Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

10 April 2011

No Mo

In his last prep for the 2011 Kentucky Derby did not look the part of being an invincible running machine. Most of the talk up in the Manhattan Terrace was "how good is this horse" and "the only hard test for this will be the Belmont Stakes". It appears now that this horse is just as good as his competition and the hard test for this horse will probably be his subsequent starts against the rest of his generation.

Great horses lose, Native Dancer lost his Derby by a decreasing margin and Seattle Slew was defeated after a superb effort in the 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup. A great horse may lose, but most of the time they still hold that look that they were still much the best in defeat. The way Uncle Mo lost did not give that impression at all, he got to an early lead where John Velazquez controlled the early tempo and saw his margin in front diminish steadily through the duration of the stretch run.

The last time a juvenile champion ran in the Wood Memorial was 2008, War Pass was coming off of a poor effort in his seasonal debut in March at the Tampa Bay Derby. He led the pack until inside the eighth pole only to succumb to Tale of Ekati. The parallels between War Pass and Uncle Mo have been uncanny as well. Both ran big races in the Champagne and Juvenile, both waited until March for their first start of the year, and both looked underwhelming in those starts.

Usually the case with these types of horses is they are checked on by a veterinarian or go through x-rays and find something wrong or amiss. They are then quickly retired and there is a stud deal quickly reached. It is cynical, but that seems to happen more often than not. The next four weeks have gotten a little bit more interesting with the recent downfall of the divisional champion.


gib. said...

We watched the same race and expect the same future for Uncle Mo.

However, I am beginning to lose interest in the "Run for the Roses 2011." These colts are very lightly raced and have seldom crossed paths.

Typically the Derby is difficult to handicap, but there are plenty of historic angles. I don't think that it will be much more than a crap shoot this year.

Anonymous said...

Seasttle Slew did not lose his Derby.

Uncle Mo ran like a short horse. It's a tall order to run 1/ 1/8 off a 5 month layoff. However, I'm a strong believer in the hot to cold weather, and Uncle Mo didn't thrive from his ship North.

Further, if he grabbed his quarter at the start, and it's "the size of a nickel" it should not have affected his performance.

Expect news that Uncle Mo has a quarter crack, next...

Joseph Burns said...

I meant the Jockey Club Gold Cup in regards to Seattle Slew, going to clarify that when I get to a computer.