05/09/2016 11:36AM

Led by Nyquist, Uncle Mo's first crop is one for the ages

Barbara D. Livingston
Uncle Mo is third on the general sire list behind Tapit and Lucky Pulpit.

Nyquist was an unbeaten juvenile champion, just like his sire, and was made the morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby, just like his sire. The question was, could he go the classic distance, something his sire had never done?

The answer was a resounding yes. Nyquist remained undefeated in eight starts with an emphatic victory in the Kentucky Derby last Saturday at Churchill Downs, giving the outstanding young sire Uncle Mo a classic winner from his first crop.

Uncle Mo, standing at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky., was one of two sires with three starters in this year’s Derby – the other being two-time reigning leading sire Tapit, whom the younger stallion is now in hot pursuit of for American supremacy. Uncle Mo’s two other starters were Grade 3 winner Mo Tom, who finished eighth, and Grade 1 winner Outwork, who checked in 14th. He also is likely to have three or more Preakness Stakes starters, as awaiting Nyquist in Baltimore will be Grade 1-placed stakes winner Uncle Lino and multiple graded stakes-placed Laoban.

Uncle Mo led not only the freshman sire list but also the overall juvenile sire list in 2015 with progeny earnings of $3,632,314. The earnings were a freshman-season record, shattering the $2,811,337 amassed in 2008 by future super-sire Tapit. Uncle Mo’s bankroll outpaced runner-up freshman Twirling Candy by nearly $2.5 million. Uncle Mo is not only the leading second-crop stallion in North America at the moment with earnings of $6,764,411 through Derby weekend, but he is also third on the general sire list behind Tapit ($7,367,279) and Lucky Pulpit ($6,870,490), the latter powered by record money earner California Chrome.

In addition to his Derby and Preakness starters, Uncle Mo is the sire of Grade 1 winner Gomo; Grade 3 winner Uncle Vinny; Grade 2-placed stakes winners Forevamo, Mo d’Amour, and Thrilled; Grade 1-placed Mokat; Grade 2-placed Shaken; Grade 3-placed Auntie Joy and Uncle Walter; multiple stakes winners Abiding Star and Lost Raven; stakes winners Clipthecouponannie and Uncle Brennie; and stakes-placed Conquest Babayaga, Little Mo, Mighty Mo, and Mo for the Money.

Uncle Mo, by the late Indian Charlie, won his three starts as a juvenile by a combined 23 1/4 lengths, earning a divisional Eclipse Award by a nearly unanimous vote for owner Mike Repole. The colt burst onto the national scene with a 14 1/4-length victory in his Saratoga debut. He added open-lengths scores in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.

Although a rare liver disorder caused him to miss the Triple Crown series – he was forced to scratch from the Kentucky Derby the day before the race – Uncle Mo continued on at 3 to win the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap over older horses and was multiple Grade 1-placed. He won 5 of 8 career starts and missed the board only once, earning $1,606,000.

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