Friday, April 8, 2011

Five Reasons Uncle Mo Wins the Kentucky Derby

In true contrarian style allow me to argue against my blog from two weeks ago and provide five reasons Uncle Mo is a lock to win the Kentucky Derby:
  • From the Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery Department -  only one horse has turned the Breeder's Cup/Kentucky Derby double. Street Sense won the the Juvenile in smashing fashion at Churchill Downs and followed it up with a two-race prep on his way to earning a blanket of roses. Uncle Mo's trainer, Todd Pletcher, has seen the plan and is following it to a T.
  • While Todd Pletcher doesn't win every Grade I east of the Mississippi anymore (outside Breeder's Cup Days), he did win the Derby last year. Success tends to bred success - just ask Bob Baffert and Wayne Lucas.
  • Uncle Mo still hasn't reached his ceiling as a three-year-old. As a two-year-old he was untouchable, and he has yet to be tested this year. His competition - if that's what we want to call it - in the Wood Memorial are all running for the second place share of $200,000, and a chance to make the Derby gate. 
  • With his ability to rate and tactical speed, even the inner or outer most posts shouldn't be a problem on Kentucky Derby Day. Jockey Johnny V. should be able to use Uncle Mo's push button speed to stay out of trouble early and have plenty left over for the stretch drive late.
  • His sire, Indian Charlie, fell as the Derby favorite 13 years ago, but his dam's sire, Arch, won the Super Derby when it was run at 10 furlongs in that same year. And in case you didn't know, Arch sired this year's Breeder's Cup Classic winner Blame. So the classic 1 1/4 miles distance is in the genes. 
I didn't even mention the weakening competition either falling off or failing to finish lately. Sure The Factor may start with the lead on the First Saturday in May, but he is unlikely to finish with it. The other leading contender, Dialed In was all out to beat a tiring pacesetter, Shackleford, that wouldn't be confused with the finest colts of this quickly diminishing class. So obviously, Uncle Mo should be everyone's Derby horse. That doesn't mean I'll be betting him...

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