Mo, The Factor on Dirt Mile Collision Course?

The Uncle Mo--The Factor showdown never did materialize in the King's Bishop (gr. I) as many had hoped, but by the time the weekend was over there were very few disappointed by what they saw from the pair of dazzling 3-year-olds--both coming off lengthy layoffs.

Uncle Mo was terrific in defeat when missing by a nose to Caleb's Posse in the King's Bishop on Saturday at Saratoga. The Factor was even better when beating older horses in the Pat O'Brien (gr. I) the following day at Del Mar in a freakish performance. For a pair of supremely talented horses who were both Kentucky Derby favorites at one point or another earlier this season, it was good for the sport to see both of them return with such special efforts.

As far as Uncle Mo is concerned, I see no way that he does not make his next start in the one-mile Kelso Handicap (gr. II) Oct. 1 at Belmont, with the main goal now being the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. (This, of course, is assuming that his blood work checks out OK and he stays in training.) Repole and Pletcher are both still leaving the door open for a possible start in the Sept. 24 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) and then the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), but when stablemate Stay Thirsty won the Travers and became the leader in the 3-year-old division, you would have to think that the plans changed.

As brilliant as Uncle Mo is, he is probably not best suited for 1 1/4 miles, especially given what he has overcome the past few months. Stretching him out to 1 1/8 miles in the Pa. Derby after the kind of effort he just gave and then pushing him to go further in the Classic six weeks later is asking a lot. What makes more sense is keeping Mo at one turn, where he is more comfortable, and at the same time taking on older horses for the first time. They can then point him for the Dirt Mile instead of having him race against Stay Thirsty in the Classic. It makes sense to keep them separated at this point, especially considering a BC Classic win for Stay Thirsty makes him the likely Horse of the Year. Do they really want these two facing off against each other with so much on the line? I don't think so.

Though no decision has been made, there is also probably a good chance that Mo will not race beyond this year, and if that is the case it is probably wise to try to win a couple of races at one mile, which would make him more attractive as a stallion.

Finally, the Kelso is in New York. The Pa. Derby is in Philly. Where do you think Repole wants to see Mo run? All things point in one direction.

If they do point for the Dirt Mile, maybe Mo will finally meet up with The Factor (and possibly Shackleford) in a race the whole sport would love to see. There is no other way to describe The Factor's comeback in the Pat O'Brien except for freaky. He rates off three-time grade I winner Smiling Tiger through a :22 2/4 opening quarter, takes the lead on the inside through a blazing :44 1/5 half-mile, puts him away at the top of the lane while running 1:08 3/5, and then holds off the closers to win in 1:21 2/5 on Polytrack in his first try against older horses? Wow. That is just not supposed to happen.

Obviously, Baffert has options with The Factor. He can either shoot for the BC Sprint or Dirt Mile. Both are around one turn and would be logical spots for a horse that can outrun just about anyone. The Dirt Mile might just hit The Factor between the eyes even more so than the Sprint, given that he can dictate pace but also carry his speed longer distances. We will find out soon enough which way Baffert is leaning.

Wherever these two wind up, they sure gave horse racing a much-needed shot in the arm last weekend.


Leave a Comment:

Bob from Boston

Deadheat when they meet.


In your face mz.

30 Aug 2011 5:11 PM

I can't agree with you anymore, Jason. However, Repole and Pletcher are hell bent on getting Uncle Mo into the BC Classic. They only way Mo doesn't go into that race is if he loses in the PA Derby then he might end up in the BC Dirt Mile. Repole, before Mo's race this weekend seemed like he was going to run Mo and Stay Thirsty next year. Now, it seems like that has changed.

30 Aug 2011 5:33 PM


I would love to have seen a slightly different route, but not too much different. With Mo, if they want to race in NY, then what is wrong with the Vosburgh? Mo has speed to spare at that distance and may also get to meet up with Trappe Shot and The Factor. Then is where I think a decision on the Mile or Sprint would be a good way to go. I would love to see him go in the sprint. That race could have Big Drama, Trappe Shot, The Factor, and so many more.

I do believe he can get longer distances. He proved me and a lot of other supporters right when he showed how well he would rate off the pace last out. If he is to keep in training, I think next year would be a prime time for him to show what he can do at longer.

30 Aug 2011 5:51 PM

Thanks Jason.  Uncle Mo ran a great, gutsy race and it makes more sense to me too that they shoot for the BC Mile.  And thank you for acknowledging The Factor's performance.  And, also like you, I feel the BC Dirt Mile is ideal for him.  What a match up that would be!  My question is where will Pletcher put Sidney's Candy?

