- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
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Repole Stable's unbeaten champion UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) made an imperious return to action against four overmatched opponents in Saturday's $78,400 Timely Writer S. at Gulfstream Park, ratifying his status as the early Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite. Under regular rider John Velazquez, the Todd Pletcher colt easily secured the early lead, turned back the game challenge of Rattlesnake Bridge (Tapit), and kicked away to a 3 3/4-length triumph.
Beverly Anderson and Edward Seltzer's WYOMIA (Vindication) settled off the pace through the early part of Saturday's $55,500 Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs, angled in to split horses in midstretch, and just ran down Devilish Lady (Sweetsouthernsaint) by a head on the wire.
Local rider Frederic Lenclud picked up the mount on the Curtis Garrison trainee in the mile-and-40-yard test and guided Wyomia to finish up in 1:39 4/5 over the fast dirt.
Nine will line-up on Saturday for the $125,000 Honeybee S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park, the final local prep for that track's April 10 Fantasy S. (G2), and the 1 1/16-mile test features the return of Demoiselle S. (G2) heroine DIXIE CITY (Dixie Union) and Frizette S. (G1) third JOYFUL VICTORY (Tapit).
Todd Pletcher understands that expectations for Uncle Mo far exceed an anticipated victory in Saturday's $100,000 Timely Writer at Gulfstream Park. With 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta retired and confirmed in foal to Bernardini, his undefeated three-year-old colt is widely viewed as Thoroughbred racing's Next Big Thing -- a rare specimen with the talent and charisma to capture the imagination of the American public.
STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini) wasn't spectacular in Saturday's Gotham S. (G3), but he won going away and looked good doing it. Trainer Todd Pletcher got what he wanted with a positive performance to build upon for the Kentucky Derby (G1).
DIALED IN (Mineshaft) faltered Sunday in an allowance at Gulfstream Park, sustaining his first loss with a non-threatening second, but trainer Nick Zito was able to find a silver lining: the 1 1/8-mile event had no pace and the lightly-raced Dialed In needed a two-turn race for foundation. The late runner is eligible to improve off the setback.