Uncle Mo Thriving at WinStar

Thanks to Mike Repole and Elliott Walden, I was lucky enough to get a chance to go to WinStar Farm Tuesday morning to see Uncle Mo. Here is a link to the story I did, and below are photos taken by Blood-Horse photographer Anne Eberhardt and a video shot by Alex Cutadean. You can judge for yourself how Mo looks, so I will keep it brief and simply say that to me, he looks like a different horse than he did on Derby week.

At the Derby, he looked very slight and his coat was noticeably dull. On Tuesday, he was carrying good flesh (1,162 pounds) and his coat was shiny and showing signs of dappling. Not only that, but he was playful, full of energy, his ears were pricked, and he was bright-eyed and curious. Elliott said his appetite has improved since arriving on May 9 and he has really been able to see better energy level in the champ during the last couple of days. In short, he looked like a happy horse.

Uncle Mo at WinStar

Mo spends much of his morning grazing in a private one-acre turnout paddock. In that respect, with no stresses and in a beautiful environment, he should be a happy horse. The real test for him will be when he returns to training. Will he still have a healthy appetite? Will he have the same energy level? Will his blood work remain positive? Nobody knows the answer to those questions yet. Hepatitis can be a chronic disease. There are many variables and everyone responds differently.

If he does remain healthy, Mo will have a chance to again be a top-level racehorse. As Mike said, in a perfect world, he could even make it back for the King's Bishop (gr. I) on Aug. 27. He is not ruling out the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) in November either. But both races are a long way off. Team Mo, including his doctors, are hopeful right now, but not overconfident. One step at a time. Diagnosing the problem was a major step, but he still has hurdles to overcome.

There is also the possibility that Mo will regress when he returns to training. If that happens, we likely won't see him on the racetrack again.

Let's hope Mo makes it back to the track this summer and gives us another thrill at the Breeders' Cup.

Hope you enjoy the photos and video. 

[brightcove videoid="981188938001"]

Uncle Mo at WinStar

Uncle Mo at WinStar

Uncle Mo at WinStar

Order Uncle Mo at Winstar Photos


Leave a Comment:

Criminal Type

WoW, Jason, he really does look a lot better, like mister sleek and shiny. Hopefully his health will continue to improve. Kinda anxious about them putting him back in training already though. Stress will affect any chronic condition. Let's hope he is far enough along in his recovery that he will be ok. King's Bishop? Im surprised, I would have thought Travers. Good Luck and Stay Healthy Mo.

To Mike Repole, Thanks for allowing us, the fans, to see how Mo is progressing in his recovery.

07 Jun 2011 3:42 PM
Terry M.

Forgetting the disease for a moment, if more Thoroughbreds could be turned out like this regularly while still in training instead of spending up to 23 hours a day in a stall, they would be less likely to get sick or suffer from ulcers & other stress-related ailments. Standardbred people do that with their race horses (turn them out regularly) all the time, so why not do the same with Thoroughbreds?

07 Jun 2011 3:56 PM
calico cat

Thank you Jason, Anne & Alex. Seeing him looking good in his paddock is a real treat and quite reassuring. I have no doubt that Mike Repole will do what is best for Uncle Mo. If it means never seeing him race again, so be it. But there's hope and no matter what happens, Mo will be well cared for, of that we can be certain. Fingers crossed for a complete recovery.  

07 Jun 2011 4:14 PM

I would love to see a healthy Mo run again.

07 Jun 2011 4:19 PM

Wow, thank you Jason. It is great that WinStar and Mike let you come visit Mo and give you the chance to give us all and update on how he is!  

I agree with Zookeeper, about Mike doing right by the horse, a full recovery.  Ditto on if he never races again so be it!  As long as MO is a happy and recovered horse!

07 Jun 2011 4:26 PM
Bob from Boston

He looks like a charging bull in the first photo.

07 Jun 2011 4:39 PM

Didn't Devil May Care also come down with Hepatitis last summer.  This probably isn't the exact form of hepatitis Uncle Mo has but I am sure it hasn't escaped Todd Pletcher that he has had two top horses come down with the disease.

07 Jun 2011 4:44 PM
Karen in Texas

Thanks, Jason, for the update and video! He does look better since he's been at Winstar. Mike Repole must be feeling relief at this point, and hopeful that Mo can make a return to the track.

07 Jun 2011 4:47 PM

Those are great pics of Mo, glad to hear (read) that he's doing great.  That first pic looked really good, looking forward to seeing him back galloping.  Kudos to Repole for doing everything he can for this horse, and kudos to Winstar for having the best facility to help with his recovery.  I don't know if we'll find out how well he is until he race again and that's the tough part.  Prior to the Derby, for two weeks, Todd said he looked good, he was eating his feed, he looked happy, his workouts are good, they didn't find anything physically wrong with him.  I don't remember now what they found that made them scratch him (or was it that they couldn't find anything ?), how will they know this time if he's good to race or not ?  

07 Jun 2011 4:57 PM

He is looking phenomenal! Can't wait to see him back in training!

07 Jun 2011 5:13 PM

Hmm...I just watched the video and I don't know, it's a little different than what the pictures tell.  I don't know much about the horses body structure or weight but the very first pic looked like a mass of muscle that grew a head, he looked buffed and cut but the video of him looked different.  Did he gain weight at the farm?  He still look a little skinny but I guess the most important thing is that they know what the issue is and I hope that he recovers fully.  I'm starting to become a fan.  It's all because of Paula...her passion for this horse is unmatched.  I was jealous of it hehe.

07 Jun 2011 5:14 PM

Thank you Jason, he does look so much better than he did Derby week!

Fingers crossed, because Cholangiohepatitis is such a tough thing to treat especially when the cause is unknown as his vets have said.

I'm still wondering though why they thought he was fit to run in the Derby when he just didn't look close to the same horse at that time.