30 Aug 2011 6:18 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Shackleford and Uncle Mo both belong in the BC Dirt Mile. I wouldn't think for one second of entering either in the Classic. Not only should they be entered in the dirt mile but they should be pointed to the dirt mile starting now. Not as an afterthought when they lose at over a mile. There should be no doubt with either at this point. The Factor could go in the sprint or mile. I would personally probably go for the sprint if it was my decision but I'm still not certain. Can you imagine having those three 3yos in the dirt mile? What a matchup !!! Everyone in that race had better let The Factor go to the front or plan on suicide. Nobody can keep pace with him and hope to survive. The only hope is to lay back, and hope the rabbit weakens him, if there is one. I like The Factor in the sprint better because of the layoff and in the sprint he will be able to go as fast as he needs to for 6f and still be able to hang on. The mile is a little riskier but still could be a phenominal performance. However if we see those three plus some of the accomplished and talented older horses choosing dirt mile it would have to be the race of the BC. It would be a glorious achievement to win that one. Now that it is setting up to be a match made in heaven we'll probably see Shackleford and Mo in the Classic and The Factor in the sprint. The talent entered in a race decides it's place in history. I's time to stop thinking that the Classic is the only worthy race. Enter talented horses where they belong this year instead of taking a shot in the Classic hoping for a miracle. Good job Jason. I really like this article. I think I caught BC Fever !!

30 Aug 2011 7:04 PM
Paula Higgins

Excellent article Jason! Very happy to see Uncle Mo back in good form and back in print. I thought he ran an excellent race and as far as I was concerned it was a tie LOL. I am praying his liver enzymes stay normal and he keeps his weight up. I also hope they keep him racing past this year if he remains in good shape. It wuld be great for the sport and Mike Repole is a true sportsman. Love  Thirsty too. I also think

1 1/4 is a bridge too far and like the shorter distance for him. Agree totally with Dr Drunkinbum. The Factor is amazing. Some great things in store for him without any doubt.

30 Aug 2011 9:25 PM

Uncle Mo can get the classic distance. The BC mile is a secound rate race that nobody cares about. The Factor belongs in the sprint.

30 Aug 2011 9:45 PM

to be honest i wouldn't be surprised if the factor ended up the 3yr champion but he would have to demolish the field in his next 2 starts.

30 Aug 2011 10:02 PM

I wonder if Caleb's Posse counts at all.

30 Aug 2011 10:12 PM


Caleb's Posse has placed himself squarely in amongst the likes of Uncle Mo and The Factor as a Breeder's Cup Dirt mile contender.  Continue to ignore him at your handicapping peril.


It seems to me that Sidney's Candy has a date with Goldi in the Breeder's Cup Mile on turf.

30 Aug 2011 10:44 PM
Linda in Texas

This racing stuff has just gotten a nice sharp shot in the arm with last week end's races.

What we thought was old is now new again. But i am concerned about Coil. Where should he go next?

Good article Jason and i agree with all the posts including Bob from Boston's. Dr. D. you are pumped and full of it yourself and your take on everything was in  the amen circle informative.

31 Aug 2011 1:02 AM

The Factor won on a poly track ? Who cares ?  Let me know when he does ANYTHING on dirt.  Uncle Mo fires a 106 off a 4 month layoff at Saratoga ?  Unreal.  Go Mo go.

31 Aug 2011 1:23 AM
The Deacon

I still Uncle Mo is the best 3 year racing today, he truly needed that race. I believe he is much more versatile then The Factor but we will see. If it were me, I would enter The Factor in the Breeders Cup Sprint, best place for him. I think a mile will be stretching it against top competition.

31 Aug 2011 2:48 AM

Great article Jason, thanks.  I've been waiting for this one, especially after watching The Factor do his thing Sunday in the Pat O'Brien.

I agree that UM should go to the Kelso and then the BC Dirt Mile.  Mike Repole has to know, as you stated that a Grade I milers are the best breeding prospects.

What will Baffert do with The Factor?  Whatever or wherever, sprint or mile, if he's healthy, no one will beat him. The gray ghost is in a class of his own.  Let's hope they all stay healthy.  I also agree with Dr D., I may be developing a secondary fever to my Kentucky Derby fever, namely BC fever.

31 Aug 2011 9:18 AM

I agree with those who think Shackleford and Mo in the Dirt Mile and The Factor in the Sprint.  This would make for far better racing than trying the Classic just because.

BTW, I am shocked! shocked! that Bob believes it is necessary to crow over being the first post.

31 Aug 2011 9:39 AM

Ranagulzion- Sidney's Candy in the Mile would be great.  I hope they use his speed this year to separate form the field.  That, to me, is his only chance to beat Goldikova's stretch kick.  Separate at the far turn and say catch me.

31 Aug 2011 10:18 AM

Baffert also has Euroears for the sprint who is another speedball, so I have a feeling he will lean toward the Mile with The Factor.  Two speed horses in the same race might be counter productive.

