11/02/2011 2:05PM

Breeders' Cup: Uncle Mo back on track after day off

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Barbara D. Livingston
Uncle Mo gallops Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs as he prepares for the BC Classic.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – With all the serious work done for Saturday’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, there was just a little bit of fine tuning to take place at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, when Uncle Mo returned to the track after getting a day off, and Game On Dude and Rattlesnake Bridge both made their first appearances on the track after arriving Tuesday.

Uncle Mo came on the track in the first set, at 6 a.m., along with his Todd Pletcher-trained stablemate Stay Thirsty and had a spirited gallop under the lights on the main track. He has never won beyond 1 1/16 miles and will be attempting to cap a remarkable comeback from a liver disease in the 1 1/4-mile Classic.

“This is no ordinary horse,” said his owner, Mike Repole, who spared no expense seeking answers as to why Uncle Mo was so ill in the spring. “If any horse can go seven furlongs to a mile and then this, never having won beyond a mile and sixteenth, it’s Uncle Mo.”

Rattlesnake Bridge came out a bit later in the morning and also galloped for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Rattlesnake Bridge is one of just two Breeders’ Cup mounts for jockey Calvin Borel, a master of this track and a three-time Kentucky Derby winner. McLaughlin said he chose Borel because of his expertise here and because he wants Rattlesnake Bridge to be taken back and make one run, a style at which Borel excels.

Game On Dude galloped after the renovation break for trainer Bob Baffert, who watched his Breeders’ Cup horses train while standing at a gap near the five-furlong pole. Game On Dude will be sent to the lead, and Baffert said he thought Game On Dude would like this track.

“He likes a track with tight turns,” Baffert said.

The last Classic runner to arrive on the grounds was international superstar So You Think, who got in Tuesday night shortly after 8 p.m. following a flight from Ireland. He is subject to U.S. Department of Agriculture quarantine, which usually lasts 48 hours, so he is unlikely to get a feel for the track until Friday, the day before the Classic, which will be his first race on dirt.