02/13/2011 3:02PM

Uncle Mo gets more serious in preparation for 3-year-old debut

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Barbara D. Livingston
2010 Juvenile champion Uncle Mo works four furlongs in 47.36 seconds Sunday at Palm Meadows.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Eclipse Award winner Uncle Mo picked up the pace appreciably training up to his much anticipated 3-year-old debut when he worked four furlongs in 47.36 seconds at Palm Meadows shortly after dawn on Sunday.

Uncle Mo worked in company with stablemate Stay Thirsty, who is also owned by Mike Repole. Breaking inside and about a half-length in front of his partner, Uncle Mo posted near identical splits of 23.67 for his opening quarter and 23.69 for the final two furlongs before galloping out five-eighths in 1:00.09. Uncle Mo was in hand throughout while Stay Thirsty needed a couple of taps of the stick to keep pace in early stretch.

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“It was a tad quicker than I wanted, we set out to go in 48 and change, but he did it so effortlessly,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “You could see he was pretty focused coming to the pole and I was particularly pleased with the way he galloped out. I was a little afraid we were playing catch-up with him but, like last week, now I think we’re ahead of schedule. It’s amazing what a couple of works has done for his fitness level.”

Pletcher said Uncle Mo would have his first five-furlong work next Sunday. Uncle Mo, who has not started since sewing up his 2-year-old championship with an easy victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, is being pointed for a mid-March return.

Pletcher said Stay Thirsty is being pointed for Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes on March 5.

“This morning’s work was an important one because he’s on a bit of a tight schedule to make the Gotham,” said Pletcher.

Stay Thirsty, runner-up behind Boys At Tosconova in the Grade 1 Hopeful, has also been idle since finishing a distant fifth in the BC Juvenile.