Derby Mo-Jo: The Final Chapter

(Part V and final entry of a blog authored by Mike Repole, owner of champion 2-year-old Uncle Mo)

I'd like to start out by thanking the racing fans and Uncle Mo fans, especially those that have reached out to me verbally, by email, through letters, and on Mo's Facebook page. Your support and concerns about his health mean more to me than you will ever know. I am very grateful to all of you.

Unfortunately, Mo did not make it to the Derby starting gate and that is disappointing. I said all along that he was 50-50 to make the race. He needed a great 19 days in order to do so, and his last two and half days were not great. After everything was taken into consideration, it was an easy decision to make. It was easy because it was the right thing to do for Mo. When healthy, I am confident he would have been the best horse in the race, but it was just not meant to be. I've said all along that I would never put my ego before any of my horses' health, whether it was Mo or a $5,000 claimer at Finger Lakes. I think I've proven to be a man of my word.

On Monday, Mo was transferred to WinStar Farm in Lexington. I've been in contact with Elliott Walden every day since then and he said that Mo is doing better. Though the vets are still not sure what is wrong with him internally, his appetite has improved and he has gained 15 pounds since his arrival. He is being turned out in a huge pen for four to five hours per day, eating grass, rolling around, and having fun. But we still have not gotten to the bottom of his health issues.

As his owner and a fan, it's scary because of the uncertainty of the situation. He has been examined by the best doctors available and will visit the best clinics in Kentucky. I told Todd that if my vet bills weren't super high this month I would complain. It is my responsibility not only to Mo but to the racing fans, to give him every single resource to bring him back to 100%. And I will do that.

At this point, I don't know if Mo will be back in training in two days, two weeks, two months, or two years. We just aren't sure about this condition or its seriousness. The toughest part is not knowing. There is nothing we can do for him except provide the best care, and hope and pray that the best vets can figure it out soon. My only concern right now is to get him healthy, but my long-term goal is to get him back to the Mo we all know and love, and winning races in Mo-like fashion.

If we accomplish the goal of getting him healthy and back to where he was, he will be back at the races this year and next.

Until now, I've avoided addressing one issue from last week. It involves comments made by Bob Baffert, who said the following in an article that appeared in the L. A. Times on May 5. Here are Baffert's comments, which he made at Churchill Downs:

"When I first came here, I felt like I had to talk to everybody and give them good stuff. But my wife taught me that when I talk too much, after 10 minutes, I start babbling, and that's when I get myself in trouble. Uncle Mo looks fantastic out there to me. He's the best horse in the race. I don't care what rumors you hear. You can't throw him out. He's looked great to me. Everyone is talking about him being 50/50. I think (Mike Repole) is just trying to build a price for himself because it sounds like he likes to gamble. He's going to be dangerous. I don't think it's some (gastrointestinal issue), I think he just got tired at the Wood (Memorial). From what I've seen visually, there is nothing there that tells me the horse isn't ready to run. I'm not buying that crap. He's just trying to steal this race."

I've been asked by 100 reporters what I thought about his comments, but I refused to answer that question last week. The Kentucky Derby was neither the time nor place and I was thinking that I didn't need to address such stupid, idiotic statements. I mean, even Baffert admits that if he talks more than 10 minutes he is likely to say something stupid. My suggestion is that next year he should change it to a 10-second rule, or simply adjust his sunglasses and not say anything at all.

Baffert doesn't know me at all, but he did get one thing right: I am a gambler. Any time you buy horses for a half million dollars and put as much money into this game as I have, you have to be a gambler. But his comments on Mo's health were totally out of line and I would expect more from a Hall of Fame trainer that I respect. I would never sacrifice a horse's health for my ego. The next time I see Baffert it will be at Saratoga. I will say hello to him from the winner's circle, as he picks up his horse and walks back to the barn.

I had a great time in Louisville. The most memorable part of the week was the Derby walk over to the paddock with Stay Thirsty and my family. My horse may not have won the race, but I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream that I will never forget. And even though I didn't win, at least I got to see Johnny Velazquez win his Super Bowl. Nobody is more deserving of being a Derby winner and I could not have been any happier for him.

Stay Thirsty in the paddock before the Kentucky Derby - Photo by Anne M. Eberhardt

As for me, there are no guarantees in life but hopefully I will make it back to the Derby again. Even if I don't, I'm still proud that I accomplished my dream. Thanks again for your support over these past few months and thanks to The Blood-Horse for giving me the opportunity to express my thoughts. I hope to see you at the racetrack.

All the best,



Leave a Comment:


Mr. Repole, the critics and the jealousy that drives that, will never go away.I'm thrilled you reached your lifelong dream as it was well deserved. Loved seeing you with your family at the Derby ! Glad you ignored BB's comments last week, and while you don't need any advice, try to continue to let your horses do the talking."Class" can't be taught so don't lower yourself. You have come too far accomplished too much to get "baited". Good luck and I for one hope Mo a speedy recovery and hope to see him at The Spa this year ! As I said in previous comments the industry better appreciate you because there will be other horses, but there is only one Mike Repole !

13 May 2011 3:01 PM

I want to thank you for sharing Mo and Thirsty with all of us. I saw them ant Gulfstream this year which was a thrill. I hope Mo comes back soon and please keep his facebook blog going . We hope to hear good news about Mo soon.

13 May 2011 3:09 PM

Mike you are a gentleman and the kind of horseman that we need more of in this industry. We are all rooting for Uncle Mo, we wish him the very best in life; he is a champion. I hope to see him back in form real soon.

13 May 2011 3:23 PM
Linda in Texas

Mike - great attitude you project thru a very difficult situation. You proved your character. You owe no one an apology. You have not and did not give up on Uncle Mo. You are to be commended.

Your disappointment at not knowing what is ailing Uncle Mo is felt by all of us. We just hope and pray for him, you and your family and all of his supporters that a remedy is found.

Then we will wait for him to come back and show his stuff. He will be back. And so will you.

There will be more rides in the future for you and for Uncle Mo.

Mr. Walden is a gentle man and a caring one also. Uncle Mo could not be in better hands.  

And an ongoing sincere thank you for your generous support of retired thoroughbred horses.

13 May 2011 3:31 PM
Dawn in MN

Mr. Repole, Thank you for Derby Mo-Jo: The Final Chapter.  I have a healthy respect for a healthy Uncle Mo, so much so that I was trying to figure out who could beat Uncle Mo.  

The t.v. shots of Uncle Mo in his stall that were shown during the Kentucky Derby coverage said a thousand words.  Uncle Mo looked like he was feeling poorly, very poorly.  I'm sorry to hear about his health problem, and wish him a speedy recovery.

I don't know you, I don't know Mr. Baffert.  I didn't even hear about the comments he made.  Shrug it off man, and like you said "...say hello to him from the winner's circle, as he picks up his horse and walks back to the barn."  Best Wishes, and thank you for sharing your thoughts and dreams with us.

13 May 2011 3:35 PM

Thank you for putting the horse first!  I'm a big fan of Uncle Mo and I hope we get to see him back on the track sometime soon.

13 May 2011 3:40 PM

MR REPLOE u sir are good for the game.  but  entering this horse was not right to do.  it spit on other horseman IMO.  UNCLE MO wasnt going to be 100 percent by Saturday with what has been described about the horse condition ane weight loss, soo explain to me why u even enter the horse? still have had no reason.

13 May 2011 3:41 PM


This was a fabulous article.  What is most impressive is your honesty and your class.