31 Aug 2011 10:21 AM
Smoking Baby

 I'm thinking Repole should have his Empire Games a year early.  Uncle Mo might be tough in the Empire Games Sprint.  For a horse who was supposed to win the Triple Crown it amuses me that his October goal is a grade 2 race.  I'm thinking more and more that he might be a cut or two below Secretariat and that it's time for some to admit it.  Just saying....

31 Aug 2011 10:34 AM

Draynay - He's already done it before on dirt though so the fact he did it on polytrack actually makes it more incredible.

Jason -

You seem to have it backwards to me.  The Factor is a through and through sprinter and stretching him out to a mile (most likely beyond his best distance) for a less prestigious race (Dirt mile is also worth 500k less) makes no sense.  If anything turning him back to 6 furlong races seems to make the most sense.

Uncle Mo won at 8 and 8.5 furlongs last year and has already demonstrated to the breeders that he is the best prospective mile sire out there.  Repole gains nothing by winning the Kelso/dirt mile and you could argue that his colt could lose value if they can't demonstrate an ability to at least get 9 furlongs.  He would probably be better off retiring Mo than going that route; at least in terms of stallion value.  Furthermore with the way he won the Juvenille last year, Arch being the broodmare sire and his ability to rate in the King's Bishop I see no reason to believe he can't win the Penn Derby.

31 Aug 2011 12:09 PM

We should be talking about The Factor vs. Caleb's Posse, the horse who dusted Uncle Mo.

31 Aug 2011 12:35 PM

I am thinking that if The Factor continues to win out this year, particularly if every race is run with a brilliant performance, he has a shot at champion three year old.  It will all depend on if a three year old can defeat the older horses in the longer fall races but I just don't see that happening.

31 Aug 2011 1:26 PM

Draynay -

The Factor won the Rebel Stakes (mile 1/16) on dirt at Oaklawn and the horse that came second was Caleb's Posse.

31 Aug 2011 1:31 PM

I would love to see MO in the mile at CD. He already won at 1 1/16 last year in the Juvenile, so we know he likes the track. The Factor can go to the sprint. I am looking forward to the JCGC. Tizway V Stay Thirsty, if Thirsty goes there and not the PA Derby, would be a great race leading into the BC Classic, which they are both being pointed to.

On another note, Adirondack Summer is back racing tomorrow at Saratoga, Take Control keeps firing off steady works in Cali for Baffert, and Tapizar and Awesome Feather are both back on the worktab. I am still waiting on PrePeg to get back on the track. Any news from the Cho barn??

The Personal Ensign is this weekend,and should be a good race. It will be interesting to compare the Woodward and the PE, since Grace could of raced in either, but chose to take on the boys. I am looking forward to hitting the p4 again like last weekend. Who's with me???

31 Aug 2011 2:15 PM

Mo loves Churchill and Thirsty doesn't ...I think they want a 2 horse shot in just a 14 horse field...odds pretty good that they are going to come home with at least piece of that monstrous purse. It's what I'd do. You can always run in shorter distances next year. I also see nothing wrong with bringing back 4 year old and 5 year old stallions in showcase races that fit their style and long as we get to see them race!

31 Aug 2011 2:29 PM

i really hope that romans gives shack a nice long break--he's one tired horse right now, and the one who has had the longest, most grueling season of all. i'd prefer it if romans waits to bring him back in the clark, or better yet, waits till the donn next spring.

i at 6-7 furlongs, i think the factor easily beats shack, at a mile, i'd give them equal odds, over a mile, shack beats the factor (even if he looses the race).

i'll be very surprised if mo ever race's again tbh..

31 Aug 2011 2:31 PM

Draynay - your comment about The Factor was ridiculous.  Thanks for weighing in with predictable nonsense.

If I were in charge, I would go to the Sprint with The Factor and Caleb's Posse.  A BC Sprint with those two, Big Drama, Trappe Shot, Smiling Tiger and others would be the race of the year.

I would send Mo to the BC Mile and then retire him.

Thirsty should be a real contender in the Classic.

Really wish Hollendorfer would reconsider and point Blind Luck to The Classic.  I understand why he isn't doing so but I think it would be great for racing.

31 Aug 2011 2:32 PM

I wouldn't discount Caleb's Posse in any sprint race.  If Big Drama is in, you know he's going with The Factor.  

31 Aug 2011 2:33 PM

Something to look forward to, wherever they run!

Is it true that Uncle Mo threw a hind shoe during the King's Bishop?

31 Aug 2011 2:50 PM

Draynay, The Factor beat older horses and Uncle Mo got his clock cleaned by a horse The Factor has dusted twice. The horse you proclaimed to be better than Secretariat now seems to be on the bottom end of an already weak crop of 3 year olds.

31 Aug 2011 3:26 PM

slee, yes, he lost a shoe, and only lost by a nose. Flashpoint was up the track after he lost a shoe. Mo wins next out by 5.

