01/19/2011 6:15PM

Uncle Mo nearing first work toward start in Tampa Bay Derby

Barbara D. Livingston
The 2-year-old champion colt Uncle Mo is being pointed to the Tampa Bay Derby in March.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Uncle Mo is about ready to get back to some serious work.

Uncle Mo, crowned juvenile champion at Monday’s Eclipse Award ceremonies, has been galloping steadily at the Palm Meadows training facility and according to his trainer, Todd Pletcher, is almost up to his first breeze as a 3-year-old.

“Everything has gone right and according to schedule since he’s gotten down here,” said Pletcher. “He’s been galloping a mile and three-eighths and a mile and one-half, and doing everything we expect him to up to this point. At the moment I’d say he’s about 10 days away from his first breeze.”

Pletcher said Uncle Mo hasn’t grown much since concluding his perfect 2-year-old season with an easy win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

“He doesn’t need to grow much, he was a pretty big 2-year-old, but he’s filled out nicely,” said Pletcher. “Right now the Tampa Bay Derby is still the most likely option for his return.”

The 1 1/16-mile, Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby will be run on March 12.

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