I was really happy you decided to withdraw Mo from the Derby.  After his Wood and the subsequent discovery of illness, I just didn't think he would do well at all.  Humans and animals cannot be fit right after or during an illness.  You put the horse first and God bless you for that.  If you had run him, he may have injured himself or maybe even made his illness worse.

It always amazes me when people always see hidden agendas or conspiracy theories.  I'm amazed that Bob Baffert said that to the press!  Those kind of thoughts need to be kept secret because there were no facts to back that up.  Some of the bloggers are always quick to disparage owners and I've seen that countless times on these blogs.  It seems some people always want to see the worst in people they don't even know.  I just don't get it.

I wish you continued suocess and a complete recovery for Mo.  Things should go well for you because your heart is in the right place and thank you for becoming an owner and getting into this game.  We need many more like you!

13 May 2011 3:46 PM

I had to smile when I read you plan to see BB walking his horse back to the barn at Saratoga as you wave to him from the winners circle. Mike, that's just what I hope Sway Away's team is going to do for you after the Travers, turn up to the stands and wave to you from the Winners circle after the race.

13 May 2011 3:50 PM
Soldier Course

I wish Uncle Mo the very best, a speedy diagnosis and recovery.

Seems like the last couple of Derby seasons have brought out the worst in people who should know better: Chip Woolley carrying a big chip on his shoulder into the winner's circle in 2009, Barry Irwin accusing his former trainers of being liars at this year's Derby, and these remarks by Bob Baffert. All of these people have a lot to be grateful for, and they need to stop grousing in public. Most people I know won't ever have the chance to attend the Kentucky Derby, much less win it.

13 May 2011 3:54 PM
Smoking Baby

  Mr. Repole, when are you going to name your Unbridled's Song-A Bit Of Pressure Colt? I think he's your next good one.  Have a GREAT day and thanks for keeping us updated.

13 May 2011 3:58 PM
Karen in Texas

Mr. Repole, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us over the past few months. It is wonderful that you have been able to live your dream!

I hope Mo is able to come back to the races. Whatever happens, you did the right thing in not running him in the Derby. As a healthcare professional, I know that the elevated enzymes alone are a huge reason to proceed with caution. May the vets find a resolution soon, and may we see him again at Saratoga!

13 May 2011 4:01 PM

Good for you Mike re Uncle Mo's health  call. He will be back !

I saw your winning attitude at the "Race for Grace" dinner as you bid up the Mo halter and bought it back as a donation to the Ky Race Track Chaplaincy. You don't just talk the talk of believing in the sport and its athletes and rock the walk.

13 May 2011 4:36 PM

Thanks for a great year Mike.  Uncle Mo was the best 2 year old I have ever seen.  I hope to see him again at 3.

13 May 2011 4:52 PM
J Shandler

Jason contacted me and said there were a couple of questions in regards to Sway Away being excluded. Number one, I feel very bad for the connections of Sway Away. There are many issues and problems with this sport, and one of them is with also-eligibles in the Kentucky Derby. Many great races in this country and around the world have also-eligible lists where horses can enter the race if another horse drops out--up until the morning of the race. It's definately something that should be considered for the Kentucky Derby going forward.

All week I was very open in telling people that Uncle Mo was 50-50 to make the race. When he got off of his feed on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday, things began to change. Uncle Mo is not Stay Thirsty. He is the 2YO champion and deserved every chance to make the race, not only for him and me, but for racing fans all around the country. Again, I feel very badly for the Sway Away connections, but these horses can turn around, both good and bad, in a 24-hour period. I'm sure that the Sway Away connections, and you guys, would have done the same thing if you were in my situation. Thanks, Mike.

13 May 2011 5:06 PM

Classy, classy, classy. I hope Mo rebounds well and we get to see what he really can do as a 3yr old and hopefully as an older handicap horse, as I think it is important to keep our healthy older horses on the track a little longer. Just look what Zenyatta did for racing with her huge fan base. Uncle Mo is on his way there and we are all thinking about his health and well being. He has a GREAT owner who not only cares about the game, but most importantly his HORSES!

13 May 2011 5:27 PM

Fantastic conclusion to your blog Mr. Repole.  It has been great for the sport that you have been so up front and honest with everyone every step of the way, allowing everyone the chance to learn more about the industry and the horses they love.  I admire how you handled the situation with Bob Baffert and wish you the best of luck at the Saratoga meet, as well as with the remainder of the year - especially with Uncle Mo once you get things sorted out.  

13 May 2011 5:27 PM

Mr. Repole;

Thank you for your excellent care of your horse and your enthusiasm for the great game of horse racing.

I was very worried for Mo going into the Derby.  I have no doubt he is a "super horse" but even the great ones are mortal and can be brought back to earth when not at their best.  You did the best thing for your horse and I applaud you.  I pray for an accurate diagnosis, a speedy recovery and for the opportunity to once again witness the speed and power of a healthy Uncle Mo.

13 May 2011 5:29 PM

I think it is very good of you to take the time to post on a blog.There is just one thing that the blogmaster might have not posted remarks from other bloggers relating to UM back in February.Are we supposed to believe that his health issues just started after the Wood,or has this been an issue for a longer time.The Timely Writer as a prep,I dont know but will this race even be run next year.

13 May 2011 5:32 PM
Mike from Michigan

wow, you are a class act Mike.  I really hope Uncle Mo continues to improve.  I am sure in a couple of months we will see him back on the track.  As far as yourself Mike, thank you for allowing us into Uncle Mo's world with your columns.  If you are ever in northeast Michigan I sure would like the opportunity to meet you. My family has a nice little place on the shore of Lake Huron and you would certainly be welcome for a visit ( the sunrises are awesome).  Take care Mike and we will be rooting for Uncle Mo to get back to his old self!

13 May 2011 6:00 PM

Sorry about Uncle Mo's ill-health.  I wish a speedy recovery and return to the track.  

I have to say the writing was on the wall re: the Derby when his training regimen and prep race schedule seemed so light.

You're a jolly good fellow Mike, and so say ...most of us.  

I believe that Stay Thirsty will come into his own as a 4YO.  Best of luck.  

13 May 2011 6:18 PM

Mr. Repole,

Thank you for this article and the update on Uncle Mo.  I just love that Mo, he was my pick for months, and my heart was sinking right along with you during that press conference to announce his withdrawal from the Derby.  All I could think of was that this poor man is on an emotional roller coaster experiencing the highs and lows of this glorious sport simultaneously.

You did the right thing and acted with dignity and put the horse's welfare first before anything.  I hope the veterinarians find the root cause of the elevated enzyme and I pray it is a minor issue and Mo is back running soon in good health.  Please continue to update us on Mo's status and good luck with Stay Thirsty in the future.

13 May 2011 6:36 PM
calico cat

Thank you Mike for sharing your thoughts with us. I wish Uncle Mo a complete recovery and I look forward to seeing him on the track later on in the year.

Good luck Mike! and good racing with all your horses.

P.S. Bob Baffert's remark was only his idea of a left-handed compliment. His wife is right he should have stopped at "Uncle Mo looks fantastic". :)

13 May 2011 6:39 PM
Mary in VT


Thanks for doing right by the horse by not running him in the KD. He deserves better than to be forced to run if there is the slightest suspicion that he is anything but 100%. All horses deserve that regardless if they are cheap claimers or the 2 YO champ that seared a vision of himself running away from the best in his crop in the Breeder's Cup on our memories.

Thanks for explaining about entering him despite your misgivings about him actually making the race, and thank you for your empathy for the Sway Away camp. I didn't know horses can turn around so fast. I understand that you played by the rules. It's the lack of also eligibles in the KD that we should speak against.

