Now eight years old, Uncle Mo is enjoying life as one of the many stallions horses Coolmore Ashland Stud. This season, he is seeing his first wave of offspring emerge in the three-year old age grade and it’s hard to imagine any sire providing a more impressive first class.
“I can’t remember this strong of a first crop from any stallion,” said legendary trainer Todd Pletcher, who is currently guiding Outwork through his preparation for the derby. At 15/1, Outwork is an outside shot to win the 2016 Kentucky Derby. He’s slightly ahead of Mo Tom at 20/1 and well behind the favored Nyquist, who boasts 3/1 odds currently. All three are offspring of Uncle Mo.
The only other sire to have three sons competing at the 2016 Kentucky Derby is Tapit, perhaps the most important breeding horse in the entire sport. Lani, a Japanese import, won the UAE Derby in Dubai and will run in just his second stakes race at the Run for the Roses. Creator is a reasonable 14/1 bet after crushing the Arkansas Derby in unexpected fashion. The last of Tapit’s entries is none other than Mohaymen.
Initially purchased for a whopping $2.2 million, Mohaymen began to deliver through the early stages of his three-year old season. He would win the Nashua and Remsen to cap off a late start in 2015, then rumble straight through the Holy Bull Stakes and Fountain of Youth Stakes before coming up short at the Florida Derby, a race which was eventually won by Nyquist.
For generations, Tapit has been the go-to horse in breeding. His offspring have been so successful and consistent that his owners at Winchell Farm were able to charge a whopping $300,000 stud fee. Tapit grossed $35 million in 2015 alone.
In contrast, Uncle Mo recently charged just $75,000. The crop of Kentucky Derby contenders he’s produced were products of a $35,000 stud fee owner Mark Repole set when Uncle Mo initially began his second career. You can definitely expect Repole to start charging more from now on.
For owner Mark Repole, seeing Uncle Mo establish himself as the next great sire in American thoroughbred racing is simple redemption. In 2011, Uncle Mo was the Kentucky Derby favorite before a liver disease knocked him off course. He would retire later in the year after finishing 10th at the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“As a 3-year-old there was this level of greatness and brilliance,” Repole said when discussing Uncle Mo. “He didn’t have it just when he was racing but Todd Pletcher saw it every day when he was galloping. You knew you were around greatness; he just had an aura about him.”
It seems that Uncle Mo’s greatness can be passed on to further generations. The 2016 Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, May 7th out of Churchill Downs.