07/04/2011 3:23PM

Belmont Park: Uncle Mo to return to Pletcher next week

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Barbara D. Livingston
Uncle Mo, the champion juvenile male of 2010, was kept from the Kentucky Derby because of a liver ailment.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Uncle Mo, last year’s 2-year-old champion who missed the Kentucky Derby because of a rare liver disease, has recently started galloping and is expected to ship to Saratoga next Monday, according to trainer Todd Pletcher.

Uncle Mo has been based at WinStar Farm in Kentucky since May 9 and started jogging on June 24.

“Excellent so far,” Pletcher said when asked how Uncle Mo was doing.

Pletcher wouldn’t say Uncle Mo was ahead of schedule, because “we didn’t really have a schedule.”

Mike Repole, the owner of Uncle Mo, has previously stated a dream scenario under which Uncle Mo could make the Grade 1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga on Aug. 27, but it remains to be seen if there is enough time to get the sufficient preparation into the colt to make a race of that stature.

Pletcher said that his top 3-year-old filly, R Heat Lightning, who underwent surgery to remove a chip out of a knee, will also ship from WinStar to Saratoga next Monday, but he didn’t think she would make a race at the Saratoga meet.

R Heat Lightning won the Davona Dale and Gulfstream Park Oaks by a combined 15 1-/2 lengths before being forced to miss the Kentucky Oaks with the knee chip.

Hopeful the goal for Overdriven

Pletcher and Repole may have unveiled their next big horse in Overdriven, who last Friday won a five-furlong maiden race by 3 1/2 lengths, running the distance in 56.42 seconds and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 100. Overdriven, by Tale of the Cat, is a half-brother to the multiple Grade 2 stakes winner Smooth Air.

“The time was very fast, it set up to be a fast race,” Pletcher said. “The horse from the outside was going real quick early, but I like the way he settled off of that one horse and finished up well. He didn’t seem hard used to do it.”

Pletcher said he would like to get Overdriven to the Grade 1 Hopeful on Sept. 5, and must determine what the best route is to get there.

“The question is whether we run between now and then or wait all the way till then,” Pletcher said. “We’ll have to play it by ear and see how the horse trains.”

Pletcher didn’t rule out running back in the Sanford at Saratoga on July 24.

Meanwhile, Pletcher confirmed that Algorithms, a 2-year-old who won his debut here on June 3, has been taken out of training because of an injury to his left hock. Pletcher said the horse is recuperating on his father Jake’s farm in Florida and could return to training in late August.

No trouble with this Allumeuse

Twenty-five years after the owner Eric Kronfeld watched his mare Allumeuse get incorrectly taken down from an apparent victory at Saratoga, another Kronfeld-owned filly that he named Allumeuse finished second – without incident – in Monday’s second race at Belmont Park.

As track announcer Tom Durkin said after the horses crossed the finish line, “the inquiry sign has not been posted.”

In 1986, the New York stewards incorrectly disqualified Allumeuse for interference that was caused by another horse. A few days later, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board ordered that Allumeuse be given the winner’s share of the purse. Of course, that didn’t help the bettors who wagered on Allumeuse at 7-1.

Monday, Allumeuse, trained by Christophe Clement, was sent off at 3-1. A bit headstrong in her U.S. debut, Allumeuse led until deep stretch when she was passed by Sex Appeal.