07 Jun 2011 5:46 PM
Mike Relva

Good to see Mo is looking great and progressing.

07 Jun 2011 6:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I love it. It's fabulous to see him looking and feeling good regardless of whether he is able to return to the track and run at top form again or not. His health and a long life is what counts, but I think we'd all love to see him race in top form again. Great report Jason.

07 Jun 2011 6:17 PM

Thank you Jason, Mike, et al.  So great of you Jason to go to see Mo.  The poor thing, I keep praying for him.  I feel so bad he was robbed of his Derby chance but I would prefer to see him like this and healthier.  As I prepare to go to the Belmont on Saturday it was Mo who I originally hoped long ago I would see there, run it and win it.  Not meant to be.  I hope he is able to return to racing in July, I'll keep praying for him.  I would be going crazy just due to my own investigative nature in trying to find the root cause of the toxin, was it salmonella or ecoli food related, and how do you have labs test all ingredients in food suppliments?  I'm sure Mike is going crazy with this too and I am sure every resource is being used.  Best of luck to Mo, I just love him!  

07 Jun 2011 7:12 PM

It's SO nice to see Uncle Mo acting like a "horse."  He's having his own private time and appears to absolutely LOVE it!  I think he should be given more time off from the track.  It's apparent to me that this horse likes what he sees and wishes he were there full time!  Maybe someday...

07 Jun 2011 7:30 PM
Karen in Indiana

It is wonderful to see him looking better and it is great that Mike Repole is allowing Mo's fans to stay informed. He still looks a little thin, but he looks and acts like he feels so much better. The video before the Derby that I kept seeing showed him gnawing on the concrete wall outside of his stall door. It told me that either his stomach hurt or he was dreadfully bored.

07 Jun 2011 7:41 PM
Linda in Texas

Jason - He looks so much better, so glad you were able to visit Uncle Mo and bring back such super photos. Thank you Jason and above all Thank You Mr. Mike Repole,  Uncle Mo, Winstar Farm, Mr. Walden, and all of the vets involved in determining this  beautiful Champion's malady.

Zookeeper, your words were beautifully written, so sincere and i know straight from your heart. It is how i felt when your Runflatout was having his issues.

May they both live long lives and be an inspiration to many.

07 Jun 2011 7:44 PM

Many thanks to Winstar and Mike Repole for a look at Mo in his lay-up life.  He still looks a bit light to me for a stud colt, but then he hasn't been putting on muscle galloping around the track.  To those of you suggesting that all TB's have turnout time, have you seen the back stretch at some of the tracks?  PI looks like airplane hangers on black top, Parx should be condemmed.  How may paddocks or round pens should a 'top' trainer have so that his charges could get some sun?  What should be, for the welfare of the horse, can't be in the current structure.  Best of luck to Mo.  He's one of the lucky ones.

07 Jun 2011 7:54 PM
Paula Higgins

That's funny JayJay! Yes, he's my boy. I really love Uncle Mo. I love his owner too. He's a class act all the way. But back to Mo, I think he is looking 100% better. Everything you noted: his weight, energy, coat... I know Mike and Todd will do exactly what is right for him. ITA with the poster that said turning them out is a good thing to do periodically. I think they do that in Britain with good results. Jason, thanks a million for posting this, and the pictures and video. It gladdened all our hearts to see him so much improved.

07 Jun 2011 8:05 PM

Loved the pics and the video Jason.  He looks like one happy and contented guy.  It's really hard not to be a fan of this fellow and I know we all wish him a speedy recovery and hope he climbs that championship mountain by year's end.

07 Jun 2011 8:31 PM

What a beautiful farm!!  WinStar did such a great job rehabbing Well Armed, obviously providing the best stat of the art care for horses.  Good choice for Mo, Mr. Repole!  Mo is looking like a happy horse - I am crossing my fingers that he gets back to the races after his R & R!

07 Jun 2011 8:45 PM

He looks so much more animated than any of the pictures/videos so far. I agree that it would be nice if they'd give him more time. He hasn't even been at WinStar a full month.

Sounds like they're going to take it slow, and he'll be there (WinStar) rather than at the track, so hopefully that will help.

Would love to see him race again, but not if it compromises his health.

07 Jun 2011 8:57 PM
Jason Shandler

To those asking why they entered him in the Derby when he wasn't looking his best. It was an unusual situation due to the fact that he was training very well well on the track and he was sound, but his appetite would vary. He was doing very well up until Monday when he stopped eating. He had a better day on Wednesday, and galloped great, so they were hopeful again. They gave him up until Friday to improve and he didnt as much as they wanted , so they scratched him. It was not a black and white issue. Again, he was sound and training well but it is hard to determine when a horse is sick, especially when the blood work is coming back without conclusive answers.

07 Jun 2011 9:48 PM


Im sorry this horse does not look good. He looks thin and should not be brought back. This horse needs to be retired.

07 Jun 2011 10:36 PM

I see where you're coming from Jason but when I saw him he sure didn't look like he was going to be ready and 3 or 4 days weren't going to make a difference at that stage.  He wasn't going to regain the lost weight in that brief timeline.

Also considering they couldn't pinpoint just what was wrong I really question them entering him.  I wouldn't have done it if it was my horse.

The vibe I got was they felt their horse was so much better than the others that they could run him at less than 100% and still win. As long as it wasn't anything life threatening and they were given clearance.

That is just the time when you back off of a horse, when they're not looking right and when the tests are not right but nothing can be pinpointed. Elevated enzymes just don't happen and usually with Cholangiohepatitis the liver enzymes are elevated or out of balance. It was a misstep with a horse whose connections haven't had too many when it comes to their champion.

I really hope he makes it back but everyone I've discussed it with in veterinary medicine said they don't think it was helpful or beneficial to have kept him in training while they were trying to discover the mystery illness. He could have had the biopsy and treatment could have begun long before it did.  Derby fever especially with a champion like him can cloud the vision. I'm just happy that common sense of Todd Pletcher prevailed.

