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Mar 18, 2011

Uncle Mo gets it done in Timely Writer Stakes


Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Making his first of the year, 2010 champion two-year-old colt Uncle Mo captured Saturday's $78,400 Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The mile race was especially written to give Uncle Mo a race at Gulfstream Park.

"We're happy the Timely Writer filled and we were able to run Uncle Mo at Gulfstream," said the colt's trainer Todd Pletcher,

Owned by Mike Repole, Uncle Mo broke from the inside post with regular rider John Velazquez in the saddle. The current Kentucky Derby favorite went off as the 1-20 favorite in the five-horse field. Scratched from the race was Madman Diaries.

Repole and Pletcher initially considered running Uncle Mo in Saturday's Tampa Bay Derby at 1 1/16-miles, four hours north of Gulfstream.

Uncle Mo was bumped at the start of the Timely Writer, but quickly moved to lead. Rattlesnake Bridge pressed the pace from the outside while Gallant Dreams was on the inside.

Rattlesnake Bridge, the 7-1 second choice, drew even with Uncle Mo on the final turn and tried to go past Uncle Mo from the outside at the top of the stretch. The favorite held off the challenge and drew away to post a 3 3/4- length victory.

Rattlesnake Bridge was followed by Gallant Dreams, Rocking Out and Schoolyard Cat. The time for the mile was 1:36.56 on a fast track.

"To have a horse of his caliber, along with that, obviously, comes a lot of added exposure and excitement and pressure and everything else that goes with it," Pletcher acknowledged. "I think he's grown a touch, but he was a pretty big two-year-old - and, obviously, a very talented two-year-old. So we don't feel like we need to improve a lot.

"It seems like he's come along and done everything we'd expect him to do as a young three-year-old. Mentally, he's always been a very, very easy horse to be around. So, so far, everything's been great."

Slated next to start in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 9, Uncle Mo received $40,000 for the Timely Writer win. His career earnings now stand at just over $1.3 million.

As a two-year-old, Uncle Mo won all three starts, including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Champagne Stakes. He was voted the Eclipse Award winner as 2010 champion two-year-old colt.

"Anytime you have a horse like Uncle Mo, and if you get lucky enough to show up at Churchill Downs undefeated," Pletcher noted, "then that'll be plenty of excitement on its own."

Uncle Mo returned $2.10, $2.10 and $2.10. Rattlesnake Bridge paid $2.20 and $2.20, and Gallant Dreams paid $3.00 to show.

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