Champion UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie), who suffered his first career loss when third in last Saturday's Wood Memorial (G1), has been diagnosed with an infection in his gastrointestinal tract, according to a statement released Thursday by his connections.
"Although it is not my standard practice to share a horse's examination results with anyone other than the owner," trainer Todd Pletcher said, "I feel that Uncle Mo's disappointing performance in the Wood Memorial warrants an explanation. After his three extremely impressive starts as a two-year-old and his dominant performance in the Timely Writer S. in March, the Wood Memorial was an uncharacteristically poor effort.
"On Tuesday, we did a number of tests and pulled some blood work. Late yesterday, both (owner) Mike (Repole) and I spoke with the vets, who concluded that Uncle Mo has a GI tract infection, and we began treatment immediately.
"The vets also concluded that Uncle Mo is perfectly capable of returning to full training while the treatment continues. He will ship to Churchill Downs on April 18th and will have two works before May 7th.
"If I do not feel that Uncle Mo is 100 percent for the Kentucky Derby (G1), both Mike and I agree that he will not run. My main focus is to return Uncle Mo to optimum health in the next 23 days, and I am optimistic that we can accomplish this goal."
Repole also commented on his star colt's condition, and upcoming plans.
"I am relieved that the vets were able to find a reason why we got a disappointing performance from Uncle Mo in the Wood Memorial," Repole said. "I, like all racing fans hope that Uncle Mo will be 100 percent on May 7th and in the starting gate at Churchill Downs.
"Though it has been a lifelong dream to run and win the Kentucky Derby, if Uncle Mo is not 100 percent, we will skip the Derby and go right to the Preakness (G1).
"I have the utmost confidence in Todd, his staff and Mo's team of veterinarians. We all appreciate everyone's concern and care for this wonderfully gifted champion."