Hey Mike, does anybody in your house love God? If so, they know that what two or more Christians agree on in prayer *will* be done for them. Not *might* be done or *could* be done, but *will* be done. Let them and anyone else that loves God and would like to see Uncle Mo return to robust health agree in a prayer to God whenever they happen read this.

"Holy One, thank you for all the beautiful horses, and for the immense joy they give us. Thank you for giving man a heart for the horse, and for making man and horse a team. Today Father, we would like to thank you for one particular horse named Uncle Mo. Father, Uncle Mo isn't feeling well. So far the best vets can't name that tune or make him better and that causes us to fear that there is something really bad going on. Father, I don't know how to heal even one cell let alone a whole horse. I can't make cell. I can't put two cells together. But I know who can. You can. The God that made heaven and earth and Uncle Mo too can fix him good as new. So Father, together we stand on your promises that if those that love your name say to the mountain "Move," it has no choice but to move, and that whatever two or more ask in your name is a done deal. Father, in the most perfect name the world has ever heard, and the only name by which we have a right to ask you anything, the name of Jesus, we ask you to restore Uncle Mo to vibrant exuberant resplendant good health. Restore every cell, Father. The mountain must move. And draw many to your side by it Father. Amen."

13 May 2011 6:51 PM

Mr. Repole:

The ups and downs that you've brought to light in this blog have been awesome!! I'm sure that you would have gotten a great thumbs-up from 99.99% of the industry if you'd won the Derby (a little different than the owner of the winner seems to be receiving)

13 May 2011 7:02 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Who knows what Baffert was up to with those comments. It could of even been an attempt at humor. He's a great horseman and can be entertaining but sometimes he has foot in mouth disease. But what anyone has said or says doesn't matter. The bottom line is that Mike Repole and Todd Pletcher did the right thing with the scratch. The horse's health and welfare should always come first. Let's just hope that Uncle Mo gets better soon. We don't know what would have happened in The Wood if he wasn't sick. A win I assume since he didn't look like the Uncle Mo I've seen in the past, even pre-race. In the Timely Writer he looked fabulous physically so I thought he was right on track for a good run at the Triple Crown races. He looked much different prior to The Wood. He did not look as good or look like he really wanted to run that day. One thing we do know for certain- Uncle Mo was one of the best two year olds in history. Maybe he could have been one of the best three year olds without the illness but all I care about is that he gets well and has a good life. I give a lot of credit to Mike Repole for his availability and articles and interviews which is a great thing for the fans. Things didn't turn out as planned and he still comes on here and does a blog. Reminds me of Paladin. Hell of a man. My money's on Repole if Baffert says the wrong thing when they meet in person. But I'm sure Repole would pick Baffert off of the ground, dust him off, shake hands as friends, and pay the medical bills.

13 May 2011 7:33 PM

You are a class act, Mike, and also possess one of the best senses of humor.  Thanks for all that you've done for Uncle Mo and for his fans.  We love you.  Please keep up Mo's Facebook page.  

13 May 2011 7:58 PM
Stellar Jayne

Hi Mike,

Thank you so very much for putting Uncle Mo first!  I'm sure he is grateful also.  As you know, he is a fabulous horse.  It warms my heart to see him so cared for.  I am worried though, as we recently lost Devil May Care who was a favorite.  She did not recover from the hepatitis, and had a high enzyme count also which eventually revealed a lymphosarcoma and she was put down.

My thoughts and prayers are with Mo and that it is not a cancer.  He is a grand horse and athlete!

Best Always

13 May 2011 8:55 PM


Thanks for doing this blog and sharing your life along the Derby trail.  Thanks also to Jason and the Bloodhorse for doing this for the racing fans.

I'll pray also that Mo receive the best care and that the Vet professionals will be able to diagnose and treat Mo so he can return to the races.  Good luck also with Stay Thirsty and the rest of your stable.

13 May 2011 8:59 PM

Said with so much class so unlike some others we have had to listen to after the Derby.........

Hope Mo gets well soon.

13 May 2011 9:06 PM
Paula Higgins

Mike, you are a gem. Besides being a kind and compassionate owner, you take the time to keep us updated on Uncle Mo. Thank you for that because I have been very worried about him. But I am thrilled he is putting on weight. That is a good sign. I am glad you did the right thing by thinking of Mo first and skipping the Derby. I would expect no less from you. You are a gift to this sport and we are all rooting for you and Mo. As for Bob Baffert, I had no idea he said those things! I second Soldier Course who said there is way too much inappropriate commentary from some people, this year and last. I like Bob Baffert  so I am somewhat shocked. Mike, don't let it bother you. It is very evident that you are a very honest man and so is Todd Pletcher. Many thanks for posting Mike.

13 May 2011 9:12 PM
Zen's Auntie


I really appreciate your sharing this dream with us and its not over! I cant wait to see Uncle Mo back in top form competing at the highest levels and hopefully back at CD for the breeders cup.

It must have been a huge disapointnment not to run Mo. I cant even imagine. Not that it means anything coming from a plain old fan and small time backwoods TB owner but kudos to you. You did completely the right thing by MO.

Although I have always been your fan I am even moreso now - keep on gambling and racing. This sport needs guys like you - not just because of the the check book either!

13 May 2011 9:47 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

Dear Mike, I am liking you better all the time.  Best wishes to you and Mo.

13 May 2011 9:57 PM
Mike Relva

Mr Repole

Unlike some readers that talk out of both sides of their mouths will be honest,Mo wasn't ever my pick to win the Derby,but I was concerned to hear of his illness and hope he recovers and returns to racing asap.

13 May 2011 9:59 PM
Mister Frisky

Dear Mike,Glad to hear Mo is on the improve.You put the horse first and for that everyone thanks you.Dude I wouldn't worry I think you will make it back to the Derby many more times.Best of luck in the future.

13 May 2011 10:16 PM
Karen in Indiana

Hopefully, some grass, sunshine and down time will be what the doctor ordered for Mo. I hope for the best - he seems like such a neat guy.

As for your colt's name - how about A Bit Unbridled or Unbridled Pressure?

Thank you for your blogs and for letting us keep in touch with you and Mo. Stay Thirsty, also.

13 May 2011 10:34 PM
Karen in Indiana

Mary in Vt, here's two and I'm sure there are many more in agreement.

13 May 2011 10:37 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Paula Higgins

   I like Bob Baffert too. I hope there isn't a fight. Besides, I'm wavering on who I'd bet on. You know how tough old guys are.

13 May 2011 10:39 PM



13 May 2011 10:52 PM

I am glad to hear Uncle Mo is eating his oats & grass in the pasture and feeling better. I do not think Bob Baffert was serious in his comment at all. It was pure Baffert pulling your leg humor, using the comments & speculation that have been floating around in the media since the FL Derby about Uncle Mo's condition. The press were desperately looking for some new comment to fuel a controversial story line. I think you were so worried about your horse that you were not able to see he was just joking, saying something absurd that no one would have taken seriously and the press were the ones who made something out of nothing.

14 May 2011 1:42 AM
The Deacon

Some of this bantering is good for the sport, gets folks interested and involved. I do not know Mr. Baffert or Mr. Repole but my guess is that Mr. Baffert was not at all serious. I think he was just messing around somewhat. Bob Baffert has always been great for racing. Mr Repole, I believe you did the right thing by Mo' and you are a true gentleman of the game. I thank you for sgaring your thoughts and feelings.

I just hope he has a speedy recovery. I still believe he is the best 3 year old we have.

