By Jarrod Horak
This is my final article in my five-part Breeders’ Cup sires series. I began my series with 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic hero Curlin, and also covered 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Good Magic, 2017 BC Classic winner Gun Runner, and Triple Crown 2018 hero Justify. In this post, I will discuss one of the top Breeders’ Cup sires, Uncle Mo.
Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie – Playa Maya, by Arch) only raced eight times but he definitely left a lasting impression. Mike Repole’s colt was outstanding as a juvenile with back-to-back Grade 1 wins in the 2010 Champagne and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Those efforts followed a jaw-dropping debut victory at Saratoga by 14 1/4 lengths. He remained unbeaten after winning the Timely Writer in his sophomore bow, and lost for the first time after setting the pace and finished a clear third in the Wood Memorial (G2). He entered the Kentucky Derby but was forced to scratch due to a liver ailment. He resurfaced more than four months later in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop at seven panels, and he stalked, led, and was nailed on the line by closer Caleb’s Posse. He got back on the beam in an easy front running score in the Kelso (G2) at one mile, and his career ended after an up the track finish in the 2011 BC Classic. He went 5-for-8 with a runner-up finish and a show finish, and banked more than $1.6 million.
Uncle Mo dazzled in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He stalked from second, took over in the stretch, and bounded away to score by 4 1/4 lengths as the winning favorite for John Velazquez and Todd Pletcher. He was later named 2-year-old champion.
Fast forward to his career finale in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic, and he chased Game On Dude from second before fading after a mile. Drosselmeyer closed in the stretch to beat Game On Dude by a length and a half, and Uncle Mo faded to 10th in the 12-horse field.
Uncle Mo has been a successful stallion since leading the freshman sire list in 2015, and he is still going strong. He had an amazing 25 stakes winners from his first crop. Juvenile champ Nyquist was his most successful first crop runner, and he would go on to win the 2016 Kentucky Derby. He has sired 14 Grade 1 winners overall including 2022 Belmont Stakes hero Mo Donegal, and at least one runner from each foaling year from 2013-2020 captured a Grade 1 race. He currently stands at Ashford Stud and his 2024 fee is $150,000.
Breeders’ Cup Sires: Uncle Mo
Uncle Mo is responsible for a trio of Breeders’ Cup successes. Nyquist was his first Breeders’ Cup winner when he took down the Juvenile in 2015. Golden Pal captured the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Keeneland in 2020, and won the BC Turf Sprint at Del Mar the next year.
Breeders’ Cup 2023 Runners
Adare Manor (Uncle Mo – Brooklynsway, by Giant Gizmo) won her last five starts and four of those were graded dirt route wins. She has never finished out of the exacta at Santa Anita and looks like a solid early-pressing contender in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. She has been sharp in her recent morning activity.
A Mo Reay (Uncle Mo – Margaret Reay, by Pioneerof the Nile) could show up in the BC Distaff. She started 2023 with a win in the Bayakoa (G3), and shipped to Santa Anita and won the Grade 1 Beholder Mile. She lost her last four graded races but did land the place in the Fleur de Lis (G2) and Beldame (G2).
Arabian Knight (Uncle Mo – Borealis Knight, by Astrology) is all upside for Bob Baffert. He looked the part of a future star with a facile debut win on the Breeders’ Cup undercard at Keeneland last fall. That was it for his juvenile campaign, and he made a big splash in the Grade 3 Southwest at Oaklawn in January. He was removed from Triple Crown Series consideration and was given time off in the spring. He returned with a better than appears show finish in the Grade 1 Haskell after battling early with a hopeless longshot. He returned to his California base and took on older foes in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Sept. 2. He turned away subsequent Awesome Again (G1) hero Slow Down Andy and held off Haskell (G1) winner Geaux Rocket Ride to secure a front running victory by neck. He is training forwardly for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.