With jockey John Velazquez aboard, Uncle Mo worked five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 1/5 Aug. 9 at Saratoga as preparations continue for his scheduled return in the Foxwood King’s Bishop (gr. I) later this month.
Last year’s 2-year-old champion was full of energy, kicking and bucking as he was led onto the Oklahoma training track by a stable pony shortly after 7:30 a.m. EDT. Proceeding to work in company with Caixa Eletronica, Uncle Mo broke off about three lengths behind before quickly catching up and hitting the wire about a length in front of his workmate.
The move was the fastest of nine at the distance.
“He felt great,” said Velazquez, who had not been aboard Uncle Mo since prior to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). “Very good. Very, very good.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who caught the colt out six furlongs in 1:14 and up in 1:31, said he was very happy with the colt’s fitness level as he points to his first start since a third-place finish in the April 9 Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I), his first loss in five starts.
“For him to outwork a horse like Caixa Eletronica in only his second five-eighths gives me a lot of confidence in his fitness level, and that he is in form, so I am really, really pleased,” Pletcher said. “I think we’re in great shape. You’re always worried when you’re coming in and you think it’s a little tight.
"You want everything to go according to plan, and we’ve been fortunate that we’ve gotten fast tracks when we needed and everything has gone right on schedule.”
The workout was the fourth for Uncle Mo since returning to training this summer after being knocked off the Triple Crown trail and scratched from the Kentucky Derby with a liver disorder.
Pletcher said a similar move was planned for Aug. 15 en route to the seven-furlong King’s Bishop Aug. 27.
“To get to this point from where we were four months ago is just amazing,” owner Mike Repole said. “It seems like we’re getting closer to the Mo we all know and love. I actually think we’re ahead of schedule, and I think he’s going to be more than ready for the King’s Bishop. I wouldn’t trade places with anyone in that race, that’s for sure.”