07 Jun 2011 11:06 PM

I'm not even going to try and type that disease's name or whatever it is but anyone know how horses contract it ?  Some said it's in the feed but I haven't heard any of TP's horses having the same symptoms so unless UM gets a "special" feed, something more tastier and more expensive, I don't know if it can be pointed to the feed.  If they're giving him bud light instead of guinness, I would have to think that would probably be the cause.

But I'm serious about how horses gets sick from this.  I think it's a very serious disease considering how much time it took to diagnose it and it took top vets to find it.  I think it needs to be researched more and give the info to the track vets so that they get educated about this horrible disease to allow them to diagnose it at the track.  It probably will save horses (for those owners who can't afford top vets like MIkeR can), and save money for the owners who can afford top vets.

I just read Jason's article that UM will be back om the track next week, to try and prepare him for the King's Bishop.  I hope he does well and that he's gotten over it and makes it to the KB... but I would've preferred that he stays longer at Winstar and maybe get him back to training once he starts eating his feed daily for another couple of weeks.  The video of him still looks to me like he may need more weight in him.

08 Jun 2011 3:13 AM
Rachel NH

He still looks gaunt and somewhat depressed to me, not at all like a bouncy 3 year-old colt in the bloom of health.

I can't believe they're returning him to training so soon, exposing him to the "bugs" of the track, the stress, the lasix, anti-biotics, etc.

He should have the year off and come back as a 4 year-old.

08 Jun 2011 6:15 AM

Jason said: It was an unusual situation due to the fact that he was training very well well on the track and he was sound, but his appetite would vary. He was doing very well up until Monday when he stopped eating. He had a better day on Wednesday, and galloped great, so they were hopeful again. They gave him up until Friday to improve and he didnt as much as they wanted , so they scratched him. It was not a black and white issue.

Really I say that is 180 degrees from what Pletcher said.. " Horse cannot have any set backs leading in to the Derby."

It was very Black and White  the Horse was not thriving.He had good days and he had bad days that is what you want leading in to the Derby?

Sorry just saying if it was any other race he would of been scratched way earlier..

Derby Fever is what happened.

Glad he is doing better

08 Jun 2011 8:59 AM
Love 'em all

Really do appreciate the update, wonderful pics and video.  Sounds like Uncle Mo is in very good hands ... and WinStar is such a lovely place to recuperate.

Rooting for Uncle Mo ... and all his good people. Keep up the good progress, fella.

08 Jun 2011 9:19 AM
Dawn in MN

Mr. Shandler, Thank you for doing this story on Uncle Mo.  Photos videos, and a story like this are going to generate observations from an amateurs...

so here's mine...still too skinny, but much improved from the sad sight they televised on Kentucky Derby day.  

I will never forget how sick, sad and forlorn he looked in his stall at Churchill Downs.  In the shots they televised he looked so bad that I wondered if he'd even pull through.  He looks much improved in the photos, but in the video, he does not look great.  I was repeatedly struck by how young, and underdeveloped he looked.

I have a healthy respect for a healthy Uncle Mo, and I'd love to see him run like he did in the Breeders Cup.  Just hope they don't bring him back too soon.  There is nothing sadder than seeing a great horse that can't run to his potential because of sickness or injury running against healthy horses and losing.  

I really don't want to read the comments people would submit if that happens.  Respect the veterinarians, the owners, trainers and connections. Uncle Mo is too valuable to take chances for greed or glory. His connections must not be swayed by amateurs opinions, greed or glory.  

08 Jun 2011 9:55 AM
Jason Shandler

Johnny: They scratched the horse. They did right by him. What else do you want from them? What's your beef? They put up the $25k to enter, so they had the right to enter him, then scratch him. Let me guess, youre one of those people that say Sway Away got "robbed of his chance at history." Please. His Preakness run really validates that argument. Move on dude.

08 Jun 2011 10:17 AM

My Beef?

10 DAYS prior to the Derby Dick Downey puts on his website that he has strong confirmation that Uncle Mo is going to be scratched!

Repole puts on a blog that he is going to bet UM down as the favorite. This was after he said he will only run UM if he is 100%..

You write it was a complicated decision. Where is any indication that UM was close to 100%?

Its not about Sway Aways effort in the Preakness its about a owners Dream that was taken away by political mumbo jumbo talking out of both sides.

This is after what Pletcher did in the BC ladies Classic..

Its about treating others how you would want to be treated the horse was not 100%...They new but was selfish and took someone elses dream away.

I guess I am different than most  in todays world of its about me and screw the rest.

I practice what I preech.

I am happy the horse is doing better.

Moving On Dude.

08 Jun 2011 11:11 AM
Jason Shandler

He was doing well 10 days out. He didnt begin regressing a bit until Derby week. Get your facts straight before you accuse people of trying to scam you.

Again, the horse was SCRATCHED. Understand? Nothing underhanded was done. The next time that you have a champion and he makes the Derby, then you can make those decisions. Until then, just sit back, watch and bet.

08 Jun 2011 11:28 AM

Very glad to see Mo looking well again!

Jason, may I ask how Hepatitis works into what Mo is diagnosed with? I'm not correcting, on the contrary, I know very little, only that it causes inflamed liver, and thats about it. I'm just interested to know the connection.

08 Jun 2011 11:48 AM
Ida Lee

Thank you so much for the story but especially the great pictures of my baby, Uncle Mo. He's so special..I've been beside myself worrying about him. When we lost Devil May Care, it was devastating. Then Mo's symptoms were so similar...I totally freaked. But he looks great. I cannot wait to see him burning up the tracks again. Get back soon Beautiful Boy !!!!!

08 Jun 2011 11:59 AM

Who did I accuse of trying to scam?

08 Jun 2011 12:23 PM

Happy Uncle Mo is getting healthier. Missed him at the Derby. Just imagine the big money this sprinter would have sucked in.

