyard Cat, who is hopelessly overmatched, entering after back-to-back seventh place finishes over the turf.
Everyone will be watching Uncle Mo for observations with hopes to answer the many questions surrounding the superstar. Has he improved over the winter? Will he be as good at three, or better? Can he win the Kentucky Derby? Clouding these questions will be his fitness and how ready he really is for this race. Still, many observers will be drawing conclusions from how easily he wins. But those conclusions will be tough to make. While this is an undistinguished group, a couple of the recent maiden winners have the potential to jump up and run a good race. If they do not, Uncle Mo could win by double-digits, but if one of these jump up, perhaps the race will be close - maybe as they turn for home.
Uncle Mo is also cross-entered in the Tampa Bay Derby, but is expected to scratch from that spot.