Both broke their maidens by double-digit lengths. Both came right back with impressive grade I wins. Both are based in New York for powerful trainers who have said their respective horses are as talented as any 2-year-old they have ever had.
Boys At Tosconova vs. Uncle Mo. Breeders' Cup Juvenile: Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs, 3:55 p.m. EDT, 1 1/16 miles on dirt. Let's get ready...to rumble!
In this corner we have Boys At Tosconova from the barn of Rick Dutrow Jr., owned by a group headed by Jay Em Ess Stable. The dark bay colt was a modest $35,000 Keeneland yearling sale purchase. The son of Officer out of the Coronado's Quest mare Little Bonnet scored by 12 lengths in a five-furlong maiden special weight on July 2 at Belmont. He followed up that effort with a 1 3/4-length victory over a solid field in the Sept. 6 Hopeful in which he proved he could rate behind the leaders. He is ridden by Ramon Dominguez.
In the other corner we have Uncle Mo from the barn of Todd Pletcher, owned by Mike Repole. The bay colt was bought for $220,000 at the same Keeneland yearling sale. The son of Indian Charlie out of the Arch mare Playa May romped by 14 1/4 lengths in his debut going six furlongs Aug. 28 at Saratoga. He followed that up with a dazzling 4 3/4-length score in the Oct. 9 Champagne, albeit against a weaker group of juveniles but still impressive given the way he fought off a rival during a quick pace and kicked on in the stretch. His time of 1:34.51 for one mile at Belmont nearly broke the stakes record. He is ridden by John Velazquez.
You have only have two weeks left to make up your mind which of these heavyweights you will back. Will it be Boys, who has maybe been a little more tested but enters off a longer layoff? Or will it be Mo, the undeniable speedball who could not have looked more impressive in his two starts but has not exactly faced world beaters?
At this point, many of the morning lines seem to slightly favor Uncle Mo, but not by much. It will be interesting to see who the big money backs on Nov. 6. I, for one, have not made up my mind yet and will reserve judgment until I see them next week.
Oh by the way, the Juvenile is not a two-horse race. Pletcher and Repole will also send out the talented and well-bred Stay Thirsty, who was runner-up to Boys in the Hopeful. There are also two good-looking California shippers, Norfolk winner Jaycito and Del Mar Futurity winner J P's Gusto. And don't forget about undefeated Breeders' Futurity winner J. B.'s Thunder.
Who do you fancy?