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Undefeated champion UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) will make his highly anticipated three-year-old debut on Saturday against only five rivals in the $100,000 Timely Writer S., a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park. Originally scheduled to return in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), the colt's connections -- owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher -- changed course in February and began building up a Timely Writer bid instead.
A visually impressive winner of the Norfolk S. (G1) last October when overcoming a wide trip, Zayat Stables' JAYCITO (Victory Gallop) took a step backward in the November 6 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs, finishing a distant seventh after losing considerable ground early and bolting. Moved from trainer Mike Mitchell to Bob Baffert over the winter, the big colt will make his belated seasonal debut for that outfit in Saturday's $250,000 San Felipe S. (G2) at Santa Anita.
Churchill Downs, in conjunction with New England Sterling, the official manufacturer of the Kentucky Derby Trophy, introduced the Kentucky Derby Trophy Collection in November 2010. This exciting new program was launched just before the end of the 2010 racing season and was showcased in the Turf Club foyer.
Juvenile colt champion Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) was entered in Saturday's $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) as a precaution in case the Timely Writer S. at Gulfstream Park failed to draw sufficient entries, but it now appears Uncle Mo will be staying closer to his South Florida base while stablemate BRETHREN (Distorted Humor) will fly the flag for the Todd Pletcher barn in the 1 1/16-mile test at Tampa Bay Downs.
Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 Looks Like a 'Pick 'Em': 'All Others' Narrow Choice Over Uncle Mo
With the 2011 debut of Repole Stable’s Uncle Mo, the unbeaten 2010 2-year-old champion, set for this weekend, a strong effort by the champion could push the Todd Pletcher-trained son of Indian Charlie into the position of overall favorite in the second betting of three betting pools in Churchill Downs’ 2011 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”), which opens its three-day run at noon (all times Eastern) on Friday, March 11.
The connections of Santa Anita Oaks (G1) winner TURBULENT DESCENT (Congrats) have all but ruled out a bid at the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and will instead point the filly toward shorter races, trainer Mike Puype told Daily Racing Form on Tuesday.
Turbulent Descent captured the Santa Anita Oaks last Saturday by a neck over Zazu (Tapit), a rival that beat her two starts back in the Las Virgenes S. (G1).
Trainer Bob Baffert told Daily Racing Form that THE FACTOR (War Front) is now likely to ship to Oaklawn Park for the March 19 Rebel S. (G2). The 1 1/16-mile test would mark his two-turn debut.
"If he works well next week, and I'm happy with him, we'll go to the Rebel," Baffert said Sunday.
"If I'm not happy, we'll go to the next one. That's my plan."
A track record-setting winner of a six-furlong maiden at Santa Anita on December 26, The Factor captured the seven-furlong San Vicente S. (G2) last time out on February 20.
At Oaklawn Park on Sunday, a quartet of three-year-olds posted works in preparation for the March 19 Rebel S. (G2) -- ARCHARCHARCH (Arch), winner of the February 21 Southwest S. (G3); ELITE ALEX (Afleet Alex), a wide-trip third in the Southwest; CALEB'S POSSE (Posse), winner of the January 17 Smarty Jones S.; and ALTERNATION (Distorted Humor), a two-time allowance winner this meet.
Archarcharch turned in what trainer Jinks Fires described as the colt's best workout since arriving in Arkansas with a six-furlong breeze in 1:13 2/5 under regular jockey Jon Court.
Unbeaten, untested and unsung. All apply to the the undefeated California-bred BENCH POINTS (Benchmark), who will show whether or not he's Triple Crown material when he seeks his fifth victory next Saturday in the San Felipe S. (G2) going 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita. The race is an important steppingstone to the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 9.