14 May 2011 2:25 AM

hey mike.. i just wanted to say that im probably the reason you posted this article after you read my post on facebook.. imm the guy that strategically wrot,

"Your a once in a lifetetime horse that comes around, once in a lifetime... To watch u run would be an honor and a privilage to the entire nation.. U have the potential to bring hope to the face of humanity..I havd more confidence in your ability to win, even at 50 percenf, than ive ever had for any horse in my life. Secretaroat can eat his heart out.. Your the best there is, the best there was and in my heart of hearts, the best there ever will be.. Your gods gift to horse racing.. Now show them how your destined for gr greatness.. I believe inz u uncle mo.. Now its up to u to prove just how great u really are. Just find away to make your owner and trainer believe and u and u have the potential and talent to change the worl and make america omce again believe in horse racing..

and i know u saw and took pride in posts like this bc u now that u and ur horse could have changed the face of this sport. that fact that u read all his post makes me happy yet feel guilty cause i only posted that in an attempt to manipulate team "Uncle mo." with all my heart i am fully devoted to this sport. these horses, trainers jockeys and owners get no credit for there dedication and devotion to this highly prestigious horse. i guess i can see y because every year i throw a kentucky derby party and for that las three the favorites have been scratched. even tho i think eskenderaya was the best horse ive ever seen i still think your horse was a once in a lifetime horse. even after he lost me and my dad didnt doubt him for a second. animal kingdom was my pick but i knew uncle mo could have blown the doors off of any horse in that field.. all im saying is sometimes we need to be more like jess jackson and devote ourselves to this sport and bring it back to its prestige. u have the ability to do that. please dont let the ones who believe in you down..

14 May 2011 4:47 AM

p.s. weve met and have done business before... my dad tried talking business with you and you were more interested in my devotion and knowledge to horse racing... you told me and my father that i had something special and to never give up on the things that i am passionate about.. i never forgot a word you said and i cherish every ounce of advice that you gave me in that interview (maybe thats y i hit animal kingdom) but none the less i believe that uncle mo has the potential has the charisma and ability to make a serious impact on this sport and i pray every night that u dont lose sight in that. see u soon. JD

14 May 2011 4:55 AM

Mike, I am so glad you posted those Baffert foot in mouth comments and I hope it gets back to him that you are annoyed with him. It truly was tasteless on his part and your response was the best. You are a class act, thanks for being you happy to hear Mo is doing better. Looking forward to you back in the winners circle. By the way you never left.

Few can say that.

Dr. Drunkinbum, you are hilarious.

14 May 2011 5:33 AM

Very good commentary, Mike.  Thank you.  And thanks for quoting what BB said and addressing it.  I'd seen that remark alluded to in the news, but I didn't have the context for it.  Now that I do, yeah, I like the 10-second rule!  Best of luck to Mo.

14 May 2011 8:08 AM

Mr. Repole:  As always, it is refreshing to hear of an owner who puts the horse first.  I'm sure the decision was difficult but at the same time neccessary.  I feel you did the right thing and I sincerely hope that a correct diagnosis can be made and that Uncle Mo will return to racing.

As for Bob Baffert....he is known to flap his jaws!  I really wouldn't give him any more satisfaction of consideration of his unfounded comments.

The Derby???? In my circle of friends it is becoming "a joke"...overcrowded field ,half of which are not even qualified to run in such race and only congest the field and lessen the chances of the public seeing a decent race of qualified entrants....a publicity gathering for celebrities, most of which know nothing about over-publicized fashion show of hats! (and this year....a display of what I feel was very poor judgement when Archarcharch was reportedly injured shortly after leaving the gate but was foolishly and selfishly ridden for over a mile!  - I find it odd that we have not seen any comments in regard to this!)  All has become a terrible disservice to the original intentions of the Kentucky Derby.

All in all, I wish you and Uncle Mo the best of luck..maybe for now it's just best to let him "be a horse" and to rest, recover (hopefully) and have some fun!  

14 May 2011 8:59 AM

Best of wishes to Mo for a complete recovery.  I'm still certain he's the best 3-year-old out there and I hope he gets to prove that.

14 May 2011 9:39 AM
Rachel NH

Hope Mo doesn't have ulcers...unfortunately lasix and antibiotics wreak havoc on a horse's tummy...especially if they already internally stress over stuff. How's his pancreas, liver enzymnes? Any mouth irritation? (beside Bob?)

I like Bob B. He's been really good for the sport for a loooong time, paid his dues, he's funny and off beat, not always appropriate but who is? shoulda just ignored him...

14 May 2011 9:39 AM

Bob Baffert was just complimenting the Uncle Mo and giving you props.  I don't think it's good for you to be calling his statements "idiotic".  That is something we in the peanut gallery do, and you should be above that.  Bob was just having fun.  Lighten up.

14 May 2011 9:50 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

I do think that there is a good chance that CD will have an also eligible list of two or three by next year's Derby. It should have been done already. Hopefully they are smart enough to rectify the situation. No owner or trainer can be blamed for another horse not getting in whether the horse was 50-50 or 100% ealier in the week. It is entirely the track's responsiblity to do things the right way.

14 May 2011 10:14 AM


I gotta ask why, would you make a statement regarding betting UM down to be the favorite if you had a thought he may not run?

Mind you on other web sites I read the word was out he was gonna be scratched,just gotta ask.

Good Luck..


14 May 2011 10:50 AM

Obviously you remembered the old saying that you can't be hurt by people who don't matter to you.  I don't know why Baffert just loves to make hurtful comments to people, but he always does.

My best wishes for good health to Uncle Mo and may he soon make it back to the racetrack and show everyone how good he is!

14 May 2011 10:54 AM

You can't keep a good horse down...or a good owner. You have every right to be discouraged Mike but just keep doing your thing and the rewards will come. Perserverence paid off for Team Valor and it will pay off for you too.

14 May 2011 10:59 AM


Have you had a chiropractor take a look at Uncle Mo? If the regular vets can't figure it out-maybe its time. I've seen similar things in humans. He may have a spinal segment that is pressing on the nerve that goes to his stomach. Its worth a look.

14 May 2011 11:36 AM
Karen in Texas

Dr.D----I'm literally LOL at the thought of Bob Baffert in any sort of "pugilistic" position! His words in the LA Times quote are surprising to me, too, though, and I'm guessing he would try to explain/apologize if the opportunity were to arise. Maybe someone will suggest it to him...?

14 May 2011 11:39 AM

Mr Repole. I just wonder at this point, how good is Stay Thirsty... Yes, i was one of many others, that Believed the Bernardini colt was one of the best of his crop... His perfomance in the Gotham seemed to be hopeful... But, he fails in the important races...I hoped more of him in the Kentucky Derby... Yes, i´m sure you or Platcher are tho only ones who can tell us how far ST could get... Thanks a lot.

14 May 2011 11:49 AM

Hi Mike. Thanks again for keeping us up to date on Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty through this blog and all of your interviews. So often we have to sit back and wait to hear news on how horses are doing or what they are doing at any given time. It's all about the horses to us and to be in the loop and kept up to date in such a fashion really is appreciated and says a lot about your commitment to the fans and to promoting the sport.  We all await anxiously the outcome of tests on Mo and it is scary not knowing what could be causing this problem. I try to remain optimistic but I am a worrier and the longer it takes the worse I worry about him. He is such a sweet and genuine horse not even including his brilliance as a race horse. I hope we learn soon it is something easily remedied. As for Thirsty, love this little horse and his gutsy determination and I know he will come into stride and find his races this summer. You have a lot to be proud of in him. I look forward to seeing your other horses continue to find the winners circle as well. Hope Calibrachoa mends quickly and is back to his winning ways. I hope we keep hearing from you in one form or another. You are a much needed voice for the sport and as a voice on the side of the fans. Best of luck to you and thank you again for a great ride.

