08/03/2011 7:23AM

Saratoga: Uncle Mo has third work of comeback, on schedule for King's Bishop

Barbara D. Livingston
Uncle Mo works five furlongs this morning. He will have three more workouts before the Aug. 27 King's Bishop.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - After watching Uncle Mo breeze five furlongs Wednesday morning at Saratoga, trainer Todd Pletcher said last year’s 2-year-old champion is “on target” to make the Grade 1, $250,000 King’s Bishop here on Aug. 27.

Uncle Mo, away from the races since finishing third in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct in April, worked five furlongs in 1:02.80 shortly after 6 a.m. over a dry, but seemingly dull main track. Under exercise rider Patti Krotenko, Uncle Mo went in fractions of 12.66 seconds, 25.13, and 37.64, and then came home his final quarter in 25.16 seconds. Uncle Mo galloped out six furlongs in 1:16.36 and seven-eighths in 1:30.82.

It was the third workout for Uncle Mo since July 22.

Under bright sunshine, Uncle Mo came onto to the track shortly after 6 a.m. accompanied by a stable pony and jogged the wrong way to the mile pole where he stood briefly along the outside rail. Once turned the right way, Uncle Mo left the pony midway around the clubhouse turn and appeared a bit on the muscle as he galloped down the backside. But once into the work, he seemed more relaxed and worked evenly all the way around.

“Good, steady, even work, galloped out well,” Pletcher said shortly afterward. “Thought his level of fitness was good for his third breeze. We’ll turn it up a little bit now that he’s got a good foundation under him; very happy with where we are at the moment.”

Pletcher said that Uncle Mo will have three more breezes before the King’s Bishop, run at seven furlongs.

“We’re ahead of schedule,” Pletcher said. “If everything continues to go well I’d say we’re on target for the King’s Bishop.”

The King’s Bishop run the same day as the $1 million Travers, Saratoga’s marquee event that will feature Stay Thirsty, who like Uncle Mo, is owned by Mike Repole and trained by Pletcher.

Uncle Mo was scratched out of the Kentucky Derby the morning before the race due to what was subsequently diagnosed as a rare liver disorder. He spent two months at WinStar Farm in Kentucky before being shipped to Saratoga on July 11.

Video courtesy of NYRA