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Apr 15, 2011

Toby's Corner upsets Uncle Mo to take Wood Memorial


Ozone Park, NY (Sports Network) - Consensus Kentucky Derby favorite Uncle Mo set the pace, but could not withstand Toby's Corner down the stretch in Saturday's $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. Sent off as the 1-10 choice, Uncle Mo faded to third as Arthur's Tale rallied for second.

Winner of the 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Uncle Mo was expected to win the Wood and then get ready for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7. He was the 1-5 morning-line favorite for the Wood Memorial and Tcby's Corner was the second pick at 8-1.

Ridden by John Velazquez, Uncle Mo took the lead in the nine horse field on the clubhouse turn. He led the field up the backstretch with Duca running second followed by Starship Caesar and Isn't He Perfect.

Entering the far turn Uncle Mo, owned by Mike Repole, edged away from his rivals and appeared to be ready to easily win. Staying with the leader was Isn't He Perfect along with Duca and Preachintothedevil.

With more than a furlong to run, Uncle Mo was joined on the lead by Toby's Corner and a late running Arthur's Tale. The favorite, trained by Todd Pletcher, was unable to hold off his two rivals as they approached the wire.

Toby's Corner, ridden by Eddie Castro, posted a neck victory over 20-1 longshot Arthur's Tale with Uncle Mo getting third and Norman Asbjornson finishing fourth.

The time for the 1 1/8-miles was 1:49.93 on a fast track.

Completing the order of finish was Isn't He Perfect, Starship Caesar, Son of Posse, Preachintothedevil and Duca. Full of Scoundrels was a scratch.

Toby's Corner, owned by Dianne Cotter and trained by Graham Motion, scored his biggest stakes win and earned $600,000 doing so. The chestnut colt has won four of six career starts with two thirds for $722,140.

"He's had a tendency to act up a little in the stretch," Motion said earlier about Toby's Corner. The colt wore blinkers for the first time in the Wood.

In February, Toby's Corner won the Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct and was third behind Stay Thirsty in last month's Gotham Stakes.

Toby's Corner returned $19.40, $7.00 and $2.50. Arthur's Tale paid $11.00 and $3.30, and Uncle Mo paid $2.10 to show.

A total of 11 Wood Memorial winners, beginning with Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox in 1930, have captured the Kentucky Derby, including Triple Crown champs Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946) and Seattle Slew (1977). Others who also turned the double play were Twenty Grand (1931), Johnstown (1939), Hoop Jr. (1945), Foolish Pleasure (1975), Bold Forbes (1976), Pleasant Colony (1981) and Fusaichi Pegasus (2000).

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