Ramseys Pin Louisiana Hopes on Uncle Walter

Uncle Mo colt could be outfit's third consecutive LeComte Stakes (gr. III) winner.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Uncle Walter looks to become the outfit's third consecutive winner of the $200,000 Twinspires.com Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 16 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Trained by Mike Maker, who also conditioned the last two winners for the Ramseys—International Star and Vicar's in Trouble—Uncle Walter will be ridden by the former's rider, Miguel Mena.

"We think we have a Derby trail horse with Uncle Walter," Ramsey said. "We've won five of the last six preps (for the grade I Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands) there at the Fair Grounds and we hope to maintain that good luck.

"We bought him for $85,000, and he had the scope and look that we like. He caught a Tapit  last out (at Churchill Downs) that they paid $750,000 for, and lost in a photo and won first out before that at Keeneland. We like him and we think he could wind up being our third Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner in a row. It's hard to pull off a hat trick, but we're going for it."

Both International Star and Vicar's in Trouble went on to take the meet centerpiece $1 million Louisiana Derby in late March for Maker and Ramsey, with the former sweeping all three sophomore graded stakes and the latter finishing third in the second leg—the $400,000 Risen Star (gr. II) in late February.

Bred in Kentucky by Lantern Hill Farm out of the Unbridled's Song mare Look for Good, 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase has been a smart performer in his pair of efforts. As mentioned, he won on debut in Lexington going seven furlongs, closing from the back of the pack to win by a neck after a wide rally. He returned a month later to lose by a head to Pin Oak Stable's well-regarded Synchrony at 7 1/2 furlongs. Mena will be the colt's third rider, after Joel Rosario and Javier Castellano rode him in the Bluegrass State.

"We're pretty high on Uncle Mo  as a sire," Ramsey explained. "I bought Uncle Walter, but I actually wound up trading one season for Kitten's Joy  for five seasons of Uncle Mo. I sent him five mares and now we have eight Uncle Mos, total.

"Uncle Walter is named after my favorite Uncle on my father's side, who was like a father to me. I have another named Uncle Guy, my favorite uncle on my mother's side, and I'm glad because the Uncle Mos are running big, like (juvenile champion-elect) Nyquist , and he has some other very good ones."