Updated on 10/08/2011 10:35AM

Uncle Mo to stand at Ashford Stud when racing career is over


Uncle Mo, last year's 2-year-old champion, will stand stud at Ashford Stud, Coolmore's North America farm in Versailles, Ky., when his racing career is over, owner Mike Repole announced Thursday.

Repole said he will retain "a significant" interest in Uncle Mo as a stallion and retains 100 percent of the colt's racing rights. Repole said a decision has not been made on when Uncle Mo would be retired and left open the possibility of racing him as a 4-year-old.

"I went partners with his breeding rights," Repole said. "The deal right now is pretty clear - as long as Mo continues to be Mo he will continue to race."

Repole said he reached a deal with Coolmore before Uncle Mo making it back to the races this summer. Uncle Mo, who was scratched from the Kentucky Derby the morning before the race, was subsequently found to have cholangiohepatitis, a rare liver disorder, that kept him on the farm for two months.

After returning to training in July, Uncle Mo returned to the races with a nose loss to Caleb's Posse in the Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga on Aug. 27. In his next start, Uncle Mo won last Saturday's Grade 2 Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park by three lengths over Jackson Bend, running a mile in 1:.33.82 in the mud and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 118

Uncle Mo, trained by Todd Pletcher, is being pointed to the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.
"Todd Pletcher said he's never had a horse as good as Uncle Mo, so that's good enough for me," said Dermot Ryan, Ashford Stud's manager. "He's also a magnificent-looking horse by a very good sire, so we're really looking forward to having him when the time comes for him to retire."

Repole purchased by Uncle Mo - a son of Indian Charlie out of the Arch mare Playa Maya - for $220,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2009. As a 2-year-old, Uncle Mo won his debut at Saratoga in by 14 1/4 lengths. He came back to win the Grade 1 Champagne by 4 3/4 lengths and then the Breeders' Cup Juvenile by 4 1/4 lengths and was crowned champion 2-year-old.

Uncle Mo won his 3-year-old debut, the Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream Park in March, before his first career defeat in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 9.

Repole said he had dealt with many farms regarding Uncle Mo's breeding rights, but settled on Coolmore in part because of Pletcher's relationship with that organization. Pletcher has trained for Coolmore for at least a decade, winning the 2007 Belmont Stakes with the 3-year-old filly Rags to Riches.

"There was no way I would sell the horse 100 percent, and the second thing I wanted was to control his racing career," Repole said. "The easiest [people] to get that deal done with was Coolmore. Their relationship with Todd Pletcher - Rags to Riches and all the great horses that they've had together - made it easier."