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.
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.
Order Uncle Mo at Winstar Photos