Healthy or not, UM chance of winning the Derby was Zero and None. He'd be done after 8.5, 9 furlongs.

Oh well, maybe they will enter him in the JCGC or Breeders Classic.

08 Jun 2011 12:32 PM

Rachel NH : I feel the same way.  I said before, I thought they should see if he eats his feed for at least a couple more weeks.  The video is totally different than the pics.  I agree that he should take the rest of the year off and come back brand new as a 4 yr old.  Everyone talks about how serious the disease is and I'm not sure I understand why he's going back to training less than a month after coming to Winstar.  I hope Mike let's the horse enjoy a little bit more of Winstar.

Unless Winstar says that he doesn't go back and forth with regards to his feed (like what Jason said happened the week of the Derby), then I don't know...Elliott saying his appetite has improved doesn't really say much.  I want to hear "He pigs out everyday!" and never forgets his mints.

08 Jun 2011 12:58 PM
Karen in Texas

jayjay---The term "cholangiohepatitis" simply means (from the Latin) inflammation of the bile ducts and the adjacent liver. It does not by itself give or imply a cause/etiologic agent. Those of us in human healthcare frequently use the Merck Manual for quick reference, and there is a Merck Veterinary Manual online. If you go to the manual and type the diagnosis into the search area, you can find lots of information.

08 Jun 2011 1:20 PM


Thanks for the in-depth update, it seems we only hear bits and pieces about him. Your article got to down to business about Mo and his disease and also how he has progressed and his future plans. Photos and videos were great, and I can't wait until Mo hits the track and races again.

08 Jun 2011 1:33 PM
calico cat


You didn't. But when it comes to Uncle Mo and his connections, Jason gets very defensive. He loves the horse and admires the connections greatly. Fans of other horses understand that kind of unconditional love and devotion even if the same consideration is not given to them. :)  

08 Jun 2011 1:58 PM
Jason Shandler

Stop. She lost. Get over it.

08 Jun 2011 2:10 PM

Like I asked, who did I accuss of scamming? Very nice putting words into my mouth

What facts do I not have right?

Repole never said he was going to bet him down?

He never said what he said?

Downey did not send out the report Mo was going to be scratched?

Everything I wrote was fact!!!

Prove me wrong..

I am glad you and Team Repole are chums.

Zoo you hit the nail..

Brillant Speed in the Belmont

08 Jun 2011 2:31 PM
Jason Shandler

"Its not about Sway Aways effort in the Preakness its about a owners Dream that was taken away by political mumbo jumbo talking out of both sides.

This is after what Pletcher did in the BC ladies Classic."

Pretty clear to me what you were inferring here. Again, get your own Derby horse and then you can make decisions about scratching. 

08 Jun 2011 2:40 PM
Bob from Boston

If one wants to win the Derby and has a sick horse and one who is well, what percent chance increase of winning does one get by entering and scratching said sick horse so one less horse makes the field?  It's good to see Uncle Mo relaxing in the grassy knoll.

08 Jun 2011 2:41 PM
calico cat

Thank you for illustrating my point, Jason. :)

08 Jun 2011 2:44 PM

Uncle mo

         Just my opinion I am not a person looking for negatives but i thought he looks dull and listless could use alot of weight still Wish mike well he seems like a class act

08 Jun 2011 2:55 PM

So you put words into my mouth. I never accused anyone of scamming..

Nor did I write anything that was not fact.

If God ever blesses me with a KY Derby horse and he comes out of his last race with the worse performance of his life.

Was loosing weight not looking good.

I would not need 5 vets and wait until after the draw to scratch..

Whole Backside at churchill new he was a sick horse the word was out..

Here is what good horsemanship is about.

From another Blog

So far, Rio’s biggest racing thrill involving Mucho Macho Man was attending the Kentucky Derby.

“When they broke out of the starting gate and the announcer said, ‘They’re off in the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby,’ I looked at my husband and I had tears in my eyes,” Rio said. “I had chills running up and down me, and I can’t really express the unbelievable joy I felt. I said to myself, ‘We’ve won. Whether he wins or runs dead last, we’re still the breeders of a Kentucky Derby starter.’

Glad you and Repole are chums and tell Mike thanks for the free tshirts at gulfstream..

08 Jun 2011 3:27 PM
Jason Shandler

Thanks for that tear-jerking piece. Let me get a tissue...I'll be back.

BTW, that horse lost a shoe in two $1 million dollar races. Something tells me a Pletcher horse wouldnt do that.

08 Jun 2011 3:43 PM
Kelly Wietsma

Jason...can't thank you enough for the great pictures and videos!  Johnny...get a life!!!  You have way too much time on your hands!!!

08 Jun 2011 4:08 PM
Mike Relva

Are you joking,"a Pletcher horse wouldn't do that". How do you know that? Unbelievable.

08 Jun 2011 4:26 PM

No, a Pletcher horse would have started as the favorite, fallen out of the starting gate on the world's biggest stage, and then cantered around the course to finish last.

I'm sure it was jockey error.

08 Jun 2011 4:27 PM
Jason Shandler

The jealousy of Pletcher knows no bounds on this blog. Tiznow: Please recap the other 100+ graded stakes wins he has for us. We have time. Thanks.

08 Jun 2011 4:31 PM
Ian Tapp


Thanks for the great pics and video.

That being said, I still can't get over how selfish the 20 Derby horse owners were this year. Didn't they realize how much running in the Derby would have meant to the next 20 owners? What nerve.

Prime example: Sway Away. He was sitting on a 12th-place-Preakness-caliber performance, but the selfishness of others kept him from strutting his stuff. Poor Sway Away.