31 Aug 2011 4:41 PM

The Factor has a dominant allure that no one can much, if Mo tries to keep up with such a powertrain, he will probably be nose bleeding and lame before entering the home strech, oh and with liver anomalies too... or whatever they may claim this time...

31 Aug 2011 6:23 PM

Throw in Turbulent Descent and you have some young, fast, horses in this year's Breeder's Cup.  

31 Aug 2011 7:45 PM

This looks like a tougher race for HD-Grace than what Rachel Alexander had (Uno Bull's and Macho Bay).  Flat Out looks interesting...

Setsuko was gelded today after his ninth place finish in the Pacific Classic.

31 Aug 2011 8:08 PM

2 best races of the year:  King's Bishop and Delaware Handicap. Personally,  I would point for the Cigar Mile with MO;   I don't think he will ever meet The Factor.  Mo loves Churchill, and Mike wants the Breeder's Cup Classic.

The Factor is amazing, the best sprinter of the year.

31 Aug 2011 8:23 PM

My goodness!  Caleb's Posse "dusted Uncle Mo"?  Uncle Mo "got his clock cleaned" by Caleb's Posse?

That's sure news to me!  A couple of posters here must have been watching a different race than the rest of us!

Since when does a nose loss on the wire with a shared Beyer of 106 translate to "getting dusted" or "getting your clock cleaned"?

Pretty ridiculous, really!

31 Aug 2011 10:33 PM

Someone brought up in the Haskin blog...Quality Road. He should have gone in the dirt mile but again, just hitting the board in the Classic seems to  count more in the breeding shed than winning many of the other races so his connections took the shot. And he was a Pletcher trained horse too as are Mo and Thirsty. If Mo does well in his next start be it a mile or mile and a sixteenth or eight, not fading badly, I'd run him in the Classic. Remember Zenyatta's painful loss last year was probably because she had to go around horses where the year before Smith found an inside track coming off the far turn. I'd have Thirsty to follow Mo around the track in the Classic and if, IF he tires, John V can "open" up the door for a good trip for Thirsty to give him a shot. Would rather have 2 of my horses in that race who may be able to go the distance than just one who I know can. One of the front running competitors becomes an ally...

01 Sep 2011 6:08 AM

The Factor's performance was the clear standout of the weekend.Refreshing to see a fast horse like him run he made ST spit the bit turning for home and he's a good sprinter.

01 Sep 2011 9:03 AM

To show you how popular Repole is, all you had to do was be on the backstretch Saturday when Caleb passed Mo at the wire.  Practically the entire crowd of horsepeople let out a roar of delight when Mo lost.  Nothing against the horse & they obviously can't pick their owners, but Repole is simply not well liked by others in the biz. Owning lots of expensive horses does not make someone a horseman.  Repole has demonstrated time and again withbhis wanton sense of entitlement ( ie- wanting a boycott of the BC in Calif, keeping Mo in the Derby til the last minute to bar the 21st qualifier) that he is neither a horseman or a sportsman.

01 Sep 2011 9:33 AM

I am Draynay hear me roar!

I'm in debt too big to ignore!

And I know too much to go back an Pretend

Cause I've heard it all before

And my tickets are down there on the floor!

And Zenyatta's a complete piece of . . . .

Oh yes I am wise!

Polycrap horses lose all the time

Yes! Ive paid the price

But look how much Ive gained?

If I have to

I can say anything!

I'm not wrong (wrong)

I am invincible (invisible)

I am Draaaaanaaaaaay!

01 Sep 2011 10:51 AM

Jason, given the state of this 3 year old class, do you think it's possible for The Factor or Caleb's Posse to take top 3 year old honors if either were to win their next race and then a Breeder's Cup race?

01 Sep 2011 11:25 AM


Since when does a nose loss on the wire with a shared Beyer of 106 translate to "getting dusted" or "getting your clock cleaned"?

The precedent was set after last years BC Classic, right here on this Blog. Just thought you should know, before you go calling anyone on here ridiculous.

01 Sep 2011 1:07 PM
Jason Shandler

She lost. Get over it.

01 Sep 2011 1:19 PM
Jason Shandler

2:24: Yes, I can see a scenario where one of those horses wins a couple more grade I races and has a chance at the award. No doubt.

01 Sep 2011 1:20 PM
Smoking Baby

 The three year old title is there for the taking.  In the next couple months we'll find out who wants it the most.  The only thing for certain is that it won't be boring.

