Last year's juvenile champion Uncle Mo will stand at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., upon his retirement from racing, owner Mike Repole said Oct. 6.
Repole sold an undisclosed interest in Uncle Mo to Ashford, but retained 100% of his racing rights.
Uncle Mo won the Kelso Handicap (gr. II) Oct. 1 at Belmont Park and is being pointed toward the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. Repole made it clear that the 3-year-old son of Indian Charlie could return to racing in 2012. Along with Ashford--the North American-based operation of Coolmore Stud in Ireland--and trainer Todd Pletcher, Repole will make the decision on Uncle Mo’s racing future based on his health and training.
“Obviously, people have been interested in Mo’s breeding rights since he broke his maiden by 14 1/2-lengths. I think I have more friends in Lexington, Kentucky, now than I do in Queens, New York,” Repole joked. “But knowing that Coolmore historically, prestigiously, and globally is an industry leader, it’s a great place for Uncle Mo to spend the rest of his life.
“To have a partnership like this you have to do it with someone you trust. The common denominator between us is Todd Pletcher. Mike Repole has been doing business with Todd Pletcher for three years, but Coolmore has done business with Todd Pletcher for over 10 years. Like me, they have the utmost confidence in him.
“They are great partners. We’ve had great conversations so far. Right now, they are as excited about Uncle Mo going to the Breeders’ Cup Classic as we are.”
Ashford general manager Dermot Ryan said in a statement: “Todd Pletcher said he’s never had a horse as good as Uncle Mo, so that’s good enough for me. He’s also a magnificent-looking horse by a very good sire, so we’re really looking forward to having him when the time comes for him to retire.”
It’s been a whirlwind year for Uncle Mo, who was undefeated in three starts last year including the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), which locked up his Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male. But after finishing third in the April 9 Wood Memorial (gr. I) for his first career defeat, Uncle Mo was diagnosed with a liver disorder called cholangiohepatitis. He was later scratched out of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and given two months to recover at WinStar Farm.
The bay colt returned to run a gallant second when missing by a nose to Caleb's Posse
in the Foxwoods King’s Bishop (gr. I) Aug. 27 at Saratoga before delivering a sensational performance in the Kelso that made him one of the favorites for the BC Classic.
Repole is looking no further than the Breeders’ Cup, but said he is open to racing him again in 2012.
“As long as Mo continues to be Mo, he will continue to race. Every horse is race-to-race and day-to-day, but with Uncle Mo…you watch him a little closer,” said Repole, who reached a deal with Ashford over the summer before they knew if Uncle Mo would return to racing.
“He could be a stallion on Nov. 6—the day after the Breeders’ Cup—or tomorrow if he doesn’t make the Breeders’ Cup, or next year. Todd and I will make the decision, and get Coolmore’s blessing.”
Coolmore, through the Denali Stud consignment, bought Uncle Mo’s dam, Playa Maya, for $1.65 million at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall 2010 mixed sale.
From seven starts, Uncle Mo is 5-1-1 with earnings of $1,606,000.