Uncle Mo makes 3-year-old debut at Gulfstream


Associated Press

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.

Leading Kentucky Derby contender Uncle Mo has been a model of comportment these past few months while waiting for his next race.

The colt willingly works out, knows when it’s time for feed and rarely raises a fuss.

“He’s like a big puppy dog in the stall,” owner Mike Repole says.

And on the race track?

“He’s a monster,” Repole says.

As a 2-year-old, Uncle Mo won all three of his races by a combined 231/4 lengths. His much-anticipated 3-year-old debut comes today in the $100,000 Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The start will be the first for Uncle Mo since he won the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs by 41/4 lengths winner on Nov. 6.

“You’ve got to feel real good about Uncle Mo right now,” Repole says. “Which I do.”

Repole, a 42-year-old billionaire who hung out at Aqueduct as a kid, has never owned a horse like Uncle Mo.

“I’ve been dreaming about this moment for 30 years,” Repole says. “It’s 10 times more exciting than I could have ever imagined, and believe me, I imagined it to be real exciting. I just didn’t know that it came with 20 times the anxiety.”

Not that Repole doubts Uncle Mo’s chances today. The colt is expected to be at least a 1-5 favorite in the 1-mile race against five other 3-year-olds.

The stakes was written especially to attract Uncle Mo to Gulfstream for his 3-year-old debut. An 11-race program also includes the Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap for older horses at one mile, featuring a rematch between Soaring Empire and Tackleberry, and the Grade 3, $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes for 3-year-olds at 11/8 miles on turf.

Regular jockey John Velazquez will be back aboard Uncle Mo.

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