01 Sep 2011 2:27 PM
Matthew W

The Pacific Classic finish line would be a great cover shot for The Blood Horse, as Del Mar (for once) trumped Saratoga in last weekend's big races--for example, Uncle Mo faced three year olds at 7 fur, and he ran big/almost won....The Factor faced older and won.....Acclamation put together another nig race, dueling the entire stretch and defeating Twirling Candy, a horse who would likely win the dirt mile over The Factor, Uncle Mo, Sidney's Candy--Stay Thirsty won The Travers in workmanlike fashon, defeating, ah, er, um, I cannot recall that 2nd place horse but I can remember the third place horse, he was, ah, um, well--my point is, Saratoga is Saratoga, second to no meet in this country--but Del Mar deserves a cover shot for last weekend, and I think the Pacific Classic rates very high on the list of races run this year--quite a double for Acclamation, his Eddie Read tour de force, then his record Pacific Classic, over Twirlybird, the moneyburner--not mine! I won't bet a horse who practically wears a neon sign on his head that says "I can't get the 1 1/4"!!! The Woodward, once America's most important race for HOY, is now Whitney-B, that's what the Breeders Cup has done to former iconic races--I'll bet against the mare, she is so grand but they are sending her up against salty dogs, many who will be coming like freight trains in the night...Sidney drew inside which is not advantageous at 7fur---still, I like, no love that 4-1 morning line--no way will I get that but I can salivate, can't I?....if both Candys and The Factor and MoMo go in the BC Dirt Mile, THAT race will be the highlight of the weekend...

01 Sep 2011 3:07 PM
Matthew W

I get people LIKING a horse--I just don't get the NOT liking a horse, and with so much venom....

01 Sep 2011 3:11 PM

I hope not.  I still think that there is time for Mo to be strongly considered for the Classic.  The fact that he actually rated off the pace for a good part of the King Bishop and then made that four wide move,had special meaning for me.  

I would rather see The Factor in the BC Sprint than the Dirt Mile.  The Sprint is always a special race, one of the toughest on the BC card.  To me the Dirt Mile doesn't have the same status.

01 Sep 2011 4:26 PM
Matthew W

Lazmannick I agree with you--I like the sprint over the mile on dirt--Outside of the iconic Met Mile, the dirt mile, to me, speaks of horses who just couldn't get the longer graded races--the sprint is for the fastest horse! The mile is/will always be more of a turf race--where a filly can compete with a male--unlike the dirt mile, which is more geared to strength than kick--I'd love to see The Factor, Sidney's Candy, Uncle Mo in the Sprint---I think you still have to go Classic with Twirlybird, especially if he becomes a closer--that pace on Sunday was slow--it won't be in The Classic, and despite his inability to seal the deal, I still go in The Classic--you may get (finally) a price on him....But Sidney this weekend, that is a horse who can/does throw a freak race every now and then--point is he's capable of it, 4-1 you say? Looks like a chicken dinner! So mnuch that hasn't been answered yet this season! HOY is up for grabs, they are going for it this weekend with the filly! Nice horse, tough race! They better keep her away from Tizway, and I mean that--It (HOY) is Tizway's to lose, and it will take a pretty good horse to beat him, cuz I think he's a different horse/think he is getting that Tiznow seasoning, and they will have to run big to beat him--cuz he will! Three Cal-Breds: Acclamation, Ultra Blend, Caracortado--all three are at/near the top of their levels--of the three, I like Ultra Blend to make some noise in the Cup, I think she has put together some top races of late, she reeks of class!

01 Sep 2011 5:48 PM
Carlos in Cali

Woodward:  First of all,I hope they don't ruin HDG by chasing a HOY title.IMO-The only chance she has in beating this field is if she runs them off their feet or sets an uncontested leisurely pace.Not happening! Rule will make sure of that.Basically,I can see her finishing up-the-track breathing fire from the early pace pressure.She's not a RA,Ladies Secret,Winning Colors or Personal Ensign type of caliber.Ask any trainer and they'll tell you it takes a 'spectacular' F/M to defeat 'extraordinary' males going long on dirt.History says they've had limited success in doing so.I'm sure after this weekend they will come to their senses and point her to another showdown against Blind Luck come BC weekend if it's not too late...

I'll take the in-form Flat Out for the win.He has a race over the track which is key @ Saratoga and he also should get the perfect pace set-up.Last out,he finished strong from the dead rail against slow splits on a tiring track.Tizway wasn't pulling away from him like some may think,he merely got the jump on him because of his front running position.With no Tizway in the line-up,Flat Out should prevail easy.The only concern I have is that he's picking up 9lbs off his last race.

Bets> Flat Out over Giant Oak w/all,w/all exotics.

Forego: Sydney's Candy is classy and will be tough to beat.But,I'm going with Jackson Bend from the 1-hole in here.7f suits him perfectly and he closed strongly from the rail last out @ Saratoga(key angle)on a speed favoring track that day when making his winning comeback.Because he wasn't fully extended,I don't think he'll regress in here.

Bets>  Jackson Bend over SC w/3,4,5,7,8 w/3,4,5,7,8

01 Sep 2011 7:29 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I'm going with Flat Out WPS in The Woodward, and in the Forego I'm going with a Jackson Bend, Jersey Town, and Regal Ransom 3 horse exacta and trifecta boxes, and win bets on Jersey Town, and Regal Ransom. If I win the Forego they'll be sending Sidney's back to turf. If I lose the Forego Sidney's could be in the BC dirt mile.

