Uncle Mo may not have faced an exceptional level of opposition in Saturday’s Stately Writer at Gulfstream, but he was impressive enough in victory to further solidify his claim as the top contender for the Triple Crown races. He’s now the favorite after the second day of pool #2 in the official Kentucky Derby Futures betting at Churchill Downs.
Uncle Mo ran away from a field of five, winning a 3 3/4 length victory over Rattlesnake Bridge. Uncle Mo broke a step slow out of the gate but quickly recovered and with jockey John Valazquez aboard proceeded to blow past his competitors. The Kentucky Derby favorite set slow fractional times of 25.53 seconds, 49.58 and 1:13.69 but in a race devoid of early speed Uncle Mo set the pace. He looked strong in the stretch as he galloped away from the field for the easy win.
Trainer Todd Pletcher’s post race comments were appropriate for an outing that was more of a ‘day at the office’ than a serious competitive challenge:
“He was the Derby favorite going in and he’s the Derby favorite coming out!”
Uncle Mo paid $2.10 across the board to win, place and show. Rattlesnake Bridge–easily the second best horse on the track–paid $2.20 to place and show while Gallant Bridge finished third paying $3.00.
Not only did Uncle Mo retain his status as Derby favorite among the horse racing cognoscenti and atop the Wynn Sportsbook futures board, but he’s now the favorite in the Kentucky Derby Futures betting pool at Churchill Downs. At the end of the second day of pool #2 betting Uncle Mo closed as a 4-1 favorite, with the ‘all others’ or ‘field’ right behind at 5-1.
Other horses in the Kentucky Derby Futures field as separate betting interests are Dialed In at 10-1, Jaycito–who finished second in the San Felipe at Santa Anita on Saturday– at 11-1, To Honor and Serveat 12-1, Fountain of Youth winner Soldat at 14-1 and Runflatout and Sway Away both at 16-1. Runflatout suffered a precipitous drop after closing as the day 1 favorite due to the inevitable ‘market correction’ with action on other horses and his dreadful showing in the San Felipe.
Next up for Uncle Mo is almost certainly the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 9. Trainer Todd Pletcher left open the possibility of a run in the Florida Derby but noted that horse owner Mike Repole has a strong preference for the Wood.