Uncle Mo, scratched as the favorite in the 2011 Kentucky Derby because of a rare liver disease, has rebounded to take on Havre de Grace in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, the richest thoroughbred race in North America.
Today’s Classic caps two days of racing in the $26 million Breeders’ Cup Championship, the world’s richest two-day sporting event at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
Uncle Mo, the winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile race as a 2-year-old, was installed as the morning line favorite at 5-2. Havre de Grace, given 3-1 odds, is looking to beat her male competitors in the 1 1/4-mile race just as Zenyatta did two years ago.
“The way Mo ran in the Kelso it looked like he could go two miles, and it didn’t look like anybody could catch him,” said owner Mike Repole, a New York businessman who also has Stay Thirsty (12-1) in the Classic. “I’ve never won a Classic; (Trainer Todd Pletcher) has never won a Classic. I think we have two great chances of winning this race.”
Havre de Grace took a turn around the track in the dark yesterday morning.
“We wanted to get out there when we thought the track would be the best and to also give her experience under the lights,” said trainer Larry Jones. “She handled things just fine. We’re ready.”
Royal Delta Wins
During yesterday’s races, Royal Delta outran eight competitors to win the $2 million Ladies’ Classic and give trainer Bill Mott his fourth victory in the race. The 3-year-old filly returned $6.40, $4 and $3.20 on a $2 bet. It’s Tricky paid $5 and $3.80 to place and Pachattack returned $6 to show.
In the $2 million Filly and Mare Turf race, Perfect Shirl won to return $57.60, $18.60 and $11.60 as a 27-1 long shot. Nahrain was second, paying $5 and $3.80 and Misty for Me was third at $5.20.
My Miss Aurelia won her fourth race in four starts in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies. The winner paid $6.20, $4 and $3. Grace Hall was second at $4.60 and $3.20 and Weemissfrankie paid $3.60.
Musical Romance, leaving the gate at 20-1, won the $1 million Filly and Mare Sprint to pay $42.40, $15.60 and $8.60. Switch returned $4.80 and $3.40 while Her Smile, owned by restaurateur Bobby Flay, was third at $12.40.
In the $1 million Juvenile Fillies, Stephanie’s Kitten overtook Stopshoppingmaria down the stretch to return $14.20, $6.60 and $5.20. Stopshoppingmaria, owned by Repole, paid $9.20 and $7.60, while Sweet Cat returned $9.40.
Secret Circle won the $500,000 Juvenile Sprint, paying $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10. Shumoos was second to return $8.20 and $5.60 and Holdin Bullets was third to pay $6.20.