Updated on 07/30/2011 10:31AM

Saratoga: Uncle Mo shows good energy in half-mile breeze

Barbara D. Livingston
Uncle Mo had his second workout since returning to training on Thursday morning at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – If Uncle Mo continues to progress at this rate, the Grade 1 King’s Bishop might not be so unrealistic for his return after all.

Uncle Mo worked a half-mile in 50.38 seconds Thursday morning over Saratoga’s main track, his second breeze in six days and second since returning to trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn following a two-month stint on a farm.

Under exercise rider Patti Krotenko, Uncle Mo came on the track shortly after 6 a.m., jogging alongside a stable pony before stopping at the mile pole by the clubhouse turn. After standing briefly, Uncle Mo broke into a spirited gallop as he moved around the turn and traveled down the backside.

Breaking off at the half-mile pole, Uncle Mo went his first eighth in 12.70 seconds, a quarter in 25.37. With Krotenko hardly moving a muscle, Uncle Mo went his second quarter in 25.01 seconds. But the best part of the work may have been after he hit the finish line as he galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.38 and six furlongs in 1:16.99. Pletcher, who caught Uncle Mo galloping out five furlongs in 1:02.80, took Uncle Mo out seven furlongs in 1:33.

"He finished up really well, his fastest eighth was the eighth from the finish line to the mile pole," Pletcher said. "I think his level of conditioning is very good for only having one breeze leading into this. But that is what we saw during the winter at Palm Meadows; he got fit quickly.

"If everything goes well this week I’d say he’s ready for a five-eighths breeze, which puts us on a good schedule," Pletcher said. "We’re actually a little bit ahead of where I anticipated we’d be at this stage. Everything so far has gone perfectly, I couldn’t be happier."

Pletcher and Mike Repole, Uncle Mo’s owner, have both said they would like to make the Grade 1 King’s Bishop, a seven-furlong race here on Aug. 27.

Uncle Mo, last year’s 2-year-old champion, has not run since finishing third in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 9. His connections scratched him out of the Kentucky Derby the day before the race due to an internal issue which was subsequently diagnosed as a rare liver disease.

Uncle Mo spent two months at WinStar Farm before rejoining Pletcher on July 11.