Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) favorite Uncle Mo and his Derby-nominated stablemate Stay Thirsty were part of a busy morning for trainer Todd Pletcher Feb. 27 at Palm Meadows Training Center.
Pletcher had a dozen stakes stakes runners on the work tab at Palm Meadows, including Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) winner Brethren.
Repole Stable’s undefeated Eclipse champion Uncle Mo breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 3/5 in company with Stay Thirsty as both 3-year-olds get close to their season debuts. Repole Stable's Stay Thirsty was credited with the same time, also breezing, which tied for the best of 27 working the distance.
Uncle Mo, 4 1/4-length winner of the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs in his last start, is expected to launch his march to the Kentucky Derby in the $100,000 Timely Writer overnight stakes to be run at one mile March 12 at Gulfstream Park.
A son of Indian Charlie, Uncle Mo was virtually unchallenged in his three starts last year, winning his debut by 14 1/4 lengths at Saratoga in late August and the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park by 4 3/4 lengths in early October before the Breeders’ Cup.
Stay Thirsty is a son of Bernardini who ran second in last summer's Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (gr. I).
Other notable Pletcher-trained stars on the morning tab at Palm Meadows included WinStar Farm’s 3-year-old Brethren (:49 2/5 for four furlongs), WinStar’s 4-year-old Rule (1:01 3/5 for five panels) and Candy DeBartolo’s 6-year-old mare Life At Ten (:48 2/5 for a half-mile).
Brethren is a Kentucky homebred by Distorted Humor who is also undefeated in three starts and being pointed for the Kentucky Derby. Brethren won his debut at Belmont in mid-October, a Churchill Downs allowance in late November last year and the $225,000 Sam Davis by four lengths on Feb. 12 at Tampa Bay Downs.
He is expected to return to Tampa to contest the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) on March 12.