14 May 2011 12:34 PM

Very well done and said.  Many of us who own race horses kind of live hand to mouth and when one encounters problems like Mo encountered it is hard to absorb financially. Yet even for someone with your financial resources or Live Oak with To Honor and Serve it is more about the horse than the money and we greatly appreciate your articulation of that to the more casual fans.  The Kentucky Derby is still the hallmark horse racing event for most people and the only one that most even care about.  I believe that to all of us the fact that you put the horse first was a mark of class, althhough most cannot appreciate how difficult it was to do so. The fact that Archarcharch did not break down on the track was fortunate after the Eight Bells accident.  Keep the faith and continue to understand that many of us appreciate all of the positive perspectives of racing that you have offered. Most fans do not have any understaning of all the the things that are involved, many of which can about tear your heart out as an owner.  I like Baffert and think he ordinarily represents the sport well.  This situation demonstrates why Pletcher says so little, since if you don't say anything no one can take offense.  Best regards and I hope this run of bad luck turns around and better things await you in the near future.  

14 May 2011 12:34 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Thank you very much. I think Baffert is "tongue in cheek" a lot, but like Mike Repole, he is very competitive, and engages in competitive bantering quite often, so in that way they are alike. Hopefully it will be a friendly feud in the long run and not taken too seriously. You have to see Baffert talking to know more about where he's coming from, if he is making a good or feeble attempt at humor, or being serious or just wanting to rile someone up in a friendly competitive nature. However, joking about a horse's health or not taking an illness or injury seriously is about as tasteless as it gets for me. I think all horses should run at 100%, especially in a race as tough as the Derby no matter how talented they are, but I think Mo did look pretty good the week before The Derby so Baffert may have actually believed what he said. Downgrading a horse's chances so the odds will be better is very common, and it's been around forever. In this case Baffert didn't know what he was talking about. That happens sometimes. Like most of us he learns from his mistakes but forgets what he learned sometimes. As far as next year is concerned I'd be looking at a number of Hard Spun's colts. No doubt in my mine that Mike Repole will be back in The Derby often and will win it sometime, maybe when he least expected to.

14 May 2011 12:57 PM
Carlos in Cali

"The next time I see Baffert it will be at Saratoga.I will say hello to him from the winner's circle as he picks up his horse and walks back to the barn".

That won't happen because Baffert doesn't train $10k claimers.

14 May 2011 1:17 PM

Its tough being at the top of the game and taking the comments of the media, trainers, and fans.

I think you handed it all quite admirably.  

Mo's health is most disconcerting.  Horses are so strong and so fragile at the same time.  Whatever it is that is prevailing I sure hope the vets can take hold of the condition and eradicate it soon.

Best of luck with Uncle Mo and good fortune in what's ahead in the racing world.  Please keep speaking  your mind regarding horse welfare on and off the track.

14 May 2011 2:14 PM


14 May 2011 2:59 PM
Mike in SB

Tell Mo to get well soon. I want to see him win the Travers!

14 May 2011 3:58 PM

Thanks for sharing your Derby experience with everyone. I'm very concerned about Uncle Mo's health and I hope you will keep everyone updated.

14 May 2011 5:37 PM
Barbara W

Mr. Repole,

I knew you were an okay guy when I heard you speak at the Eclipse Awards.

I agree with every word in Mary frm VT's prayer for Uncle Mo. I only have a "grandhorse", but I would be positively ill if he should become ill with something that's not easily discernible.

You and Mr. Pletcher did the difficult but right thing to consider the horse first.

WinStar is a fine facility, and I'm sure they will be interested in Uncle Mo's welfare first and foremost.

Ya think BB will show up at the Preakness wearing a muzzle??

14 May 2011 6:03 PM

Best of luck to Uncle Mo. I would assume it's his liver enzymes that are still elevated. I hope that he will be on the mend soon.

However, if they still can't diagnose the problem in Kentucky, I would highly recommend that you seek a second opinion with the Univ of Pennsylvia New Bolton Center.

I was highly impressed with the vets at U of P who are leading professors in their fields.

And I remember when New Bolton was established; the head vet was the Queen's Vet.

14 May 2011 6:28 PM


Thank you for your blog.  I think we all know that Mo's health is the most important issue for you right now.  I am glad to hear he is gaining weight, and I hope the doctors can figure out what is wrong with him.  Regarding Mr. Baffert's comments-well, I think he needs only a five second time limit.  Anything after that is "just talk".  I am sorry that you have to deal with his comments.  Actually, don't stoop to Baffert's level.  Clearly, you are the better man.  Best wishes to you and all who love Mo.  I wish him a speedy recovery for whatever ails him, and I will keep him in my thoughts and prayers.  

14 May 2011 6:35 PM

Mr. Repole,

You have shown a lot of class by opening up your heart to racing fans everywhere. It takes courage to do something like this because there are always those who will find fault.

I want to say "Thank you," to you for sharing your experiences with Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty with us. Racing needs more owners like you. Oftentimes, owners remain aloof from those who come to see their horses run. I think this is wrong and doesn't help racing's image at all. You, however, have shared your experiences with the fans and helped make us feel appreciated.

I hope and pray that Uncle Mo is feeling well and that a definite diagnosis is forthcoming. You and Todd Pletcher did right by the horse by not running him in this year's Kentucky Derby. Far too often, ailing or sore horses are run in races and often the outcomes are disasterous. Uncle Mo was safely in his stall, where, due to his health concerns, he should have been.

I am sorry that Stay Thirsty didn't have a better Derby, but what a thrill it must have been to see your silks in the race. Racing is always referred to as a sport of incredible highs and incredible lows. Just know that many people are rooting for you to continue finding success with your horses. Please keep us updated on Uncle Mo's health.

Thank you.

Suzanne M.

14 May 2011 6:58 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Karen In Texas

  How about an egg fight? I wonder how we would have responded in the 50's or 60's if someone called us a "blogger"  

"What did you call me?"

"I said that you'll probably grow up to be a blogger, but you probably don't even know what that is do you?"

"No, but it doesn't sound good, sounds like fightin' words to me."

   I feed into it too but just for fun. I think Bob Baffert and Mike Repole have both been great for racing, and they should shake hands and come out fighting, I mean shake hands and let bygones be bygones. We had a jockey fight at the BC after the race on National TV, do we really need an owner and trainer duking it out on National TV? Can't see anyone getting madder than Calvin did that day though. Archarcharch surviving is still the Derby highlight. I'm sure Baffert meant no disrespect. He jokes around a lot. "OK boys, break it up!!" Go Animal Kingdom !!!!! And best wishes to the Great Uncle Mo for a speedy and full recovery. I'm going on vacation.

14 May 2011 7:54 PM

Did you check for myocarditis/endocarditis?  It can be a sequel to other types of infections and cause longstanding malaise.  Has he had an echocardiogram?

Hope he's doing better soon - please keep us posted on his condition.

14 May 2011 8:05 PM

Mike, ty for your final chapter about Uncle Mo's health.

I wish a very healthy life for Uncle, too.

14 May 2011 9:12 PM
Paula Higgins

LOL Dr Drunkinbum, I wouldn't want to see a fight between either men. I like them both.

14 May 2011 9:45 PM

Baffert’s comments were honest and accurate. He stated that the horse looked great. Did any other trainer state that the horse looked horrible or off?

