Uncle Mo On Track For BC Classic
Uncle Mo appears on the fast track to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
In his first workout since a dynamic victory in the Grade 2 Kelso Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 1, Uncle Mo heated up a cool autumn Sunday morning with a five-furlong workout in 58.42 seconds over the Belmont Park training track. Jockey John Velazquez was aboard for the move, which came at 7:45 a.m., over a freshly watered and harrowed track.
Daily Racing Form timed Uncle Mo in fractions of 12.36 seconds for the opening eighth, 24.25 for the quarter, 35.46 for three furlongs and had his last quarter in a strong 22.96 seconds. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.80 and seven eighths in 1:24.76. He pulled up a mile in 1:41.60.
“We didn’t set out to go quite that fast, it’s just an indication of how well he’s doing at the moment,’’ trainer Todd Pletcher said. “It’s not like he was being asked to do it. We’re trying to get a horse fit to go a mile and a quarter with a seven-eighths and a mile race under his belt. We got to make sure we do enough. I think we made a big step in that direction today.’’
Uncle Mo was accompanied onto the track by a stable pony and backed up from the quarter pole to the wire. After standing at the wire for a few minutes, Uncle Mo, still accompanied by the pony, started off the right way, or counterclockwise.
When he left the pony around the seven-furlong marker, Uncle Mo displayed high energy galloping to the five-eighths pole, something he maintained through the work.
“I can’t get him to relax the way I want to,’’ Velazquez said. “I’m holding him so much going to the five-eighths pole, then I held him to the half-mile pole and at the three-eighths pole I just gave him his head and let him do it instead of fighting him. I’m probably going to have to do that next time, just hold him all the way to the eighth pole and let him go at the eighth pole to slow him down a little bit.’’
Asked if he was concerned about Uncle Mo being too aggressive, Pletcher said. “It was a fast work, but it wasn’t a backward fast work. The last quarter was the fastest quarter so I didn’t have a problem with that part of it. I would have a problem if he went off in 33 and finished slowly. If you’re going to go too fast, I’d rather do it the proper way.’’
Shortly after Uncle Mo worked, Travers winner Stay Thirsty worked four furlongs in 48.80 seconds in company with stablemate Caixa Eletronica. The pair went their first quarter in 24.47 seconds and the second in 24.33 seconds. They galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.38 and six furlongs in 1:14.01.
“That was a standard work for him,’’ Pletcher said. “Moving well, seems happy.’’
Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty, both being pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, are scheduled to work at Belmont again next Sunday before shipping to Churchill Downs on Oct. 24.
Caixa Eletronica, who won the Westchester earlier this year and finished third in the Vosburgh, is being pointed to the Grade 3, $100,000 Bold Ruler at Belmont on Oct. 29.
Finale, Pletcher’s hope in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, went four furlongs in 49.40 seconds over the training track following the second renovation break.
by David Grening
On the New York worktab
Grade 2 Lake Placid heroine Hungry Island (More Than Ready), a close fourth in the Grade 1 Garden City last out, breezed three-eighths in :37 over Belmont Park's fast main dirt on Sunday.
Grade 3 scorer Rodman (Malibu Moon), fourth in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup most recently, toured three panels in :37 4/5.
Grade 1 runner-up Arthur's Tale (Bernardini), fourth in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby, logged four furlongs in :50 3/5.
Grade 1-placed dual stakes winner Belle of the Hall (Graeme Hall), fourth in the Lady Tak Stakes in late August, turned a half-mile in :48.
Union Avenue Stakes victress Lovely Lil (Tiznow), third in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap, covered four furlongs in :48 on the fast dirt training track.
Grade 2-placed Kid Kate (Lemon Drop Kid), winner of the Lady Tak and Rachel Alexandra Stakes in August, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 1/5.
Grade 3-placed multiple stakes star Spa City Princess (Roaring Fever), second in the John Hettinger Stakes, sped a half-mile in :47 3/5.
Nicole H (Mr. Greeley), unraced since taking the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap in mid-April, motored five panels in 1:01.
Dual Chilean champion Casablanca Smile (Ocean Terrace), last seen running second in the January 2 Grade 3 La Prevoyante Handicap, traveled five furlongs on Belmont's good inner turf in 1:03.
Grade 2 New York Stakes queen Giants Play (Giant's Causeway), unplaced in her last two against graded rivals, logged four grassy furlongs in :49 3/5.
Grade 2 hero Big Blue Kitten (Kitten's Joy), who is 5-0-1 from six career starts, breezed four furlongs in :49 4/5 on Saratoga's muddy Oklahoma training track.
Grade 1-placed stakes vixen All Due Respect (Value Plus), unraced since a third-placing in the May 6 Grade 2 La Troienne Stakes, covered five-eighths in 1:02 2/5 on Aqueduct's fast dirt.
Grade 1-placed stakes winner Gitchee Goomie (City Zip), fifth in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational last out, traveled a half-mile in :50.
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