04/07/2011 1:15PM

Uncle Mo's Beyer Edge in the Wood Memorial


The 89 Beyer Figure Uncle Mo earned in the Timely Writer Stakes in his first start this year was the lowest of his career by five Beyer points. But that pedestrian – by Uncle Mo’s standards – 89 Beyer was entirely due to the very slow early pace in the Timely Writer of 25.53 and 49.58. Uncle Mo would have had to have been a super horse to finish fast enough to post a final time fast enough to reach the lofty Beyer standards he established for himself last year at 2 when he earned numbers of 102, 94, and 108. But he tried hard to knock that final time down. Uncle Mo’s final quarter in the Timely Writer of 22.87 was plenty fast.

Still, even Uncle Mo’s 89 Beyer in the Timely Writer is higher than any Beyer his nine opponents in Saturday’s Wood Memorial at Aqueduct have ever earned in their combined total of 52 career starts. The next highest Beyer in the field is the 88 Toby’s Corner earned two starts back when he won the Whirlaway. For the record, Toby’s Corner got an 82 Beyer when third in the Gotham last time out.

Since the Wood is likely to have a far truer early pace than the Timely Writer did, we can expect Uncle Mo to post a Beyer Figure more in line with what we have come to expect from him. What he will get in the Wood exactly is anyone’s guess. But for the sake of discussion, let’s say he gets an average of his three 2-year-old Beyers and earns a 101. Frankly, I think Uncle Mo is extremely capable of doing significantly better than that because, after all, he is supposed to improve as he matures physically. But let’s go conservative here and say he gets a 101. Let’s also say that no one else in the field can do better than Toby’s Corner’s best Beyer of 88, which for many Wood entrants would be a major step forward. A 13 point Beyer spread going 1 1/8 miles equals almost 8 ½ lengths.

Just thought I’d throw that out there in case you’re looking for a starting point to peg an over/under number for Uncle Mo’s win margin.

denny putnam More than 1 year ago
When the owner thinks he knows more about his horse then his trainer does, its never a good thing. I for one won't be surprised if Uncle Mo comes up short in The derby.
Larry More than 1 year ago
You all tell me how many lengths he wins by because this will be such a crappy race I don't even intend to watch it as so many have mentioned, it won't tell anyone a thing about the horse. And I certainly don't see any Derby contenders in his competition.
Rocky Road Farm More than 1 year ago
Hi Mike, I think he wins for "Fun" on Saturday,but when he gets to Louisville it will be a whole different Race!!!! A win Saturday will make him one of the shortest favorites in Derby History....Take a look back and see what happened to most of them!!!!! Regards
vicstu More than 1 year ago
This kind of reminds me of all of the hype regarding War Pass and his 15 point Beyer advantage over every other horse in the Tampa Bay Derby field. War Pass had run a few weeks earlier in an Uncle Mo type 1 mile allowance race for Zito and received a 99 BSF (I believe). War Pass was every bit as brilliant and every bit as dominant as Uncle Mo as a 2 year old. I believe their BSFs for the BC Juvie were very close (War Pass reveived a 112 or 114 BSF, I believe). We were told that War Pass would have to fall down to lose. Then he missed the break, was pinched back, and never recovered. Then Big Brown came to win the FL Derby and no one noticed that WP finished 2nd in The Wood and was injured, and later died after a couple of seasons at stud. Very sad. Yes, UM is a very nice horse. He should win here going away. The main question is, why rest all winter at PM in Florida and then avoid every significant stakes race in Florida? He did not even try the Tampa Bay Derby...I keep hearing rumblings that they are pampering this horse for a reason. I sure hope he can keep this up because racing needs a big time horse--another Big Brown. But with this guy's very light schedule he will be nowhere near fit enough to go 12 furlongs if he wins the Derby and Preakness...instead, he will be tired and probably will manifest a physical issue(see Big Brown). The light training assures the horse will be rested for the Derby but nowhere near fit enough to win the T/C. Racing needs a T/C winner more than it needs another BB (a 3 yo horse I thought was as talented as I had seen in the past decade). The winner of the Ky Derby has prepped in Florida in a graded stakes race 4 out of the last 5 years (at over 1 mile). Since when has anything coming out of The Wood factored in the Ky Derby? Tale of Ekati running 4th in 2008? No one is ducking Uncle Mo. Second Place money is good in The Wood. It's more of Pletcher assuring this horse has the easiest trail possible to CD. If he is that super, why not take on a better field in the Florida Derby? Could it be Pletcher does not trust that hard track with Mo? After all, the winner of the Florida Derby has usually ended up injured in the 2-3 races that follow it...if they make it through the T/C at all.
jimthepimp More than 1 year ago
Uncle Mo will win this race easily like everyone expects. The only question is if he wins it too easy with his easy schedule? He might not have enough bottom for the 20 horse field and a whole lot of dirt kicked in his face. Lets hope that Mo is the real deal or he will end up 15th in the derby. GC: Uncle Mo did beat all the best of his generation at two in a big field in the BC. He did alot at two to make him a standout. It looks like there isnt alot of superstars after last weeks Florida Derby to contend with this year from the east coast. Lets see how the rest of the preps go and im sure we can all come up with a reason to back someone in the derby. For me it wont be Uncle Mo even though I love to watch him run. Having only one prep over a mile and no competition will put him at a big disadvantage. Its not his fault that nobody will run against him in the Wood. The made up Timely is another story though. I wish him well this weekend as the odds on my horses for the derby can just go up.
yadava bahadoor More than 1 year ago
Johnny G. More than 1 year ago
Mike, I think a 101 Beyer and a win by 8 1/2 lengths would maybe answer his critics, even though its not a really tough field, Mo needs a solid, hard race. Just curious, who was the last 2 year old champ to win the Derby? Or, has that jinx not been broke yet? I enjoy your articles, and handicapping videos. Thanks
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Mike, Last time I took notice, the Wood Memorial was not restricted to horses w/3 legs only. So, if no other so called good horses show up, who cares..It's not Uncle Mo's problem..Go Mo......& the 600K..
rf More than 1 year ago
I couldn't agree more with GC.But it's no fault of the connections of Mo.Two preps like the last four winners and go. If nobody showed up for a million what can you do?
cashmoney More than 1 year ago
funny that you wrote this article becuase my dad and i had this discussion yesterday and made a frinedly wager between us. Our margin was 7 lenghts and i took the over. He will waltz his way to Churchill. (not sure those 2 "races" will have him ready for the Derby Scrum).