Saturday, April 9, 2011

Uncle Mo's Loss a Tough One for Racing

I admit it, despite watching racing do some completely bizarre things to not help itself, I love this crazy sport.

Last year, Zenyatta was a joy to watch and I cheered for her each and every time, because she was good for racing. Rachel was similar and regardless how she looked early, where most of us were sure she was a shadow of herself, we hoped we were wrong. I find I am having the same feelings with Uncle Mo.

The Derby is my day to bet. The pools are very large and it is where on an annual basis I try and make a life changing score. Uncle Mo was causing me some trouble, because I think he's an amazing talent, and not only feared betting against him, I did not want to.

I have had several sharp handicappers, a couple who do this for a living, tell me since last year that they thought Mo has soundness issues. One who can play legally on betfair has been laying him beyond belief. Although I take everything in, I have constantly resisted that thought and looked for every opportunity to argue with them. Because I respect them as players I watched the Timely Writer no less than ten times looking for soreness and I could not find any (other than the somewhat odd way he carries his head). But maybe I just did not want to see it.  Regardless, as today seemed to prove - where he raced erratically and was all done at 7f with zero ability to separate - it appears it was game, set and match for their astute opinion.

What this does is open up the Derby for me as a serious horseplayer. I again can go searching for the elusive bomb in the one, two or three slots, looking for that blanket super that pays $200k or more. Hoping, wishing for that Derby score as a yearly rite of passage.

I should be happy, but I'm not. I wanted to see that colt roar, for the good of racing; the good of our sport because he is such an amazing talent with a mind-boggling cruising speed. Unfortunately because horses are tendons and flesh and blood, and not manifolds and pistons and fuel lines, it's simply the way it goes sometimes. Regardless, kudos to the cappers who saw what they saw. This game is very difficult and to have that talent and will to stick with your minds-eye convictions on a way a horse moves, it's why you are doing this for a living and I am working for one.


Anonymous said...

It's good to see you finally come around pocket- there's hope for you yet. Seriously if he was sound he would have made Big Brown look like a claimer because he's got freakish talent.


Anonymous said...

I toss horses who run-in and dont have 75+ days between starts, with two good works. What is TP going to do in <30 days? It'd be a miracle.

Andrew said...

Most of the turf writers are talking dist limitations, lack of fitness & thrown shoes. It's enlightening.

Pull the Pocket said...


I have no idea how he gets him ready, or if we see a retirement. If what we saw today is any indication, I am not sure we want to see the vet bill.

Our game is a sad state of affairs if he is shelved a bit, or he's gone.

Big Brown: Foot problems where he can not realize potential. Lame.


Eskenedreya (chalk for Derby): Lame

IWR (chalk for Derby): Lame

Super Saver: Problems more than likely too numerous to mention

The beat goes on.

PS: I was happy to see Cho take time with Premier Pegasus. A hairline like that should be fine, as we've had horses with them and a little stall rest can have them come back as good as they were. He's a nice colt and it would be great to see him late in the year.

Pull the Pocket said...

Interesting take from the Larry B school of training 2yos regarding Mo and his potential infirmities.

Tinky said...

"Interesting take from the Larry..."

Interesting? Perhaps. But also wrong in this case. Here is my reply which I posted on his blog:

Sorry, but both your doubt and fanciful analysis are misguided. Uncle Mo had a problem after the Breeders' Cup, which is why he was sent to Ocala, rather than directly down to Palm Meadows. This also accounts for why he started his training later than would be ideal, and why his training pattern may seem suspicious. Pletcher has been attempting to hold damaged goods together, so any analysis of his training of the colt can only be meaningful in that context.

By the way, Eskendereya had also sustained an injury well in advance of the Wood, so in both cases, the dishonesty of connections, coupled with the lack of sophistication and gutlessness of the racing "press", paved the way for broad misunderstanding.

Anonymous said...

Take note. Pleatchers comments right after the race re.bloodhorse ("It goes without saying that if he win by 10 today he goes in there (the derby) with QUITE A BIT DIFFERENT MORNING LINE THAN HE IS NOW). How about giving the horse a day to cool out and then start thinking derby. I don't trust this effort. How can people say he had soundness issues? In what way??? He will BE THERE(WITH THE VET) on derby day and AT A PRICE.

The Cowboy Squirrel said...

My first time to the Big A for is a Mess with construction, but still packed (12k+) on this day.
Big crowd of Mo-ites clad in blue & orange cheering in the dining was grand.
Whatever the issues with this horse, Repole is refreshing & positive. He walked by us with a 100+ entourage on the way to the paddock...talikng to people and shaking hands with fans...priceless!

Pull the Pocket said...


Thanks for that.

I think that's why I am pretty annoyed at the turn of events. Repole has been putting his time and cash back into trying to grow the sport. I feel bad for him and his crew today. It'd be so nice if this was something explicable and easily fixed and he can get back to his old talented self soon. If not in Kentucky, later for the Travers, BC etc.

I hate to see nice, honest horses with decent people owning them not get to live the dream.


Anonymous said...

This will sound like redboarding but I did NOT even bet the race.

Uncle Mo showed up for his first race at GP this year at GP lacking the ass end muscle mass he had last year. Rumors were rampant that he had a chip removed from his ankle after the BC and indeed he appeared in the paddock for the Timely Writer with his ankle shaved as would be done if were being injected there. None of this was reported and as I said I didn't bet but I don't think the Wood 'upset' was all that shocking to his connections.

Anonymous said...

You should definitely listen to the sharp handicappers you mentioned. Someone needs to ask Pletcher why he only gave Uncle Mo 6 weeks off after removing a small chip from his knee following the Breeders Cup. Beside the fact that a horse needs more time than that, the betting public has a right to know this information.

Anonymous said...

Massive I-told-you-so redboarding from this crew. You think a clockers' fanciful, dreamed-up surgery based on a shaved ankle is evidence that Uncle Mo is unsound?
Repole couldn't keep a secret with this horse.
All that happened Saturday was a talented but young champion 3-year-old was unable to win a Grade 1 at the longest distance of his life. Derby winners lose their final prep year after year.

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