Unbeaten UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie), last year's champion two-year-old male and a convincing winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), received the high weight assignment of 128 pounds on the 2010 Experimental Free Handicap, released Thursday by The Jockey Club. It is the highest assignment since Horse of the Year Favorite Trick received 128 pounds in 1997.
The filly division is headed by last year's champion two-year-old filly and undefeated Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) heroine AWESOME FEATHER (Awesome of Course), at 123 pounds.
The Experimental Free Handicap, published annually by The Jockey Club since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year's leading two-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. This year's weighting committee of racing secretaries was composed of Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs, P.J. Campo of the New York Racing Association and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
The committee weighted a total of 99 males and 92 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all two-year-olds of 2010 that finished among the top four in graded or listed stakes races run in the continental United States. Listed stakes in 2010 were those with a value of $75,000 or more available to all starters, and no restrictions other than age or sex.
Uncle Mo won his three starts last year by a combined 23 1/4 lengths and earned $1,296,000. Owned by Repole Stable, Uncle Mo easily captured the Champagne S. (G1) prior to his 4 1/4-length tally in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He was bred in Kentucky by D. Michael Cavey DVM.
The 128 pounds assigned to Uncle Mo is two pounds above the standard impost for top Experimental colts, including last year's co-high weights Lookin at Lucky and Vale of York (Ire).
Uncle Mo is weighted five pounds higher than TO HONOR AND SERVE (Bernardini), a winner of three of his four starts in 2010, including the Remsen S. (G2) and Nashua S. (G2). He earned $264,640 for owner Live Oak Plantation.
Hopeful (G1) winner and Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up BOYS AT TOSCONOVA (Officer) is next on the scale at 122 pounds. At 121 pounds are COMMA TO THE TOP (Bwana Charlie) and PLUCK (More Than Ready). Comma to the Top won six of his 10 starts in 2010, including the CashCall Futurity (G1), Generous S. (G3) and Real Quiet S., and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G2) hero Pluck captured three of his five starts last year.
In the filly division, the 123 pounds assigned to Awesome Feather is the standard impost for top Experimental fillies and equivalent to the assignment on last year's co-high weights, Blind Luck (Pollard's Vision) and She Be Wild.
Bred in Florida by previous owner Jacks or Better Farm Inc., Awesome Feather's six victories in 2010 came by a combined 25 1/2 lengths. In addition to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, she won the J J’sdream S. and all three divisions of the Florida Stallion series -- the My Dear Girl, Susan's Girl and Desert Vixen. She earned $1,495,746. She sold for $2.3 million following the Breeders' Cup.
At 120 pounds are Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2) vixen MORE THAN REAL (More Than Ready) and Hollywood Starlet (G1) winner TURBULENT DESCENT (Congrats).
At 119 pounds are Frizette (G1) scorer A Z WARRIOR (Bernardini) and R HEAT LIGHTNING (Trippi). The latter captured the Spinaway (G1) and finished second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Among sires of Experimental horses, five stallions top the list of colts and geldings with three representatives each. They are Bernardini, First Samurai, Fusaichi Pegasus, Sharp Humor and Thunder Gulch. Lion Heart and Tapit head the fillies' list with five representatives each. Combining the two lists, Lion Heart and Tapit are the leading sires with six representatives each. Of the 191 juveniles weighted, 113 were bred in Kentucky, 43 in Florida and five each in California and Texas.