03/06/2011 2:14PM

Uncle Mo tunes up for either Timely Writer or Tampa Derby

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Todd Pletcher would prefer to run Uncle Mo in the Timeley Writer at Gulfstream, but if the stakes does not fill, Plan B may be the Tampa Bay Derby.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. -  Uncle Mo turned in his final work in preparation for his much anticipated 3-year-old debut by  breezing an easy half-mile in 48.82 seconds under jockey John Velazquez early Sunday morning at Palm Meadows. The question now remains where Uncle Mo will run, not whe.

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Working by himself, Uncle Mo just cruised away from the half-mile pole posting early splits of 12.62 and 24.92 seconds for the opening quarter and with Velazquez little more than a passenger, completed his final two furlongs in 23.90 seconds all on his own. Uncle Mo then continued on very strong into and around the turn, galloping out five-eighths in 1:01.61 before pulling up six furlongs in 1:15.71.

“It was a textbook half-mile,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He galloped out nicely, he looks happy, and he’s moving well. Everything’s going according to plan. Every work has gone right on schedule and we got a lot of confidence from Stay Thirsty’s race [Saturday] that he’s done enough since the two of them were on the same schedule and now he’s gotten even one more work in before his next start.”

Stay Thirsty won the Grade 3 Gotham on Saturday at Aqueduct.

Uncle Mo is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut Saturday at Gulfstream Park in the $100,000 Timely Writer with the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby the same afternoon as his back-up plan.

“We need to run on Saturday,” said Pletcher. “Hopefully the race will go at Gulfstream. I’m prepared to enter something else in the race if I need to but I’d prefer not to.”

Pletcher said he would consider entering Uncle Mo both in the Timely Writer and Tampa Bay Derby as a precaution but had not made that decision yet. Both races will be drawn Wednesday.

Pletcher is planning on sending Brethren back to Tampa for the Tampa Bay Derby. Brethren was an easy winner of Tampa’s Grade 3 Sam F. Davis in his 3-year-old debut. Brethren also worked Sunday at Palm Meadows, going five eighths in 1:01.20 in company with Cal Nation, the pair posting splits of 12.51, 24.76, and 36.58 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.51.