01 Sep 2011 8:51 PM

Frankel would beat both of them by open lengths (IMHO).

01 Sep 2011 8:54 PM
Mike Relva

Right now the Kelso is the ideal choice for Uncle Mo.

01 Sep 2011 9:07 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   It's Chantal's fault Setsuko was gelded. Do you really think he would have been gelded if he got the Big Cap win? BTW, that was on dirt where he belongs. He's barely had a chance to run on dirt !!!

01 Sep 2011 9:35 PM
Bob from Boston

It's Ted from LA's wife's fault I got gelded.  I used to run on dirt too.  It didn't help me in the end.  I can really empathize with Setsuko.  I could have been a contender.  I could have been somebody.  Dr. D, you were supposed to protect me.

01 Sep 2011 10:42 PM


Here is another interesting thing about The Factor.  According to the DRF, when he won the O'Brien he became the only male three year old horse to score a victory against older horses in a graded stakes so far this year.

01 Sep 2011 10:43 PM
Bob from Boston

Always after me lucky charms.

01 Sep 2011 10:46 PM

I like Rule over Havre D'Grace and Flat Out in the Woodward and I think it will be Sydney's Candy over Jersey Town and Hamazing Destiny in the Forego.

Regarding speculations on the Breeder's Cup, I think that Big Drama will scare quite a few away from the Sprint towards the dirt mile including The Factor.  Caleb's Posse looks to be a Dirt Mile type and has a score to settle with TF.  Flashpoint will be back as a strong contender in the BC Sprint.  I'd like to see Uncle Mo head towards the BC Classic.  I still think that he's superior to Stay Thirsty when back to his best, up to 10 furlongs.  The Jockey Club Gold Cup will give the Stay Thirsty fan club a reality check if Tizway reports to the starting gates.  My feeling is that only a fully recovered and in-form Uncle Mo can test Tizway and his King's Bishop performance was pretty awesome coming off the lay-off.  The connections of Sidney's Candy appear to have yielded HOTY aspirations to the intimidating Tizway and are taking a rather conservative approach, apparently pointing towards the BC (turf) mile.

There hasn't been much discussion on the 2YO division so far but my mind is already made up.  Union Rags is a "ragamuffin" on both ability and pedigree.  I'll have to see the colt that can lower his colours for the remainder of the season.  Michael Matz knows that he has another "Barbaro-type" in his barn.  Can't wait for the Champaigne or BC Juvenile.  How I wish for him to stay injury free.  

All the eclipse awards are there for the taking and fortune will favour the brave.  

02 Sep 2011 12:54 AM
The Deacon

Acclamation is a horse who will be heard from whetther he runs on turf or dirt in any of the Breeders Cup races. Best handicap horse around no one's talking about. That win in the Pacific Classic was amazing. He knows how to dictate pace and doesn't back up, rare commodity in a race horse.

02 Sep 2011 2:22 AM
Mike from Michigan

Roderic O'Conner will upset the field in Saurday's running of the Irish Champion Stakes.  'So You Think' will be a heavy favorite, but O'brien has 'Roderic O'Conner' ready.  My best bet for Saturday and a good price.

02 Sep 2011 8:08 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Bob From Boston

  I gave you a shot of whiskey, what else do you want? Does it help or hamper your quest to surpass the record of the late, great Ted From LA of first post  in 56 consecutive blogs? It's not easy following a legend. I haven't watched more than a total of three minutes of Jay Leno since he took over for the one, the only Johnny Carson despite the fact that I watched Joey Bishop before I started watching Carson. However you do have potential and are much younger than Ted so with perserverance you could reach greatness also even with your handicap !!!!!

02 Sep 2011 10:31 AM
Pedigree Ann

Carlos, do you really feel this lot of males in the Woodward is 'extraordinary?' Flat Out has run one good race, a one-turn 9f at Belmont against a questionable field. Rule has beaten an overnight field, his first win since the spring of his 3yo year. Giant Oak got a terrific set up in the Donn - 6f in 1:10 &2 - in his only win since 2009 (he backed into the Clark win on a a DQ). Some of the others are eligible for an n3x. This is not an extraordinary lot.

02 Sep 2011 12:01 PM

Bob: always with the excuses!

Man up!

(or is "man" now a problem?)

02 Sep 2011 1:59 PM

Dr Drunkinbum, I love your first post on this blog and agree with you completely.  Every horse is not a BC Classic horse and entering them where they are strongest makes the most sense.  It is so exciting to see The Factor back again.  I loved him before his injury.  He is so exciting to watch.  The end of the season is shaping up to be pretty amazing and the arguments over HOY will probably be earthshaking!

