First it was Team Uncle Mo throwing a curveball by going to the Timely Writer at Gulfstream instead of the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II). Now there is a chance that the connections of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) favorite might call another audible.
Owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher have said since the beginning of the year that Uncle Mo would make his final Derby prep in the April 9 Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct. But only a short time after the Indian Charlie colt won the Timely Writer by 3 3/4 lengths, Pletcher and Repole indicated that the April 3 Florida Derby (gr. I) is now under consideration for the undefeated champion.
Pletcher said after the Timely Writer that he had talked to Repole about the possibility of the Florida Derby for Uncle Mo. Later on Saturday night Repole confirmed the talks and said he would leave the final decision up to Pletcher. The pair will continue to discuss the situation before leaning one way or another.
"It's up to Todd," Repole said. "I will not influence his decision. He knows what is best for Mo."
The line of thinking behind the possible change of heart is that Uncle Mo would get to remain in Florida and race over a track he has already been successful on. Repole and Pletcher's other Derby contender, Stay Thirsty, would presumably go to the Wood instead, if Uncle Mo stayed in Florida. Stay Thirsty won the March 5 Gotham (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
If Uncle Mo did wind up going to the Florida Derby it would be the most anticipated Derby prep of the season. Also pointing for the race is Holy Bull (gr. III) winner Dialed In, Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner Soldat, and two-time graded stakes winner To Honor and Serve, among others.