Uncle Mo, last year’s 2-year-old champion colt, has been retired from racing, owner Mike Repole announced today. The decision to retire Uncle Mo was made Sunday after blood tests showed that one of his enzymes, gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), was elevated. This is the same enzyme that was elevated in the spring – knocking Uncle Mo out of the Triple Crown series – and led to the diagnosis of the liver disease, cholangiohepatitis. Uncle Mo does not have a recurrence of that disease, but the GGT level was the highest it’s been since the colt returned to trainer Todd Pletcher’s care in July. A normal GGT level is under 35, Uncle Mo’s was “significantly higher” following the Classic, Repole said.
“We don’t want to continue down this road where he’s going to get ill again,” Repole stated Monday morning. “The vets did say that the stress and rigors of training could always bring about this elevated GGT.”
Repole added that Dr. Doug Byars, one of the three veterinarians who diagnosed Uncle Mo earlier in the year, said that an elevated GGT enzyme is not hereditary.
“The encouraging thing I heard from Dr. Byars today was that this is a nonhereditary disorder,” Repole said. “Now I only hope that Uncle Mo passes his speed, disposition, conformation, and brilliance on to his foals.”
“I’m so fortunate, so blessed, and so lucky to own a horse like Uncle Mo.” Repole said.
“I think his 2-year-old season will go down as good or better than any 2-year-old season we’ve ever seen,” Pletcher commented. “To do what he did in a short window of time, to run as fast as he did, and do it as impressively as he did was special. We’ve been blessed to have had a lot of good 2-year-olds, none of them accomplished what he did.”
Uncle Mo arrived at Ashford this afternoon where he can now be viewed along with fellow new recruit Cape Blanco. Ashford’s Dermot Ryan said: “Uncle Mo and Cape Blanco are two very special horses. We’re thrilled to have them both here at Ashford and we hope breeders will avail of the opportunity to come and inspect them during our “Open House” this week.” A fee for the son of Indian Charlie will be announced shortly.
Uncle Mo is pictured arriving at Ashford Stud this afternoon with from left Charlie O’Connor (Director of Sales), Niall Power and Dermot Ryan (Manager)