Uncle Mo took the first steps toward a return to racing Friday, July 22 at Saratoga when he breezed three furlongs in a move that trainer Todd Pletcher called “perfect.”
With exercise rider Patti Krotenko aboard, Uncle Mo covered the distance in an easy :38 2/5, according to NYRA clockers, and galloped out a half-mile in :51 3/5 shortly after 6 a.m. EDT.
It was the first workout for the 2010 juvenile champion since May, when he was knocked off the Triple Crown trail and scratched from the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) with a liver disorder.
“It was perfect,” said Pletcher said of the move. “I told Patti to go between :37 and :39, and he went in :38 2/5 and galloped out in :51, so it was exactly what we were hoping for today.”
Both Pletcher and owner Mike Repole, who was on hand for the breeze, said they were delighted with the colt’s progress since he returned to training on July 1 at WinStar Farm, where he had been recuperating. The 3-year-old son of Indian Charlie arrived at Saratoga on July 11 having gained back about 100 pounds, and has been galloping daily since then.
“He’s a different horse. He’s the horse he was when he was a 2-year-old. He’s been here for over a week now and gained five more pounds with heavy training,” said Repole. “His blood work keeps improving every single day, which is great. It’s nice to see him out there.
“It’s kind of déjà vu. Last time I saw him running down the stretch at Saratoga he was winning by 14 1/2 lengths in his maiden, and today it looked like there was a horse 15 lengths behind him. It’s a good day. It feels like I won a big race today and it was only a three-furlong work.”
The goal for Uncle Mo is the seven-furlong Foxwoods King’s Bishop (gr. I) on Aug. 27, which would be his first start since finishing third in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct on April 9, his first loss after four straight wins.