02 Sep 2011 2:33 PM
Criminal Type

TrackJack, They gray ghost is buried in Maryland at Sagamore Farm, But I agree, The Factor is your Mile winner. I do not think they will back off the classic for Shackleford or Ruler on Ice, they need to make a case for themselves as HOY. Especially if Havre De Grace wins the Woodward. I do not think Mo will win the Classic and I do not think he will beat The Factor.

Draynay, Polytrack, again? Your handicapping advise is always Spot on so, I will once again do exactly the opposite.

Ranagulzion, From your fingertips to god's ears. I've been watching Rag's too. I saw a pic of Union Rag's in the barn at Fair Hill and I was breathless, his physical resemlence, in my opinon, to Barbaro was uncanny. It was like Deja Vu with a big white face and socks. His Special win was very impressive and the jock says he is "unbelievable".

I also agree with whoever brought up Frankle. If he comes, he's winning whatever he enters.

02 Sep 2011 3:09 PM
Paula Higgins

Havre de Grace over the boys. Hmmm, did anyone see American Turf Monthly Magazine? Mark Shrager did a list of the top 10 American horses and guess who came in #6??? Yes, a certain mare by the name of Zenyatta. He had Dr. Fager at #1. Interesting list. It seems she is held in high regard by some people.

02 Sep 2011 5:33 PM
Matthew W

Acclamation is not nominated to the Breeders Cup--and he hasn't done much dirting--my guess is they'll wait on him, maybe go for Dubai next Spring? (I hope not!) I, too, love that animal!

02 Sep 2011 11:14 PM
Matthew W

Sidney's Candy/Flat Out parlay tom...

02 Sep 2011 11:15 PM

Rule wins.  3rd off a layoff and Castellano on board and Pletcher is on fire.  Forego? Hamazing Grace was set up for this race to win it.  Bet it all on Hamazing to win.

03 Sep 2011 12:11 AM

A columnist wrote:

"Havre de Grace can put herself into the discussion for Horse of the Year if she is able to beat males in Saturday’s Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward Stakes “.

Beating this bunch should not qualify her for anything, but this is the sort of nonsense that gets written. A mare beats males in a Grade 1 stake and that makes her top notch. That is because the males are oh so superior.

She is racing against average stakes winners. This is not Rags to Riches running in the Belmont.

Even if Havre de Grace crushes this field it should not matter.

03 Sep 2011 8:42 AM
Mike Relva

I think Flat Out will prevail today, also SC.

03 Sep 2011 10:32 AM
Jason Shandler

Hey guys: Im in Milwaukee for the weekend. See you guys next week. Happy Labor Day.

03 Sep 2011 10:50 AM

i flat out in the woodward and i like jersey town and akenite in the forego. the PE i guess ill go with protesting and tiz miz sue again

03 Sep 2011 11:45 AM
Carlos in Cali

Pedigree Ann,

My point is the males in the Woodward are certainly not just ordinary horses and IMO- HDG is not a spectacular filly.If she was the lone speed horse in the race then yes I'd give her a chance,but that's not the case.It takes a very special F/M to beat males while up on the pace,especially if it's heated.Heck,she didn't even put-up much of a fight in last yr's BCLadies Classic.This is a salty group of veterans who'll make her run every step of the way,unlike the overmatched foes she's faced @ Delaware Park.

03 Sep 2011 1:14 PM


Hope you get this on time.  If you aren't aware,there is a huge night of harness racing at Mohawk tonight with mulitple stakes including the one million dollar Metro Pace for two year olds and the 800 thousand Canadian Pacing Derby for free for all pacers.

03 Sep 2011 3:29 PM
Paula Higgins

WOOHOO HDG ran a great race!!!!!! Oh yea of little faith. I knew she could beat the boys. I think she should go for the classic. Blind Luck too.

03 Sep 2011 6:41 PM

havre de grace will deserve horse of the year if she wins a breeders cup race. that's their goal. they're not going to quit now like rachel alexandra did.

03 Sep 2011 8:43 PM
Forbidden Apple

So Uncle Mo is brilliant for losing another race? Caleb's Posse was a much stronger and determined horse. If not for the speed favoring track, he would have opened up on Uncle Mo. It's funny, I don't remember Zenyatta being described as brilliant after her only loss.

If Mo shows up in the Pa derby he is in a world of trouble. A horse named Rattlesnake Bridge has plenty of venom waiting for his rivals. This is a horse that came into the Travers off from a 7 week layoff and still ran a huge race. He was within 1 1/2 lengths of Stay Thirsty, another horse who was described as brilliant. The snake galloped out well and was not even blowing after the race. He lost to a better horse that day, his best is yet to come.


In a previous blog you said that Rattlesnake Bridge did not win the Travers because he was not classy enough. I don't get it, by running second he beat other grade I winners in only his 6th career race. Trust me, he has plenty of class and is a stronger horse coming out of the race. His fitness level is improving with every start. The problem is that his mind is not 100% focused on his job.

