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Kentucky Derby 2011 Contenders: Uncle Mo Scratched Leaving Dialed In As Heavy Favorite

Friday morning's news that Uncle Mo has been scratched from the 2011 Kentucky Derby was expected, but still disappointing. Uncle Mo has been battling back from a gastrointestinal infection that limited his performance in the Wood Memorial, as well as zapped the thoroughbred of its energy in the weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby. Throughout his racing career, Uncle Mo has been dominant, only losing once at the aforementioned Wood Memorial.

It's unknown what Uncle Mo's prognosis may be in the long-term, but the mysterious infection has had a significant impact on the horse. Veterinarians seem unsure of what's ailing him and the illness simply won't go away (via And Down The Stretch They Come).

Pletcher and Repole said the horse is physically sound but that the internal problems he has have not exactly been diagnosed. Pletcher said the colt improved when he was on medications but that he regressed when vets began to withdraw medications.

With Uncle Mo out, Dialed In should become an even heavier favorite for Saturday's race at Churchill Downs. Dialed In was already installed as the morning line favorite as the post position draw was announced on Wednesday, though Uncle Mo was close-behind.

Uncle Mo's exit also moves Nehro into the No. 18 gate, previously occupied by the late-scratch. Keep an eye on the odds as Nehro, ArchArchArch, Midnight Interlude and others could all see a bump on race day. But with Uncle Mo out, Dialed In surely must be the clear favorite at this point, with just one day to go until the race.

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.