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Breeders' Cup 2011 Entries: Uncle Mo

Horse: Uncle Mo

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Morning Line Odds: 5/2

Career Record (Str-1st-2nd-3rd): 7-5-1-1

Career Earnings: $1,606,000

Pedigree: Sired by Indian Charlie out of a Arch mare (Playa Maya)

Sire Indian Charlie won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and finished 3rd in the 1998 Kentucky Derby. He sired 2007 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Indian Blessing.

Key Stakes Wins: Grade 2 Kelso (Belmont Park), 2010 Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Churchill Downs), 2010 Grade 1 Champagne Stakes (Belmont Park)

Overview: Uncle Mo burst onto the racing scene over a year ago when he easily won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.  After spending much of the winter as the ante-post favorite for the 2011 Kentucky Derby, Uncle Mo ran into a series of problems that ultimately led to him unable to run in the Derby and taking several months off from racing. He returned to the track a couple of months ago and ran well in stakes races leading up to the Breeders' Cup.  When the post positions were drawn on Monday, Uncle Mo was tabbed as the 5/2 morning line favorite for the 2011 Breeders' Cup Classic.

The key questions surrounding Uncle Mo as he heads into the 2011 Breeders' Cup center on fitness and stamina.  Can a horse that's only had two races since April be ready to win the Breeders' Cup Classic? And does Uncle Mo have the stamina to win going the Classic distance of a mile and a quarter?

In terms of his fitness, Uncle Mo appears to be coming into the Breeders' Cup in as good a shape as he can be.  He's gained weight since last spring and he appears to be full of energy on the track during his morning gallops.  The liver disorder that sidelined him this spring appears to be a thing of the past

In terms of Uncle Mo's stamina... well, we'll find out when the gates open.  As a son of Indian Charlie, his pedigree doesn't exactly scream "10 furlongs".  And given how dominating he's been when running at distances right around a mile, there are a legitimate concern as to whether Uncle Mo fit at the Classic distance.  Not only has Uncle Mo never run at ten furlongs, but he's never won a race longer than a mile than an eighth. (His only try at nine furlongs was the disastrous Wood Memorial, where he finished 3rd at heavy, heavy odds.)

At the end of the day, we can guess and speculate as to whether Uncle Mo will be at his best when racing at the Classic distance, but nobody knows how he'll do until he actually does it.  That's a lot of uncertainty about a horse that is the morning line favorite.

Uncle Mo is trying to become the first horses to win a Breeders' Cup juvenile race and then come back to win another Breeders' Cup race in subsequent years.  Overall, winners of a juvenile race are 22-0-2-4 when running in another Breeders' Cup race in later years.