08 Jun 2011 4:33 PM
Carlos in Cali


It's futile.When it comes to team Pletcher/UM/Repole, Jason is not 'objective' and seems to wear his full-cupped Turf writer's blinkers... case in point:

"But let's keep it in perspective; he(UM) was beaten 1 1/4 lengths,not 5 1/4 lengths"

JS- *A Derby Turned Upside Down* 10 Apr 2011

We all know what he says about a certain "Great Mare's" loss being a loss,whether it's by a nose or 20 lengths?... LOL!

I hope UM makes it back 100% healthy,can't wait to see him turn in a QR type of performance in the BCC..  :)

Turbulent Descent easily takes the Acorn w/It's Tricky to place.

Nehro/AK/MOH Belmont Stakes box.

08 Jun 2011 5:32 PM

Jason, you have become boring and predictable.

08 Jun 2011 5:44 PM
Barbara W

Thanks so much for the video and pictures. So glad UM is better. However, I strongly agree with those who have said that they would NOT rush him back into training. He still does not look 100% to me. Like others, I feel the death of Devil May Care is way too recent in our minds.

08 Jun 2011 5:45 PM
Mike Relva


Keep your day job,comedy isn't your forte.

08 Jun 2011 5:49 PM
Mike Relva


Exactly,some thinks he does no wrong.

08 Jun 2011 5:55 PM

Johnny : I enjoyed reading that "tear-jerker" piece, it's something that we all dream about.  I never saw it that way but they're right, they're already winners regardless.  

It'Z amazing thE passioN that's pouring out of this blog for mike and um.  Yes, I Am one ThaT is very fAmiliar with such passion.  I think I'll need some tissue as well.

08 Jun 2011 6:15 PM
Jason Shandler

Tiznow: Nobody is putting a gun to your head to read then. You have choices.

08 Jun 2011 7:55 PM

Jason you just do not get it..

That is why you never understood the awesomeness of Z..

Well said Tiznow.

Wow Great point Ian. NOT

Like I said glad UM is doing better only 15 more victories to go.

Moving on.

08 Jun 2011 8:39 PM


Don't use all the tissues.  Save some for the rest of us.

08 Jun 2011 8:47 PM
Jason Shandler

On a related note, kudos to Larry Jones and Rick Porter. They have the best filly in the nation and will take her all over the country to take on the best to rightfully try to earn HOY. They will race in Arkansas, Delaware, NY, Kentucky etc, and face males at Saratoga. In short, they will face the best horses in the country. Good for them. That is how you campaign a great filly.

08 Jun 2011 8:50 PM

I thought we were supposed to be moving on........

08 Jun 2011 8:56 PM

Yep.  Havre de Grace is lined up to run in the mighty OBeah, a G3 against non Graded stakes winners including Sarah’s Song, an optional claiming winner; Tiz Miz Sue a minor stakes winner that at least can finish in front of Tapdem now when she couldn’t before; Repieve, a non stakes winner that won for a $25K claiming tag and Sweet and Sour Nina another non stakes winner that at least won for a $50K claiming tag.   It took 25 years before a Filly or mare won the BCC.  I think it’ll take a long time before it happens again.

08 Jun 2011 9:09 PM
Mike Relva


Regarding your comments on Jones filly. HOY isn't a big deal,remember?

08 Jun 2011 9:17 PM
Jason Shandler

The Obeah, even as a G3, is as tough some of those G1 filly races in California were last year, no doubt. There were 0 grade I winners out there in 2010. Plus, the Delaware Handicap and the rest of her campaign will be challenging. She might....gulp...even have to ship out of state a couple times! What a novel concept. And, she might even run against males on the same day that there is a filly race at Saratoga.....gulp!

08 Jun 2011 9:36 PM
Ian Tapp

The Kentucky Derby could learn from the Rose Bowl. Tragically, only two teams are invited to play in the actual Rose Bowl Game, with countless football squads left wondering what might have been. But at least they can participate in the Rose Bowl Parade!

Similarly, the Kentucky Derby Parade will ensure that no horse's connections miss the Derby festivities.

Sway Away would have his own float, complete with a papier-mâché ode to his swayback.

There'd be a Flashpoint float as well. In lieu of a Derby berth, his float will lead the parade early, but eventually be passed by the entire procession.

Even team Z could be on hand. Her float would be the Classic photo finish in forced perspective, leaving fans in wonderment as certain angles transform defeat into triumph! Her followers applaud, nary a dry eye among them.

08 Jun 2011 9:53 PM

Havra Da Grace is a very good filly but beyond 8.5 furlongs she is suspect. Let's see, she hasn't won a single 9 furlong race yet aganst females and now she is being pointed against males at Saratoga. This filly has a hard time running deep tracks. She is good but not that good. She is no Rachel and definitely no Zenyatta.

08 Jun 2011 10:45 PM
Jason Shandler

How good Havre de Grace actually becomes is something that only time will tell. But that is the fun part...actually watching her take on the best at different venues, against both sexes, and at different distances. That's what makes racing fun. I commend her connections for seeking untraditional routes throughout the whole season. They know it will challenge their filly and give fans a lot to look forward to.

08 Jun 2011 10:54 PM
calico cat

Very funny Ian, but please be kind to Sway Away, he can't help the shape of his back. As to Flashpoint, he will wow us in a few sprints and I bet you won't make fun of him then.

I won't comment on the rest of your post. Our fearless leader may urge us both to move on... or does that only apply to.. ah! never mind! :)

08 Jun 2011 11:01 PM

Yeah I forgot Zen won against $10K types.  

08 Jun 2011 11:38 PM

Jason, Thank you for the good report on Uncle Mo & video. You seem pretty irritated by most of the comments about Uncle Mo's condition prior to the Derby so I hope I can express an opinion without a personal attack.

I am tired of hearing what a great guy Mike Repole is for doing "what is best for Uncle Mo." He did the obvious right thing and scratched a sick horse. He has all the resources to provide Uncle Mo with the best medical care available, which is also obviously the right thing to do with a horse of Uncle Mo's caliber and monitary value. That is really just standard operating procedure. He does not walk on water for doing these things, so I don't quite understand all the adulation and gushing over Mr. Repole. It is a shame that things turned out this way for Uncle Mo.

