Update: Uncle Mo has been scratched.
With the second-best odds in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, Uncle Mo has an excellent chance of emerging the victor and entering the winner's circle at Churchill Downs on Saturday. That is, if he's healthy and if he even races. Both are questions with just one day to go until the race and it's no certainty Uncle Mo will even race in the Kentucky Derby -- his trainer will make the final decision sometime Friday morning after weighing the options and taking into account how he looks.
To see Uncle Mo falter down the stretch at the Wood Memorial, his final tune-up ahead of the Kentucky Derby, was a surprise to horse racing enthusiasts and casual observers alike. He had yet to lose a race and was dominant in steam-rolling the competition in every other race he'd entered ahead of the Wood Memorial. But a disappointing third-place finish took Uncle Mo from heavy derby favorite to question mark by the time he hit the wire, and nobody was quite sure why the dominant horse faded.
Turns out Uncle MO was dealing with a gastrointestinal infection that's required antibiotics and slowed his training ahead of the grueling derby at Churchill Downs. Because of the infection, and less than 100 percent health, there's about a 50-50 chance Mo may never get out of the gates in Saturday's Kentucky Derby. And if he does, nobody has a clue whether he'll be fit enough to mount a serious challenge.
Uncle Mo's veterinarians and trainer will reported make the final decision on whether or not to scratch him from the race on Friday. Owner Mike Repole said he had no intention of making a last-minute decision on Saturday, but also sounded less than confident Uncle Mo would be able to race in the derby (via Daily Racing Form)
“This isn’t going to be a Saturday decision,” he said. “We owe it to the racing fans, we owe it to the public; it’s not our intention to drag this out.”
We'll keep an eye on Uncle Mo's status as more becomes available. If he scratches, it will likely have a profound impact on the field and the odds, and Dialed In may become even more of a favorite. With a morning announcement expected, we'll know soon whether he'll be able to give it a go or not.
The Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.