Mike Repole’s Uncle Mo , who ran away with the Grey Goose Breeder’s Cup Juvenile (gr. I), ran away with the Eclipse Award for top 2-year-old male Jan. 17. The son of Indian Charlie garnered all but two of the 238 first-place votes.
Repole can’t help but look forward to the 2011 Triple Crown and the special things that might lie ahead for Uncle Mo. But that anticipation doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate what his star colt accomplished during his phenomenal 2-year-old championship season.
“I can’t tell you how fortunate and blessed I am to have a horse like Mo,” Repole said. “There are people that have been in this game a long time that haven’t won a grade I race, a Breeders’ Cup, or an Eclipse Award. To have accomplished that after being in the industry only six years and at 41-years-old is very special.”
By now the story of how Repole came about acquiring Uncle Mo is well-known in racing circles. Lukewarm about owning another son of Indian Charlie, the New York native was talked into paying $220,000 for Uncle Mo at the Keeneland September 2009 yearling sale by racing manger Jim Martin and advisor Jim Crupi. Had the bidding reached “even a penny more” Repole said, the colt would have wound up in somebody else’s hands.
Instead, Uncle Mo strung together three of the most dominant 2-year-old races in recent memory for Repole, the co-founder of VitaminWater.
The bay colt served noticed he might be something special in his Aug. 28 debut at Saratoga, romping to a 141⁄4-length maiden special weight victory going six furlongs.
“We knew before his first race that he was good; but we didn’t know he was that special,” Repole said.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Uncle Mo jumped right into grade I company off his maiden win, and did not disappoint. He led all the way while being pressed through quick fractions in the one-mile Champagne Stakes at Belmont, pulling away for a 43⁄4-length score in a near-stakes record time of 1:34.51.
Uncle Mo saved his most memorable performance for last in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs, annihilating nine rivals in a 41⁄4-length triumph under John Velazquez. That convincing win set him up as the early Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) favorite.
Bred by D. Michael Cavey DVM in Kentucky, Uncle Mo is out of the Arch mare Playa Maya.
First-Place vote totals:
Uncle Mo, 236; Boys At Tosconova, 1; Pluck, 1