Excellent article on the Bloodhorse can be read here.
I have been slow to say it because there is so much positive hype around Uncle Mo, but I agree with the writer in the linked Bloodhorse article that Uncle Mo has already outrun his breeding. Not only that, but I thought that he was showing some signs of fatigue at the end of his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile romp.
I’ve since gone back and watched the video again several times. To be honest, I can’t see that same indication in the replays. Watching him live, I thought I saw him drift a bit and he allowed a couple of horses to close ground on him in the stretch. But I’m less certain of that when I watch the video replay.
At the time I saw Uncle Mo run live in the Juvenile, I had not yet spent much time looking at his breeding. So even though I can’t spot the same patterns in the replay, I am certain I was not imagining things to fit a preconceived notion of his inbred distance limitations.
Maybe it was my spider sense.
Of course, just because a horse has already outrun his breeding at a mile and a sixteenth does not mean he cannot win the Derby. I would submit that Smarty Jones won two legs of the Triple Crown before his distance limitations caught up to him. Heart can only carry a horse so far.
Further, when the rest of the Derby field is eventually set, and assuming Uncle Mo will be in it, that will be the time to determine if he can go the distance and if the pace will help his chances or hurt them.
In any event I will be paying very careful attention to how he runs in his next race, which is likely to be March 12, in the Tampa Bay Derby. I hope the race draws a full, competitive field to test Uncle Mo, but I’m optimistic his inclination to go further should show up either way. One thing is fairly certain, Uncle Mo will not have very many races from which to draw our conclusions by the time the Derby rolls around. We will have to make the most of the races we get.
Until something new happens, Uncle Mo remains the one to beat.