Personally I wondered why the decision to scratch him was dragged out. The fact he was so underweight and having unknown problems didn't really make him a good candidate for the race. Rich men with big egos in racing have been in horse racing forever. They usually don't get where they are unless they are goal oriented, driven & competitive; so I can understand him grabbing at every last hope for his horse to race in the Derby. That does not mean it was really the right thing to do for the horse but it was certainly within his rights as the owner.

Personally when I watched Pletcher at the news conference when the scratch was announced, I thought HE looked sick. I wondered if it wasn't because he knew he had a sick horse, an owner who pushed it to the limit and it had went on just too long. He must have known he wasn't fit to race long before it was announced but he was trying to keep Mr. Repole satisfied. That is just my opinion.

I am concerned about Uncle Mo's illness and that he might be pushed to soon just as may have been a Derby participant a little too long. It sounds like a pretty complicated disorder and anything involving the immune system does not improve by being overtaxed. But maybe that is medical SOP in evaluating his condition. I don't know because I am not an expert.

I have questions about how he contacted the disease and wonder if it is contagious in any way, IF it is a form of hepatitis. For others who have expressed questions about the disease here is an exerpt from The Horse Health Newsletter by theHorse.com on June 3rd.

"After seven weeks of extensive testing, it has been determined that 2010 champion 2-year-old male Uncle Mo has a case of cholangiohepatitis, which, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual, is a "severe inflammation of the bile passages and adjacent liver, which sporadically causes hepatic failure in horses and ruminants."for the Kentucky Derby to be withdrawn from the race came following a biopsy of the liver and lymph nodes. After being scratched from the Derby two days before the race, Uncle Mo was sent to WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., where he underwent extensive testing by some of the top equine internists in the country."

"Uncle Mo has been diagnosed with cholangiohepatitis," the veterinary team of internists Bill Bernard, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Lexington Equine Surgery and Sports Medicine; Doug Byars, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM; and Tom Divers, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ACVECC a professor of medicine at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine; said in the statement. "The cause of how he contracted cholangiohepatitis is unknown."

"Cholangiohepatitis can come from different sources--plant toxins, supplements, an obstruction, or bile stones," said Bernard. "We can rule out some of those differentials with the horse being a racehorse. It may be an immune hepatitis infection, probably not bacteria."

"Uncle Mo has not been treated for chloangiohepatitis. Instead, his condition has been continuously monitored since his arrival at WinStar. His condition has been improving, much to the pleasure of his owner and caretakers.He's getting turnout and fresh grass and we've added more digestible fiber. His diet has changed some, not just for the chloangiohepatitis, but for trying to gain weight," said Bernard. "Since Uncle Mo has been at WinStar he has gained 67 pounds, his blood work is going in the right direction, his energy level is up, and his attitude has improved. We are optimistic about his prognosis and getting back to the track and continuing his racing career."

While everyone is very hopeful about his return to racing, I think that is what it is "Hope." It sounds pretty complicated to me & I think a return to racing next year may be more realistic, if at all.

09 Jun 2011 2:45 AM

I don't think it was at all about keeping another horse out of the race. That's horse racing and as long as it isn't collusion, alls fair in....

I think it was just not in the best interest of the horse.

The two year old Champion?  

If it was one of ours I would have bit the bullet and sent him on to Winstar when the tests first showed the elevated enzymes. My understanding from someone close to Todd is that elevated enzyme didn't resolve at any point and the physical appearance was somewhat deceiving at certain points in time.

I really believe that Tood was trying to get him ready but deep down knew it wasn't happening.  Public perception is a funny thing. It wasnt't the best thing to enter then scratch him but it was far better to scratch him than have a disaster in the making.  

I just wish they would have given him time off the minute they discovered it and his recovery process would be further along and we might have had a healthy Mo for the Travers etc.

It's absolutely painful when a horse has to be scratched at the last minute especially.

09 Jun 2011 3:57 AM

Tiz Miz Sue is going to give Havre De Grace everything she can handle. She lost by a nose to Tidal Pool or Absinthe Minded, one of those D wayne fillies,  and was legnths ahead past the wire. The race was too short for her. Her second race of the year, she was last, and then flew home, running by the leaders to win going away. I know Havre De grace is fast, and she is a special filly, but I am betting at 1 1/8, Sue has a shot. Hobby is on fire at Delaware, winning at an amazing clip this meet, and he has been training her to sit back and make that huge run.

Tiz Miz Sue has a half sister out of Indian Charlie that will have a fall campaign, Sue's Sweet Sioux, and she will be one to watch. She lost her maiden by a nose,then was injured. Tiz Miz Sue's mom, Sue's Good News, came into the Delaware Cap undefeated in 2003 or 2004, got spooked in the gate, and ran fifth. After the race, she had broken out in a rash. She came back to win the pucker up at Arlington and retired with about $250,000 in earnings. If anyone beats Havre, it is Tiz Miz Sue

09 Jun 2011 9:01 AM

Footlick, huge meet starting at Ascot. How pumped up are you? I wonder if Wesley Ward will get another winner? Bridgetown has a good shot in the Jubilee.

09 Jun 2011 9:04 AM

Meant King's Stand, not jubilee for Bridgetown. oops

09 Jun 2011 10:24 AM
Zen's Auntie

Now thats the Uncle Mo I LOVE froliking and looking so much better than pre Derby.  Turn out is so good for TB's Im glad MR and his advisors are brave enough to let him recover in a natural way.

I hope he comes back a happy monster.  He sure looks the part once again - but more mature.

