Uncle Mo odds-on to remain undefeated
Uncle Mo is back in town and ready to extend his unbeaten record before heading off to the Kentucky Derby.
The leading Derby contender was made the overwhelming 1-5 favorite in a 10-horse field entered for the $1 million Wood Memorial on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Uncle Mo arrived at Belmont Park on Wednesday after a flight from Florida and was led off a van and into trainer Todd Pletcher's barn.
''Everything went smoothly,'' Pletcher said of Uncle Mo's flight, which was postponed a day due to bad weather. ''I'd rather have a three-hour flight where everything went perfectly than delays and a turbulent flight yesterday.''
Uncle's Mo's ride to the top of the 3-year-old class has been a smooth one. The colt owned by New Yorker Mike Repole won his debut by 14-1/2 lengths at Saratoga, followed by dominant wins in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont and the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. He was voted 2-year-old champion.
The son of Indian Charlie opened his 3-year-old campaign with an easy, 3-1/4-length victory over five rivals in the Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Pletcher was hoping for a big Wood field to better prepare Uncle Mo for the 20-horse cavalry charge in the Kentucky Derby. He got it.
''I think everybody knows he's the horse to beat, and the jockeys will ride the race with an eye on Uncle Mo throughout,'' Pletcher said earlier this week. ''From a sheer experience standpoint, it could be beneficial to have a bigger field.''
The 3-year-old colt drew the No. 5 post and will try to improve to 5 for 5 in the Wood, which is run at 1-1/8 miles. The race will be Uncle Mo's final prep before the Derby.
Toby's Corner, third in the Gotham after winning the Whirlaway, is the second choice at 8-1. Recent allowance race winner Arthur's Tale is 12-1, and Gotham runner-up Norman Asbjornson is 15-1.
Also entered are Starship Caesar (50-1), Full of Scoundrels (50-1) , Preachintothedevil (20-1), Duca (20-1), Isn't He Perfect (50-1) and Son of Posse (99-1).