My friend and I predicted that Uncle Mo would scratch because the only way he could get the last quarter of a mile in the derby is if he hailed a cab in the stretch. I have known various individuals in the industry who state that this is a common occurrence because owners are informed that a poor performance in the KY Derby after having such a successful campaign as a 2 year old could greatly diminish the horse’s value as a stallion. If he retires today his stud fee would probably be 50,000. If he finished last in the derby it would probably drop to 25,000. I hope this horse proves me wrong and returns to the races, however I am skeptical that he will ever race again. If he does return to the races don’t expect him to win a race at a mile and a quarter.

15 May 2011 1:21 AM

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to you for writing these blogs about your experiences with Uncle Mo. I never expected I would have access to an owner's thoughts as you have provided for us. You are indeed fortunate to have had not one by two derby horses. I expect we will be hearing more from you in the future.

I knew you would do the right thing for Uncle Mo and I empathize with you on the disappointment of his not being at his best in time for the Derby. I like so many others here agree with Mary's prayer for Mo's healing and recovery.

It is not easy when you are operating at the top of your sport, profession, etc. The media is always trying to find a story, make up a story, instigate a controversy or do anything to justify their continued place on the payroll. I don't personally know Bob Baffert but from what I have read about him he has a sense of humor and will toss remarks off as a joke. I strongly suspect this is what happened and the reporter took it out of it context. This is a good lesson to us all not to 'joke around' so much, but we are all human. I believe the next time you and Mr Baffert are at the same track he will shake your hand and let you know he was quoted out of context. He is a really good guy and a really good trainer. Wouldn't surprise me to see you letting him train some of your horses sometime. Don't let things like this offend you, it isn't worth having your peace disturbed and besides, it will affect your health and spirit negatively.

We love you and Uncle Mo and want to continue to hear how he is doing. It thrilled me to hear about him being turned out 4 or 5  hours a day to roll around, eat grass and just be a horse!

15 May 2011 9:44 AM

Have to join with the minority here, like 5starday, I completely agree that if Mo was only 50/50, he should not have been entered and deny another horse to run.  Some measure should be taken at the track to mandate early enough for other possible runners that a dubious entry needs to be pulled before posts are drawn.  All Mo's connections did was take up the space of another deserving colt.

15 May 2011 10:51 AM

Mike- I respect your commitment and support for the industry but I can't for the life of me understand why Mo was scratched at the 11th hour. Based on the available inforation to the public it seemed that Mo should have been stoped on. I was taught a long time ago that you wait or they will make you wait.

15 May 2011 11:34 AM
Mike Relva


I didn't pick Mo to win the Derby. Having said that,I think your totally incorrect regarding your theory of why he missed the Derby.

15 May 2011 12:03 PM
Little Miss11754

Thank you Mike for letting all Uncle Mo fans, know how he is doing!!!!  I am sure, Uncle Mo will soon find his Mojo!! LOL  . I commend you on putting his health first!!  People are going to say negative things at times, but like I tell my boys.. negative words come from a poor self esteem about ones self!! You keep thinking positive! Lets go Mo!!! and Mets too!!!!

15 May 2011 1:18 PM

Best of luck to you and Uncle Mo.  I will be rooting for a Repole two year old to emerge this year as 2012 classic candidate!

15 May 2011 2:40 PM

I just want to take this time to congratulate Zookeeper on a great ride from RFO.   He ran a great race.

15 May 2011 5:30 PM

Sway Away had plenty of chances to obtain enough graded earnings to earn a place in the Derby gate and did not run a step in his last two races after closing so well in the previous one. (Believe me I was paying attention since I wasted $20 on him in future pool 2). Having him in the Derby would have offered nothing except giving his connections a chance to be a part of the festivities.  If he finishes in the top three in the Preakness I will take it back but what loss to the Dereby was there by having a horse that was running as poorly as he was miss the race?  It just made it less crowded on the back end.

15 May 2011 6:25 PM

Zookeeper congratulations on RFO's race! He ran his heoart out. I know you are so proud f him!

15 May 2011 6:51 PM
Paula Higgins

Zookeeper, RFO did great. Congratulations! People need to stop questioning Mike's honesty as to why he waa scratched. If I had a horse that I thought might make it to the Derby, I would give that horse every chance to get there.

15 May 2011 6:56 PM
Jason Shandler

Hey Guys: I had a death in the family. No blog for the next few days. Will be in Baltimore Wednesday night and should have one Thursday or Friday. Take care.

15 May 2011 7:56 PM

I agree with Paula, I think MikeR hinted more than what people needed that there's at least a 90% chance that he'll scratch.  He did it the day before the Derby.  The bottom line is the horse is not well, if the horse was showing signs that he wasn't well, that's a different story but the horse looked great physically even though he was sick internally so I don't blame MikeR for waiting until Friday to make the decision.

We should hope he gets back to 100% so that he can show us what all his backers have been saying all along, that he is a special horse.  I'm anxiously awaiting to see him dominate like he did in the BCJ.

15 May 2011 8:10 PM
Mike Relva


Nice going with RFO.

15 May 2011 8:47 PM

Jason- my payers are with you and your family

15 May 2011 10:36 PM

Repole,hope Baffort kills ya at Saratoga.Pletcher...member Life at ten when he threw Velasquez under the bus?You n him make a good pair.Hope u lose evey race ur in.

15 May 2011 11:21 PM

I guess I'm in the minority that sees nothing new in this "clarification".

Before the Wood, Mr Repole & Mr Pletcher were of boundless optimism praising their horse's fitness and ability.  Then he comes up WAY short and suddenly he has a mystery illness.

Both Mr Repole & Pletcher called it a "gastrointestinal infection" yet it wasn't severe enough to prevent the horse from continuing to train hard, to ship across the country, or to maintain weight and condition.

If the horse was unable to keep weight on without medication, why was he still in full training?  Why not ship him THEN to the farm for full diagnosis?  Why to the farm and not to the accredited diagnostic hospital?  

Mr. Repole, Bob Baffort just said what others were thinking.  You have yet to be forthcoming about what diagnoses if any have been ruled out or why you added the stress of training to a supposedly ill horse.

You can fool the masses but you haven't answered these questions but you have decided to disparage a great trainer instead.  

Come clean sir.

16 May 2011 12:25 AM


Again thanks for interacting with us and working hard to get Mo out there as the super star he still is. I sincerely hope that the experience hasn't jaded you and the decision to give mo some well deserved rest over the winter was still the right call.

As for Mr. Baffert, try to take his comments with a grain of salt. He's won the derby 3x and missed the triple crown by inches. With his outgoing and usually likable personality, as a fan I enjoy all his comments and think he has the right to make them given his success. In an ideal world, It would have been the Factor, Jaycito and Mo down the stretch but it didn't play out.

No reason Mo can't come back and play spoiler later this year or even next. Look at how long the geldings run and how long Zenyatta & Cigar ran. Plenty of time.

The biggest indicator of true health (in my un-expert opinion as a groom and short duration owner) was a horses coat. I think you made the right call with Mo and hope some rest on the farm, GRASS and turnout time with some sunshine will have him in shape in no time. I still say these animals are closer to the creatures God created than anything man has twisted them into. They are at heart, herd animals and while Thoroughbreds are daintier than other horses, remember what the cowboys said, "the worst thing you can do for a horse is put a blanket on him or put him in a barn". A little rough, but some time outside will be good for Mo!

16 May 2011 8:54 AM

Jason - I'm sorry for your loss. My condolances to you and to your family.

16 May 2011 10:59 AM
M. Martini

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about Uncle Mo with the fans, Mr. Repole. I'm hoping that he gets better, and in the coming months and years can display the speed and strength that he did last year, if not even more.