09 Jun 2011 11:13 AM

Very pumped!  It takes me away from this bickering, although there is bickering on the RP site too.  It's not as intense nor as insulting, but all over the world everyone has their favorites and will defend them.  They seem a little more rational and whether they like a horse or not they seem to try to evaluate a horse fairly and not just insult them for the sake of insulting them.  For Royal Ascot, everybody is looking at Canford Cliffs/Goldikova and So You Think/Planteur/Twice Over/Rewilding races, as well as the return of Frankel.  Wesley Ward thinks Judy the Beauty is his best chance, it seems.  I haven't seen the Golden Jubilee field yet, so I haven't analyzed Bridgetown's chances but Lady of the Desert has just been withdrawn so that must help, but Holiday for Kitten seems in a bit deep in the King's Stand.  But upsets do happen-that is why it is a horse race.  Did Todd Pletcher end up sending anything over there?  I haven't seen anything written up about it other than he was thinking of sending horses.  I loved Pour Moi at Epsom and Reliable Man at Chantilly, but Baraan  got a really bad trip and was motoring at the end.  Can't wait for Royal Ascot to start!

09 Jun 2011 11:18 AM

Oh- I thought Holiday for Kitten was running in the King's Stand?  Will he have two?  Now I'll have to investigate........

09 Jun 2011 11:19 AM

Billy- just looked at the King's Stand field.  With Star Witness, Kingsgate Native, Sole Power, War Artist, Swiss Diva and if Overdose comes back to form Bridgetown looks to be up against it also.  But as I said, upsets happen.......

09 Jun 2011 11:46 AM


If Tough Miz Sue beats Havre de Grace does that mean they'll possibly point her to the BC Classic also and of course take on those males at Saratoga?

09 Jun 2011 11:51 AM
Jason Shandler

Nah, unlike some connections, getting beat isnt the end-all, be-all. Havre de Grace will show up to face tough company no matter what the result of the previous race. That's why its refreshing.

She lost. Move on.

09 Jun 2011 12:01 PM


Just joking.  I'm ready to move on, and I hope you are.  Are you going to post a weekend stakes blog?

09 Jun 2011 12:16 PM
Mike Relva

So,all of a sudden HOY is important,when it wasn't before? You flip flop like your friend.

09 Jun 2011 12:19 PM

Not a problem Jason. It will be simple enough to skip over your posts from here on out. I really come to read Gun Bow, Footlick, Lazmannick, Zookeeper and a few others anyway.

09 Jun 2011 12:33 PM
calico cat


We're are... but your constant needdling is not helping any. :)

Here's another video of Uncle Mo that shows how good he's feeling:


09 Jun 2011 12:35 PM
Jason Shandler

Tiznow, I'm glad we agree on something, because I certainly dont read yours.

Zookeeper: Is the Affirmed really the right spot for Runflatout? He's going up against two very talented 3YOs in Coil and Awesome Patriot. Im afraid he's in way over his head.

Laz: Coming this afternoon.

09 Jun 2011 1:06 PM


Footlick and Billy's Empire: It looks like Wesley Ward has started an avalanche!

I am really looking forward to the 2YO's -- do you think that Ward has done anything to change the way the Euro trainers run their 2YO races?  Do you think they might actually break fast and run fast for the whole race now, trying to keep up with "our" horses?

Also can't wait for Goldikova / Canford Cliffs.  The only thing that might be better will happen  a few more months down the road: Goldikova / Frankel.

Good luck to More For Real too  -- I think I read that she's going to run in the Coronation as her first race this year.

09 Jun 2011 1:58 PM
calico cat

Thank you for your concern, Jason. I'm litterally shaking in my flip-flops. Not only is he going against some very good Baffert horses (shivers!) but he's also asked to go 1 1/16 miles, again!!! Hopefully, he'll not engage in another speed duel. He also has a new jockey, since Gomez will be riding MOH in the Belmont.

In spite of all of that, you can bet on the fact that I'll be there, cheering him on: "Go Runflatout!!! Don't listen to Jason, he's been wrong once (Ha!) before and since he's so keen on connections taking chances, I know that, deep down inside, he'll be rooting for you also." :)


Kudos for not letting the naysayers get you down!!! I enjoy your comments also. As a fellow Tiznow fanatic, it pains me that our horse is racing against Akkadian by Tiznow and Coil out of a full sister to Tiznow. Now I hope you forgive me for jumping ship and cheering for RFO to come in 1st. Go Run, Go!!!

09 Jun 2011 2:28 PM

How on earth do you win HOY without winning a race with a single G1 winner in it ?  Sad.  Well here is my Belmont pick.  Master of Hounds is a fresh horse and the trainer knows about winning races at 1 1/2.  Animal Kingdom lost coming off a 2 weeks rest and will lose again coming off 3 weeks rest.  Nehro and Master battle to the wire.  Master wins.

Master, Nehro, Animal Kindom

09 Jun 2011 2:47 PM

Draynay, do you ever give up on a subject?

I bet you still wear leisure suits and white shoes.

09 Jun 2011 2:58 PM
Karen in Texas

Zookeeper---Thanks for that facebook video--Uncle Mo is obviously feeling well and looks to be performing for the visitors and their cameras!

As always, good luck with Runflatout in his upcoming race.

09 Jun 2011 3:05 PM

Good point Lazmannick.  Even Lady's Secret and Winning Colors knew their place come Breeder's Cup time...

09 Jun 2011 3:07 PM
calico cat

Thank you Karen in Texas. Luck is greatly needed! Glad you enjoyed the video of Mo showing off. Sick horses do not usually engage in such joyful display. Loved the way he kicked his heels. Watch out world, Mo is on the mend!

09 Jun 2011 3:35 PM
gw bushwacker

On a related note, kudos to Larry Jones and Rick Porter. They have the best filly in the nation and will take her all over the country to take on the best to rightfully try to earn HOY. They will race in Arkansas, Delaware, NY, Kentucky etc, and face males at Saratoga. In short, they will face the best horses in the country. Good for them. That is how you campaign a great filly.

