Undefeated champion UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) traveled a half-mile in a brisk :47 2/5 at trainer Todd Pletcher's Palm Meadows base on Sunday, posting the strongest of his three works so far this season.
"It was a tad quicker than we expected," Pletcher said of the move in company with stablemate and Hopeful S. (G1) runner-up STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini), who posted the identical time on the fast track.
"We wanted him (Uncle Mo) to go in :48 and change, but he did it effortlessly. It's amazing what a couple of works have done for his fitness level. I feel like I'm ahead of schedule."
The two colts tied for the fifth-fastest of 51 works at the distance, and Uncle Mo went on to gallop out five furlongs in 1:00 alongside Stay Thirsty.
"I'm particularly pleased with the way he galloped out," Pletcher added regarding Uncle Mo.
Both colts were last seen in the November 6 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), where Uncle Mo remained perfect with a 4 1/4-length conquest, and Stay Thirsty finished fifth. The pair returned to the worktab on January 30 and have since kept a Sunday work schedule.
Uncle Mo's first breeze back was a leisurely three-furlong spin in :39 4/5, and next time on February 6, the bay colt covered a half-mile in :49 3/5.
Uncle Mo, who has won his three starts by a combined 23 1/4 lengths, is still on target to make his three-year-old debut in the March 12 Tampa Bay Derby (G2). Stay Thirsty is expected to reappear in the March 5 Gotham S. (G3) at Aqueduct.
Plans are fluid, however, for another unbeaten Pletcher pupil, BRETHREN (Distorted Humor), who rolled to a four-length win in his stakes debut in Saturday's Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa. The half-brother to 2010 Kentucky Derby (G1) hero Super Saver relaxed in his stall Sunday.
Pletcher called the colt's victory "excellent," but was undecided on where the WinStar homebred might run next on the Derby trail.
"I talked to (WinStar's racing manager) Elliott (Walden) this morning, and we're just going to let the dust settle and look at all our options," Pletcher said.