04 Sep 2011 9:27 AM
Smoking Baby

 Jersey Boy, I tend to agree but you've got to admit that was a nice win against some pretty decent horses.  Certainly a better group than Rachel Alexandra for all her hype was all out to beat.  I'm off Sydney's Candy now.  The two times I've told my girlfriend about him (Derby and yesterday)she's wound up laughing at me and saying "Oh you can sure pick'em."

Jason, have a GREAT weekend in Wisconsin.  I bet it's nice up there.

04 Sep 2011 11:06 AM

Mike true to form you were wrong and I was right.  Havre de Grace smokes the boys.  Too bad Hollendorfer pulled a Zenyatta and hid in CA.  

04 Sep 2011 2:41 PM

Man Toddsy Woddsy can't even get a loaded gun to go off in his hand. They should send Sidney's Candy to a real horseman, not a salesman! Havre De Grace's win was impressive, but it was against a group of weak older horses coming out of a tough Whitney. The fact that the second choice in the betting was no more than a grade 2 winner shows just how pathetic the field was. Not only that, but Havre De Grace had the perfect set up both pace-wise and trip-wise. For me, all this win does is move Blind  Luck up, for what could be better than beating the horse who went on the win the Woodward! Rick Porter and Larry Jones should be thankful that Blind Luck didn't show up. She would have smoked this field. If HOTY was voted on today here's how it should look 1)Acclamation 2) Tizway 3) Blind Luck 4) Havre De Grace.  

04 Sep 2011 4:32 PM
Matthew W

Smoking Baby I took a beating on Sidney as well--but to tout him to your galpal and get a pop and stop like that--she can go all over the place with that one!

04 Sep 2011 8:20 PM

Smoking Baby:


My point is that there is some kind of bias against females in the media, so females have to beat some males to become legitimate, no matter if the males are a sorry bunch.

Beating males should not be a requirement for greatness.  Beating top-class horses should be the only requirement.

She is superior to the horses she ran against on Saturday. That is why I said that beating them should not be treated as anything special.

Note, she handled them quite easily in 1.49.18. Stay Thirsty won in 1.48.78 (on a different day , of course).

04 Sep 2011 8:31 PM

So what are you saying Sylvester?  That if Blind Luck would have run in the Woodward she would ahve won it?

04 Sep 2011 10:28 PM

damn, hater's are just gonna hate!

06 Sep 2011 9:14 AM
Smoking Baby

 Jersey Boy.  Good point.  Why is it that certain groups seem to be REQUIRED to step outside their division for validation and others aren't?  We can give a 3 year old Horse of the Year having never faced much less defeated older horses and not bat an eye (I'm not convinced the 3 year old Seattle Slew could've beaten the older Forego and I'm REALLY not convinced the 3 year old Smarty Jones could've beaten Candy Ride).  And you never hear "OK...But let's see him run on the turf."  Just saying...

06 Sep 2011 2:30 PM
Smoking Baby

Mathew W.  Too funny.  The thing is...I can deal with losing my money (mostly because I so used to it) but for a horse to get me clowned by the lady not once but twice?  This The Dude will NOT abide.

06 Sep 2011 2:40 PM

Forbidden Apple.  Not to mention Zenyatta's first start against the boys was in the Breeder's Cup!  No "tune-up," No trouncing of Grade-3, allowance types.  The real deal.  No hiding.  

06 Sep 2011 2:46 PM

It's funny that Larry Jones has not mentioned Havre De Grace's 3 pound weight break and how this accounted for her win.

06 Sep 2011 2:53 PM

Smoking Baby - Smarty Jones didn't win Horse of the Year.

Householder - you think three pounds made any difference in The Woodward.  Come on, you're better than that.  Also, didn't Zenyatta receive a similar weight disparity each time she ran against males.

06 Sep 2011 4:34 PM

2:24.  Just sayin...Jones seemed to talk a lot about weight after Blind Luck beat HDG with a 2 lb weight break.  

06 Sep 2011 6:58 PM
Forbidden Apple


If Zenyatta won the photo over Blame, many would still not respect her amazing talent and pure determination.

First Hilda's Passion was retired, up next is Uncle Mo. I'm not happy about it, because I was looking forward to betting against the average horse named Uncle Mo. It's only a matter of time before someone within the racing world reports on a retired Mo. Some of you might call it a backstretch rumor, but soon it will be a reality.

I don't believe that a weight break had anything to do with the powerful performance by Havre De Grace. I just don't get it when people cry over 2 or 3 pounds when we are dealing with a 1,000 pound animal.

07 Sep 2011 7:20 PM
no_mo _mo

Unca Schmoe hasn't won a race in nearly a year now. Going to the Classic would be another guranteed loss. Unca Schmoe will not win the Br. Cup Classic!!

13 Sep 2011 1:11 PM

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