is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Look At Derby Hopeful Uncle Mo

Derby. May. ahhh...

Yes, it is only February, but with the unrelenting snow and cold temperatures plaguing the Bluegrass, I'm happy as heck to start thinking about the first Saturday in May.

As most of you know, I am no expert, but I was at one time a foreign research writer for The Thoroughbred Record, and so it is that do follow Thoroughbred racing and like to figure out what is good about a horse in the most superficial and obvious ways and then explain in simple terms why you might favor that horse for the Derby or any of the other Triple Crown races.  

After all, I began my blog here in KimmyVille two years ago by covering Thoroughbreds who might be contenders for the Derby, so it occurs to me that it is that time again -- time to start thinking of juleps and wondering where we can score some mint for the occasion. Also on my mind is what am I going to wear to Churchill and even more importantly, to Keeneland for the spring meet that leads up to the Derby?  Decisions...heh.

Back to horses, though -- first up is the Champion 2-year-old UNCLE MO.  A lot of you readers already know this, but for those who don't, I put UNCLE MO in all capital letters because he is a graded stakes winner.  Otherwise, he would simply be Uncle Mo.  In Thoroughbred racing, any horse that wins a stakes race is to referred to in bold type, and a graded stakes winner is always in ALL CAPS and bold typeface like this.  So UNCLE MO is bold, and upper case.  Most horses that will be entered in the Kentucky Derby (which is a Grade I race, the best of the "graded" races, and a stakes race, of course, since they are running for the big bucks).  I know. I know, I'm over simplifying it, but really, if you want expert advice, go to the Blood-Horse or The Thoroughbred Times and see what they have to say, those guys are the true wonks about horse racing, not me. I'm just here to look at these runners and let you know who's up and coming and why I think they are good bets.

Enough said about all that, so let's move on to yes, the first Saturday in May, the Kentucky Derby, a/k/a The Run for the will see those three phrases often in the coming 12 weeks leading up to the Derby, so I'll beg your forgiveness now for the repetition.

Back to UNCLE MO.  His papa is INDIAN CHARLIE, who came in third to REAL QUIET in the Derby in 1998.  His mama is Playa Maya, whose race record simply says that she was a stakes-placed mare, so bless her heart, the best I can say about her at this point is that her great-grandpa (on her dam's side) was the one and only sire of sires NORTHERN DANCER.  

Jockey John Velazquez rode UNCLE MO
to victory in the Breeders Cup Juvenile
last November at Churchill Downs
The worst criticism so far about UNCLE MO is that he is "too fast" to win the Kentucky Derby.  What. Ev.  As winner of the Breeders Cup Juvenile, however, he has proven himself capable of winning a graded stakes race, he is trained by Todd Pletcher, and the expectations are high for his chance to win the Derby.  

I will follow UNCLE MO throughout the Spring to see what he does to garner further respect, and will update accordingly, but am grateful to Photos by Z for the gorgeous photos of him winning his Breeders Cup race last November at Churchill Downs.  Stay tuned for more Derby dawdling, it will be here before you know it!

see you at the track,

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