The last time consignor Gayle Woods had a 2-year-old as fast as an Uncle Mo colt who sold for $370,000 during the opening session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales June 2-year-olds in training sale June 13, it was the eventual grade 1 winner Celestine.
The Uncle Mo colt, consigned as Hip 41, was purchased early during Wednesday's session by Marette Farrell, acting on behalf of Ryan Exline and Justin Border's Exline-Border Racing.
With a pre-sale breeze of three-eighths of a mile in :32 2/5, the colt's under tack time was one of the two fastest recorded in OBS juvenile sale history. The other record holder was Celestine when she had been entered in the June 2014 sale. Celestine was bought back on a final bid of $975,000 and went on to win the Longines Just a Game Stakes (G1T). She earned nearly $1.2 million.
"He's got so much talent," said Woods, who owned the colt in partnership with his Kentucky breeder, Paget Bloodstock. "I think he is worth more than that, but we're happy with it. He is close to 17 hands tall, and for the size he is, it's amazing he's that fast. I have always loved this horse. I've called him 'my gentle giant' all year long."
Although horses such as the Uncle Mo colt and Celestine lit up the under tack show timers, Woods said she doesn't push them to achieve those results but instead works with her young athletes to have a solid foundation under them by the time they go to auction.
"I put a good base on them," the horsewoman said. "I school them a lot in the gate. I maintain either they can run or they can't."
The Uncle Mo colt—named Mo Mississippi—was produced from the Artie Schiller mare Mississippi Queen, a half sister to Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (G1) winner Asi Siempre, the dam of multiple grade/group 1-placed Outstrip. Mississippi Queen was purchased in the name of Blandford Stud for $360,000 while carrying the Uncle Mo colt in utero when she was offered by James Keogh, agent, at the 2015 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
"We went a little beyond where we hoped," Farrell said, adding she and her clients thought the colt would have gone for less, considering he had a conformational question mark in one knee "that we hoped might have put more people off."
Farrell said she was most impressed, not only with the quickness of the colt's workout, but with how he went about it.
"We loved the way he moved," she said. "He had a huge reach, and he was extremely efficient, which was amazing for a horse his size. He walked home as if he'd done nothing. Obviously, his oxygen capacity is amazing."
Farrell said the colt will be sent to Peter Eurton in Southern California.