Uncle Mo sealed his place as the favorite in the 2011 Kentucky Derby with a win in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
The 2-year-old colt, a 7-5 favorite ridden by John Velazquez, covered the 1 1/16th miles in 1:42.60, winning by about four lengths as he roared down the stretch. Boys At Tosconova was second and Rogue Romance was third.
The Juvenile previews the best 2-year-olds, some of whom will be vying for the Triple Crown.
Uncle Mo was the third victory for trainer Todd Pletcher in the Breeders’ Cup this year.
“It was an unbelievable performance; crazy fast like he’s been doing all along,” Pletcher said. Johnny 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.”
Mike Repole, the founder of Glaceau Vitaminwater and owner of Uncle Mo, sold his business for $4.1 billion to Coca-Cola Co. to finance his passion for horse racing.
“It’s basically gone from surreal to real,” Repole said after the race. “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.”
Repole also owns Stay Thirsty who ran fifth in the race.