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Breeders' Cup 2017

Uncle Mo Emphatically Shows the Way in Kelso

To the cheers of his many fans in Belmont Park’s grandstand, heavily favored Uncle Mo returned to the winner’s circle on Saturday afternoon with a rousing three-length victory over Jackson Bend in the Grade 2, $200,000 Kelso Handicap.


Grabbing the lead right out of the gate under jockey John Velazquez, the 3-year-old Indian Charlie colt went through a comfortable opening quarter-mile in 23.47 seconds, then sped things up as the half went in 46.03. Still in front on the turn but faced with a serious challenge from Jackson Bend, who tried to draw alongside approaching the quarter-pole, Uncle Mo dug in when asked and pulled clear through the lane to hit the wire in 1:33.82.


“When Jackson Bend came alongside him, I’m sure if we stopped the race right there and asked all you guys who was going to win the race, I don’t think too many would have said Uncle Mo,” said winning owner Mike Repole. “Johnny just looked, Mo found another gear, and Mo took off. That’s what makes him so special. He can go six furlongs, he can go 1 ½ miles. He’s not only brilliant and not only fast, he’s got the mind to go with it. Getting Mo back in the winner’s circle is so special.”


The victory was the first for the 2010 juvenile champion since he took the Timely Writer at Gulfstream Park in March, after which he suffered his first loss when third in the Grade 1 Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack. Knocked out of the Triple Crown with a liver disorder, Uncle Mo returned to the races more than four months later and finished second by a nose in the Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s Bishop at Saratoga Race Course on August 27.


“He had trained so brilliantly since the King’s Bishop,” said Uncle Mo’s trainer, Todd Pletcher. “It was a sensational effort. I’m happy for the horse that he was able to get back to where he was last year. That was Uncle Mo at his best again. I think there’s more to come, I really do.”


Sent off as the 3-5 favorite in his first effort against older horses, Uncle Mo returned $3.20 for a $2 win bet. With a record of 5-1-1 from seven starts, the bay colt has now earned $1,606,000.


Jackson Bend, the second choice coming off his victory in the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga, was eight lengths clear of 2010 Grade 1 Cigar Mile winner Jersey Town, with Golddigger’s Boy completing the order of finish. Sangaree was scratched.


Although the Kelso was a “Win and You’re In” race, with a guaranteed berth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs in November, Repole indicated he would rather run Uncle Mo in the 1 ¼-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic. Last year, Uncle Mo won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs to clinch the divisional title.


“I love the Classic,” said Repole. “In my opinion, if you run Uncle Mo in the Sprint, he’s the favorite. If you run Uncle Mo in the Dirt Mile, he’s the favorite. If you run him in the Classic, he’s probably going to be the favorite. I want to win the Classic. If Mo was in the Mile and won, and Stay Thirsty was in the Classic and finished third, it would be a decision I would regret for the rest of my life. Why not take two shots at a race everybody wants to win?”


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Older Comments about Uncle Mo Emphatically Shows the Way in Kelso...

Uncle Mo top effort's will come up short at a 1 1/4 distances he is not a 10furlongs....
Uncle Mo earned a preliminary Beyer of 118, not to bad considering it was done in a swamp. He also controlled the pace and when challenged by JB down the stretch shifted gears when needed but didn't achieve his beast mode, if he would have had to turn it on he would have won by 10 lengths or better.
I agree NY Vinnie. Mo was slowing down for the final three quarters. I have real doubts he can go the extra two furlongs. Most people posting are just looking at the fact that Mo won NOT how he won.
Uncle Mo ran his six furlongs in 1:09.4 and Giant Ryan ran his six furlongs in 1:09.1. The final three quarters for Uncle Mo were 22.56, 23.31, and 24.48 or basically slowing down 4 lengths and 6 six lengths. In total, Uncle Mo slowed 10 lengths in the second half of the race. Is that what you want from a horse that is expected to go another two furlongs?
Uncle Mo had to repulse Jackson Bend, Havre de Grace was on cruise control. The speed ratings are off!
Uncle Mo went 1:33.8!!!! on the same track Havre de Grace went 1:49.1. Thus a high BSF.
Speaking of Jackson Bend, he quietly ran a big race against Uncle Mo on a speed favoring wet surface he was not bred for. It was a perfect prep for the BC Dirt Mile and I'm sure he'll get more pace help in that one.
118 beyer ???? are you kidding me...That Andy Beyer is a joke
Jackson Bend is a heck of a one turn horse. To detract from him shows just how desperate the people who doubt him are getting.
Track was fast and Moe loose on the lead with no pressure did his thing and finished up really well. Good race riding from jock to stop the the run of Jackson Bend who was also was off a step slow. Different story if they go to the classic with the added distance and a full field of more talented horse's.s
cant say that i think he is back untill he has some actual competition on the same level he is.. he needs to run against who he should have raced against in the triple crown journey.... great race though!
Beyer gave him a 118. Wow...
Awesome performance...he's definitely back.
Congrats Scoggy. I'm from Minnesota and I took the first trip of my life to Aqueduct in April to watch Mo in the Wood. That horse was my life through the spring. Needless to say it was hard watching him lose his first career race. I still loved seeing him and the fact that dominant Mo is back after all he went through is a testament to the will of this horse. He may not end up being amongst the greatest horses of all time but he definitely has a chance to be one of the most courageous.
It must have gotten LOUD there when he won.
Great day of racing and Uncle Mo was the star! He's Baaaack!
Uncle Mo was electrifying today. He's Baaack! So, glad I was there to see it.
He had the Kelso won just a few jumps out of the gate. You could just tell.

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