Jason Shandler 08 Jun 2011 8:50 PM

I'll use the words you so like to repeat whenever someone brings up the 2011 HOY, GET OVER IT JASON!! Your subtle jabs don't go un-noticed just like the hypocrosy of telling people to get over it when you clearly aren't.

09 Jun 2011 4:11 PM
Jason Shandler

I have no idea what you are talking about gw. I was merely giving the connections of Havre de Grace a compliment.

09 Jun 2011 4:13 PM

Zookeeper- good luck w/ Runflatout!

09 Jun 2011 4:39 PM
calico cat


Don't play the simpleton with us. We are well aware of your unbiased, fair and balanced attitude.


Thank you, I appreciated this very much! Looking forward to watching Ascot on TVG. I know zilch about European racing but I learn something every time you comment on it. Now, if only you could explain those silly fascinators...

09 Jun 2011 4:58 PM

Zookeeper, for you and Runflatout I will set aside my Tiznow love. Go RFO!

09 Jun 2011 5:26 PM
Linda in Texas

Zookeeper-thanks so much for the video on Uncle Mo. This one is the best yet. And he pulled a Shackleford on top of it! He truly is telling everyone he sure feels a lot better. Who said they have to talk!

And the best of luck to you and Runflatout. i hope HRTV plans to show it.

Thanks Jason

09 Jun 2011 5:41 PM

mz- there have been 2 yr old speedsters before in Europe.  Lemon Souffle and Paris House come to mind.  They were both fast enough to take on older sprinters in some of the all-ages sprints if I remember correctly.  Since their horses have to handle a variety of conditions and courses, I doubt they would change their training style.  If a horse is quick, they are quick and will show speed regardless.  If the turf is deep and tiring, speed will not hold up as well.  If it is glib, it will.  Wesley Ward's horses won because they were precocious and good enough to win on that day. I hope he continues to have great success.  Also I want to mention that his horses obviously perform well without raceday medication, at least for the time they are in Europe.

09 Jun 2011 6:25 PM
Mike Relva

Yeah,"she lost". She was "dusted" if you call getting beat by four inches "a dusting". Right.

09 Jun 2011 6:33 PM
Mike Relva


Good luck!

09 Jun 2011 7:46 PM
calico cat

Linda in Texas,

Thank you! TVG carries the HP races but you can probably watch a replay on HRTV later on or Sunday morning. However the Belmont will take all the attention of our racing world this weekend and rightfully so. It's shaping up to be a heck of a race! Glad you enjoyed the Mo Show.

09 Jun 2011 7:59 PM
calico cat

Thank you Mike Relva! Hope you have a great weekend at the races or visiting some "old friends", as you often do... keep tilting at windmills, no matter how futile!

09 Jun 2011 8:23 PM


You know I'm always in your corner.  I hope you have a dream weekend and Runflatout blazes around the track for a giant victory.

09 Jun 2011 10:37 PM
Mike Relva


Thanks, hope you win tomorrow.

10 Jun 2011 10:33 AM

Zookeeper- I find them "fascinating"..... sorry.  I have a feeling they were started by the younger set who did not want to wear the traditional hat, but still wanted to look stylish and be noticed.  I would have to research it and see if that would be accurate.  They have taken a life of their own, haven't they?  I actually like them better than many of the monstrosities you see at Derby Day here-lol.

10 Jun 2011 10:49 AM
calico cat


Thank you for your good wishes, let's hope that Runflatout reserves the "blazing" for the end of the race, not the beginning!

10 Jun 2011 10:51 AM

Well, at least it looked for awhile that this blog was about the improved condition of Uncle Mo.

On that subject, in Jason's video he certainly looks better than the first video shown on Winstar's website.  In that video he'd been turned out that very day and any "normal" 3-yr old colt would have been cutting up; Mo just ambled around grazing a little.  While much improved, he still looks quite thin. The "ribby" thing doesn't bother me; horses in training or recently out of training will often have some ribs showing.  What I don't like is that his neck is still very thin.  Clearly, he still has a way to go and as a HUGE fan of Mo, I'd rather see his connections give him time to FULLY recover before starting him back in training.

Off the stated subject of this blog; Jason, I happen to agree with you regarding the level of competition Zenyatta defeated in her HOY year. However, most people never will, and it just irritates them when you allude to it.  They call you on it, you get defensive, then it's downhill from there.  I've tried my best to let it go. Can you?

14 Jun 2011 11:36 PM
Jason Shandler

Why would I do that robin? It's too much fun!!

15 Jun 2011 12:36 AM

LOL - You must have a remarkable sense of humor.  I'd get in a discussion of this with just one person at a time and get so frustrated trying to make my point I was ready to tear my hair out.  You've got heaven knows how many people jumping down your throat and you're having fun!

15 Jun 2011 8:17 PM

I think Mo looks very thin still. Compared to other horses, he looks small.  I hope he continues to improve.  Such a sweet horse.

16 Jun 2011 10:21 AM

Hay, Jason:  I've been gone in the Everglades for 10 days (no Belmont broadcast, but doesn't look like I missed much), and looked at your column first...some things (and posters) never change or get over it!!!  It is funny!!

How is Mo 10 days later?  Would love an update!!

16 Jun 2011 7:52 PM
Mary Zinke

I've given my opinion elsewhere about Uncle Mo's condition.  I'm not a veterinarian or someone who is with him on a daily basis, just someone looking briefly at a few photos. I was wrong to post any negative opinion about Uncle Mo. Instead I should have just offered well-wishes, so I do that now. Uncle Mo, I would love to see you recover completely, and to be able to dominate the in your races again. You are in the best of hands.

19 Jun 2011 2:41 PM

I noticed a comment from a vet on TTimes that Mo's hair has fallen out on his face, indicating blood toxicity. Watching Mo "run," I would have to agree. He's looking better, but he's still not in the clear. That is a very sick animal.

22 Jun 2011 7:27 PM

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