Repole Stable's UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) entered Saturday's $1,818,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) riding a two-race win streak and exited the 1 1/16-mile event with a perfect three-for-three career mark following a dominating 4 1/4-length victory under jockey John Velazquez. The bay colt took command in the stretch and pulled off to stop the clock in 1:42 3/5 over the fast track to give trainer Todd Pletcher his second win on the day.
"That was as impressive as they get," Pletcher stated. "It was an unbelievable performance; crazy fast like he's been doing all along.
"He runs really fast for a long time. He was right there and they were going quick all the way. (Jockey) Johnny (Velazquez) pushed the button on the turn and he had another gear. When Johnny turned for home, I felt like we were in good shape. I don't get goosebumps very often, but I had them today."
"It's basically gone from surreal to real," owner Mike Repole said. "I've thought about this moment for 30 years, 25 years as a racing fan and 5 or 6 years as an owner, to just one day own a horse like this. So many kids growing up want to be baseball players, want to be football players, and I just wanted to own a special horse."
Riveting Reason (Fusaichi Pegasus) sped straight to the front and proceeded to set splits of :23 2/5, :47 1/5 and 1:11 4/5 while closely tracked by Uncle Mo on his outside. J. B.'s Thunder (Thunder Gulch) stalked the top two while saving ground a little closer to the inside. As the field entered the stretch, Velazquez let Uncle Mo loose and the two-year-old dynamo took off.
Catapulting off the turn, Uncle Mo quickly asserted his authority over the race, drawing clear as much the best and wrapping up champion two-year-old male honors in the process.
"That was definitely special," Velazquez said. "We had so much hope for this horse, and for him to come here and do it the way he did it today, that was special. He galloped out very good. This is a special horse."
Sent off the 7-5 favorite in the 10-horse field, Uncle Mo rewarded his many backers with payouts of $4.80, $3.40 and $2.60 while keying the $17.80 exacta and $147.20 trifecta. Boys at Tosconova (Officer) was the only runner in the field with prior experience at Churchill Downs following a second in his career debut in the April 30 Kentucky Juvenile S. (G3). He used that knowledge to be best of the rest, crossing under the wire six lengths in front of Rogue Romance (Smarty Jones) to return $4.20 and $3.40 as the 7-2 second pick.
"Our horse ran big," trainer Rick Dutrow said of Boys of Tosconova. "I thought the winner (Uncle Mo) was a nice horse and it looked like he had his position all the way. It looked like he was the only one that had a shot at beating us. I was hoping he wouldn't, but he did. We just have to hope that our horse stays good and keeps developing the right way."
Show gave back $4.20, and it was 1 3/4 lengths back to Biondetti (Bernardini), who wrapped up the 7-2-9-1 superfecta that totaled $857.20.
Stay Thirsty (Bernardini), J P's Gusto (Successful Appeal), Jaycito (Victory Gallop), Riveting Reason, J. B.'s Thunder and Murjan (Officer) followed the top four under the wire.
Uncle Mo drew immediate attention when making his career debut, romping by 14 1/4 lengths in an August 28 Saratoga maiden. Pletcher immediately pitched him in against stakes rivals when sending him to the Champagne S. (G1) next out, but the bay colt proved the class jump to be no problem. The two-year-old wired that one-mile test by 4 3/4 lengths, setting himself up for this test. The $1.08 million winner's share of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile boosted his earnings to $1,296,000.
Bred in Kentucky by D. Michael Cavey, Uncle Mo passed through the sales ring twice, brining $160,000 as a Keeneland November weanling and $220,000 when going in the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He is the third registered foal out of the multiple stakes-placed Playa Maya (Arch), whose dam is a half-sister to Grade 3 scorer Woods of Windsor (Woodman). This female family has also produced the likes of Argentinean Group 1 winner Eithan (Polish Numbers) and Group 3-placed Impetious (Inchinor [GB]).