05/19/2011 11:19AM

Uncle Mo gaining weight at WinStar


Uncle Mo, the 2010 2-year-old champion who was scratched from the Kentucky Derby the day before the race due to a yet-to-be diagnosed internal issue, has put on 30 pounds since being moved from Churchill Downs to WinStar Farm on May 9, but there is still no timetable for his return to training or racing.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said Uncle Mo gets turned out four to five hours a day.

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Uncle Mo came out of this third-place finish in the April 9 Wood Memorial with a gastrointestinal infection for which he was treated with antibiotics. As Derby Day drew closer, Uncle Mo had to be taken off medication and he began to lose weight, Pletcher said. A battery of tests showed an elevated enzyme that “baffled’’ veterinarians, Pletcher said at the time. Pletcher and owner Mike Repole scratched Uncle Mo from the Derby because they didn’t feel he would be able to perform up to his capabilities.

“As far as a solid diagnosis we still don’t really have one,’’ Pletcher said. “Hopefully, he’ll continue to put on weight and get better and who knows, we may never have a true diagnosis, just as long as his symptoms keep getting better.’’

Pletcher said he gets daily updates on Uncle Mo’s condition from Elliott Walden, the president, CEO, and racing manager of WinStar Farm. No decision has been made on when and where Uncle Mo will return to training.

“I think it’s based on how he’s doing, how much weight he gains, how he looks, just his overall condition will dictate when he goes back in training,’’ Pletcher said. “He could stay there and continue some turnout and go in light training so we’re ahead of schedule when we do come back. Right now there is no schedule.’’

Pletcher did report that his 8-year-old daughter Hannah returned to the family’s Long Island home on Wednesday following surgery to remove her appendix earlier in the week. Pletcher said his daughter is doing well. Hannah Pletcher suffered a case of appendicitis in March – three days before Uncle Mo ran and won the Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream – but had to delay surgery due to an infection that had developed.