Judge Lainer Racing's Conquest Mo Money, runner up to champion Classic Empire in the Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15, will bypass the May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) and train up to the Preakness Stakes (G1) May 20, owner Tom McKenna announced April 18.
"The decision I've made on (Conquest) Mo Money—what I thought about more than anything else is how many people I am going to disappoint if I don't run in the Derby, and everyone in the industry dreams about the day that you can get to the Derby," McKenna said at the Sunland Park press conference.
"I made the choice on what I think is best for the horse... I really believe the best choice for Conquest Mo Money is the Preakness."
However, since the Uncle Mo colt is not Triple Crown nominated, a supplemental fee of $150,000 will have to be paid for the colt to make a start in the classic at Pimlico Race Course, slightly less than the $200,000 supplement that the owners would have paid for the Derby.
"The reason I wore this hat up here was to pass the hat for donations," McKenna joked of his cowboy hat.
Bred in New York by Twin Creeks Farm, Conquest Mo Money was purchased for $8,500 by Judge Lanier Racing at the 2016 Keeneland November sale out of the Lane's End consignment for the complete dispersal of Conquest Stables.
Since then, the colt has three wins and two seconds in five total starts, with earnings of $508,900. Before the Arkansas Derby, he was runner up to Hence in the Sunland Derby (G3) after winning back-to-back stakes at Sunland Park, including the Riley Allison Stakes where he was an 11-length winner.