16 May 2011 11:50 AM

Lmaris- 100% on the mark. Super trainers like Pletcher push a horse to the max snd will do whatever it takes to run in the marque races.If it becomes a choice of not having anything to run in the Derby,BC etc. or taking a chance, guess what decision wins out?

16 May 2011 12:51 PM

When I reviewed Mo's last race it looked like he was going to pull away right after the turn for home...I thought something had stopped him and it was not tiredness///good luck with him    he will be ok..

16 May 2011 1:24 PM

Jason: from all of us: we are sorry for your loss.

Hope you have good memories.

16 May 2011 1:33 PM
Zen's Auntie

My deepest sympathy Jason.  

16 May 2011 2:49 PM
Mike Relva


Your comments to Repole were absurd.

16 May 2011 3:11 PM

Sorry about your loss Jason.  My brother passed away from cancer March 5th "Big Cap" day.  That's the way he would have wanted it.  

For a small fee, I was able to arrange a race in his honor, a six fulong maiden down the hill over the Santa Anita turf course.  

My mom, dad, and my brother's kids, all got their picture in the winners circle with Talamo.  

It was very nice.

16 May 2011 3:13 PM

Oh and who cares about Sway Away...really, come on...there was a reason he was 21st on the list. The derby field is too darn crowded anyhow. If there was any chance the million dollar winner who stomped ALL of his competition at Churchill last year could have ran, no one in their right mind begrudges you trying until the last hour to get Mo "right". I sound like Draynay...I know...I know...but people are whining about #1 knocking out #21.

16 May 2011 5:08 PM

Mike you should be proud of yourself for how you and your team handled themselves.  Not easy for people in this sport.  Irwin could not figure out to Win with class, always thought you could learn about someone from adversity or losing.  Irwin you learned about him from winning. Yikes.  As for Baffert, thats just Baffert being Baffert, we here on the West Coast know how to bear with it, you tune it out.  Loves the track, hates the track, blah blah. But he is entertaining so its all good.  Good Luck with Mo and your new crop of two year olds, Like Johnny V, you will get yours.  Things have a way of working out!!

16 May 2011 7:06 PM
no_mo _mo

Take all the time you need with him. I had a bad feeling about the horses chances long before he got ill. That being said, I hope he recovers completly and returns.

16 May 2011 7:34 PM

Mike I agree with some that you should take Bafferts comments with a grain of salt. As a trainer coming up to a big race he wasnt letting his guard down and expected a big effort from all the favorites. It just didnt come out perfect and that happens sometimes.

Uncle Mo was a great 2 year old and by far the best. We have been down this road many times after the derby with injuries and Mo will never run again. They have him at the farm rolling around and playing. That just means he will be retired in a few months. I did enjoy his runs and wish him well at the farm. Mike it was great that you embraced this run you had to the derby and shared your thoughts with racing fans. I hope that someday you not only get back to the derby but that you can win it. Just nice to see someone have some fun with this.

16 May 2011 8:45 PM
Paula Higgins

Jason, so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you. Also, you too Housholder. I am very sorry about your brother.

16 May 2011 9:48 PM

We have our differences, but times like this reminds me how petty it is.  My condolences to you and your family.

17 May 2011 2:40 PM
Criminal Type

Even though I have never been an uncle Mo fan, Mike Repole Is a class act. All owners should care for their horses like he does.

Jason, I am truly sorry for your lose.

DR. D.....Regarding your Hard Spun comments, From your finger tips to God's ears ! I can't wait for next years Trail. I think there will be more then one Hard Spun on it. The colt George Bolton bought at Barretts yesterday is intriguing. Im particularly interested in the half brother (he is gray) to Lost in the Fog that IEAH owns. He is in Fla right now with Eddie Woods but from someone inside IEAH who was kind enough to answer my email, will be going to Wesley Ward soon. He has not been named yet. However, I think this one might be another King's Bishop type horse like his sire and brother. I've seen two of his foals (2 yr olds) in person now and he is throwing beauties. I love this guy and have said all along that Hard Spun will end up being the best son of Danzig at stud. I asked this question on another blog and will ask it again here...who was the last stallion to sire a Derby winner in his first crop ?

17 May 2011 6:10 PM
Rachel NH

Jason & Householder...♥

17 May 2011 7:24 PM

Jason - I'm holding you and your family in the light.  

17 May 2011 8:35 PM

Dear Mr Repole,

I don't know if you'll ever see this, but I just want to thank you for being a caring enough owner and giving Uncle Mo time away from the track to rest and get better. It truly warmed my heart when you wrote: "He is being turned out in a huge pen for four to five hours per day, eating grass, rolling around, and having fun." I retrain retired racehorses, and I can't tell you what a difference it makes when they get to become REAL horses again. To me, it reawakens their soul. So thank you for doing this for Uncle Mo and by not keeping him at the track while he's on the mend. This sport needs MORE owners like you!

18 May 2011 1:19 AM


Sorry for your loss, my prayers are with you.


Congrats on RFO's run, a real gutsy performance and he's still learning.  Good Luck with him.

18 May 2011 9:55 AM
Linda in Texas

Jason - Condolences to you are sent with sincerity on the death of your family member. Upon each man's death i always remember what Jacques Cousteau said "each man's death diminishes mankind because he was a part of it."  Tried finding that exact quote but i wrote it down on a piece of paper in the 60's while watching him film one of his sea adventures for PBS and never forgot it.

Mikey - your post is hate filled.

At least learn how to spell Bob Baffert's last name. As for Uncle Mo's diagnosis, the jury is still out. Any by the way, i hope someday Mr. Repole is not walking behind you, taps you on the shoulder and says "you talkin' ta me?" You would not be so bold and nasty in your wishes perhaps.

And same to lmaris. Frankly sometimes what is left unsaid is worse than what is said. But not in either one of your cases.

And Mikey, mentioning Life at Ten.

Why would that come up? You know something? I still have my own thoughts about what happened and Pletcher didn't have anything to do with it and neither did the jockey. But someone does! They didn't want her in the race.

18 May 2011 12:56 PM

Sir, you know your horse and made the best decision for your horse. If all people were as devoted to their horses as you are, we would not have all the unwanted horses we have now.  

Maybe Mo will not have it to be a racer, maybe he will need a new career, I am glad that he has you to help him find his way.

18 May 2011 1:08 PM

Mike:  I have read that they are having an epidemic of EHV1 out in the west.  Could it be possible that Uncle Moe got in contact with an out west horse that was caring the viris.  Just a thought.

18 May 2011 1:40 PM
Jason Shandler

Just wanted to say that I really appreciate all of the comments and emails I've gotten from many of you with your condolences and well wishes. It really means a lot and is much appreciated. You guys are great.

I arrived at Pimlico today and will do a Preakness blog either late Thursday afternoon or in the evening. Thanks for being patient.

18 May 2011 10:32 PM
Criminal Type

Jason,  Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things you will ever do, emotionally. I lost my only child 18 months ago and have struggled since then for some kind of peace in my life. Someone told me Grief is the price we pay for Love. That is so true. I wish I could tell you it gets easier, but in my experience it hasn't, yet. They tell me the pain fades but it will always be there. The thing I try to focus on is how lucky I was to have him in my life for those 23 years.

I also wanted to say how jealous I am that you get to hang out at Pimlico while I sit over here 20 minutes away wishing I could hang out over there.

19 May 2011 7:33 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Criminal Type

   I don't know the answer to your question. Hopefully you'll give the answer. I've been looking forward to this group's offspring since 2007. Hard Spun, Street Sense, and Any Given Saturday offspring will be 3yo in 2012.


