In a race that brought back memories of Secretariat's upset in the same race almost 40 years ago, 1/10 favorite Uncle Mo came up empty in the lane and was beaten by Toby's Corner and Arthur's Tale at the wire of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.
There are absolutely no excuses for Uncle Mo as he couldn't have asked for any easier trip in the early stages of the Wood. Leading the field through six furlong in 1:12+, Uncle Mo didn't have it in the tank when it came time to draw away in the stretch and . His loss leaves the 2011 Kentucky Derby an absolute mess as contender after contender continues to disappoint as we approach the first Saturday in May.
Toby's Corner paid $19.40 for the win, while the non-Uncle Mo exacta paid $79.00 for $1.
The closing split, unlike some of the other preps, produced a fairly legitimate clocking of 12.67, and the 11.97 Toby's Corner was the fastest final 1/8th by a Derby contender at nine furlongs this spring.
As for Uncle Mo and what can only be described as a incredibly dull and lackluster performance, he now falls from his lofty perch down with the rest of the commoners known as the 2011 Kentucky Derby contenders. One of two explanations see possible for his poor Wood performance: he suffered an injury of some kind during the race (considering the fragile nature of today's thoroughbred, that wouldn't surprise anyone), or his light race schedule since winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile didn't prepare him properly to develop this spring. Whatever the reason for his dismal performance, the Kentucky Derby just got a whole lot more interesting from a betting perspective.
UPDATE: According to HRTV, Todd Pletcher stated after the race that Uncle Mo tore a quarter leaving the gate of the Wood. Take that for what you will.