   My condolences for your loss. I hope you and your entire family are doing well under the circumstances.

19 May 2011 10:21 AM

Jason: I am so sorry for your loss, and I pray that your thoughts will be on joyful memories rather than on empty places.

Criminal Type: I hope that you, also retain those joyful memories...and you have my condolences on your loss too.  As to your question...though I'm uncertain of first crop status but..."Unbridled is the last Kentucky Derby winner to sire another Derby winner, Grindstone, who placed first in the Kentucky Derby in 1996."  Seattle slew also sired Swale.  Slew retired in 1978, and Swale was born in I don't believe he was 1st crop...but close.  Before that, it was Swaps who sired Chateaugay, and Count Fleet who sired Count Turf.

19 May 2011 10:44 AM
Linda in Texas

Criminal Type - i share your loss as my precious son died on March 2 just 2 years ago. He was 37. He was a special needs wonderful person who had Down Syndrome but that never interferred with his love of life, family, and anything involving his pets and animals. His brother and i miss him terribly and you are right, the loss gets deeper and the memories sharper and the pain never subsides and "Grief truly is the price we pay for Love."

If you are so close to Pimlico, just hop in a cab, have them take you to the entrance and i bet someone will show you the way! Have never been inside, but drove by. Just tell them you are a blogger on Jason and Steve's Blogs. I would be sitting by in the parking lot just watching if i was that close.

Hope your horse wins!  Linda R.

19 May 2011 12:05 PM

Criminal Type,

The last stallion to sire a Derby winner in his first crop was Street Cry, the sire of Street Sense, from the Raise A Native line.  The last one before him was Maria's Mon, sire of Monarchos, also from the RAN line.

19 May 2011 12:25 PM
Bob from Boston

Criminal Type,

That is so sad.  I'm very sorry for your loss.  You too Jason. ~Ted

19 May 2011 12:46 PM

Criminal Type,

Apologies for my mistake re 1st crop Derby winner information.  The last one was actually Birdstone, the sire of Mine That Bird (2009 Derby winner); still underlining the Dynasty of Raise A Native in this department of bloodline accomplishments.

19 May 2011 1:06 PM

Mr Repole,im glad you have that love for horses,is totally priceless,and the consern about the health for the horses make me so happy to be arrownd owners like i dicide to work for Mr Pletchor,wich im happend to know him over 20 years,exelent horseman,and good person too.i will love to be part of this profetional team,in the good times and bad times,and hopefully more good then bad,it is a privelege to work for Todd,and one thing for sure we love horses,cogratulations for your secsess and GOD bless you MIKE.( we need more owners like you and Marylu Witney, Ramsey,Mr Ferrish).....i hope you understand my english...........Mario Ruiz.

19 May 2011 1:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Criminal Type and Linda in Texas

   That is really difficult. My condolences and best wishes. Be safe.

19 May 2011 6:59 PM


My deepest sympathies again to you and your family, I expressed them on your other article blog.  So glad you are at Pimlico, nothing heals like looking at these majestic creatures.

Criminal Type,

So sorry to hear of your loss.  Get thee to Pimlico!!!  Go to the Preakness, if you can't get in this week you must attend Saturday.

Thanks for the info that there are little Hard Spuns running around out there!  2012's TC run should be awesome.  Yeah, 2007, if you ask my husband that is the year I "dragged him all over creation to see Hard Spun!!!"  I can't go to the Preakness but I will be at the Belmont.  

Linda in Texas,

I had no idea you had a child with Down Syndrome.  We have something in common, I have a sister in her late 40's with Down Syndrome, who over the last couple years, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.  The Down Syndrome are developing this 20-30 years earlier than a normal person would.  Last year was a nightmare dealing with loss of functions and seizures and believe it or not Zenyatta helped me through it a lot. I am so sorry to hear of your loss 2 years ago, it must have been devastating for you.  My sister, as did your child, had a deep love of animals and pets.  I'm dealing with the loss of the person and character although the body is still alive.  Linda, I could always sense a deep compassion for humanity in you in your posts and now I know why!

Get well Mo, ArchX3, and go Animal Kingdom!!!!!!!!!

19 May 2011 10:22 PM
Criminal Type

Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts. I can only say, it's been hell. He was only 23 and died of an athsma attack in his sleep on Thanksgiving 09. Also, thanks to everyone who answered my question regarding last first crop stallion to sire a derby winner.

Dr D, I too have been waiting patiantly for this crop. HS had another started in England yesterday who was ridden by the jockey who rode Vale of York. Akmed Astebe (spelling is probably way wrong) The colt, Light Burst is owned by Darley.

Linda, I am going out today for Ladies day. As much as I love the Preakness, I'll be watching from home tomorrow. Today, I like Strike The Moon and Final Mesa in the Miss Preakness. Hot Summer, Royal Delta and Wyomia in the Black Eyed Susan. Tomorrow I like Animal Kingdom, Mucho Macho Man & Dialed In in The Preakness, single L/S bets on Midnight Interlude, Sway Away and Flashpoint. Dance City looks spectacular too. I will take Paddy O Prado in the Dixie and Shared Account in the Gallorette. Happy Preakness weekend everyone !

20 May 2011 9:25 AM
Karen in Texas

Linda in Texas and Alex'sBigFan---

I, too, have a family member with Down Syndrome; my sister, who is in her mid-fifties. She currently lives in the state of Alaska, where our mother resided until her death. My sister's love and affinity for animals has always been legendary in the family; she even had a pet tarantula when we were children. I've always thought that animals understand and gravitate toward the "pure of heart". Linda, I'm sorry for your loss; and ABF, the Alzheimer's must be incredibly difficult to process in one so innocent.

20 May 2011 1:24 PM

Are the grains that race horses eat Genetically Modified?  I heard that a lot of cattle, pigs, etc. that eat commercially grown grains are getting sick.  If Uncle Mo gets wheat in his grains, it is GM more likely than not.  We don't know what that could do to his liver enzymes.  It is causing genetic and reproductive problems in other animals.  I hope his vets are looking into these new possibilities for making horses sick.  This type of food has never been eaten by horses before, and it could have disastrous effects.  

20 May 2011 3:05 PM
Criminal Type

Alex'sBigFan, Yea, I can relate to the husband thing. Mine is so not a horse person, although he did build me a great barn for my little Arab last spring. I had the Derby tri box that year (07). I thought he would and I wanted Hard Spun to win. Still, It was thrilling to cash in that ticket. Mario Pino lives not far from me and friday before the Derby I drove past his house and there was a good luck sign in the front yard. That was pretty cool. And who could not like Larry Jones.  I had the same three horses in that Preakness too but of course it paid much less then the Derby. I can't wait till nest year's Trail. I did go to Pimlico earlier and placed a few bets. I used to go to the Preakness every year but not since Big Brown. I hate trying to get out of there after..What a Zoo !

I watched Alex's preakness this morning and I still can't believe he didn't roll that day, and that Jeremy Rose stayed on. I also noticed that Scrappy T's jockey backed off, he was freaked out and I suppose knew if he had gone on to win he would have been taken down.

20 May 2011 4:09 PM


I was on vacation and just got back and heard about your loss.  My sincerest regrets.  All the best to you and your family.

20 May 2011 11:31 PM

Crimninal Type & Linda in Texas

I have children and grandchildren and they are the most important aspect of my life.  I could never imagine experiencing a tragic loss like you both have and I offer my sincerest regrets.  

20 May 2011 11:40 PM

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