Mo Donegal Determined Winner of G2 Wood Memorial
It was a big half hour for Uncle Mo across the country on Saturday with Mo Donegal (3c Uncle Mo x Callingmissbrown, by Pulpit) wrapping it up with a win in the Grade II Wood Memorial.
Mo Donegal wasn’t in a hurry to exit the gate, bouncing out behind the majority of the horses to take a place at the back of the field in the 1 1/8 mile race.
Joel Rosario didn’t panic, letting the colt gallop comfortably with just one horse beat from his spot on the rail. That position quickly changed as they entered the turn and Rosario let him show his best. Weaving through the field, by the top of the stretch, he was behind just two others and he wasn’t done yet.
In the final furlong, he found another gear to nip the winner on the wire and win by a neck for Donegal Racing. Already a winner of the Grade II Remsen, his win in that race became even more impressive 15 minutes after the Wood when the second place horse won the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes.
“I just rode him the way he came out and saw how he handled it and hopefully he comes with a finish,” Roasario said. “He was just galloping out and reaching out. Turning for home, we just had something left. He took off on his own. He’s a very nice horse.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Mo Donegal has never finished worse than third in his career with three wins and two thirds in five starts for $621,800 in earnings.
He was bred by Ashview Farm and Colts Neck Stables out of the Pulpit mare Callingmissbrown, who is a two-time winner herself. Callingmissbrown is a daughter of the Grade I-winning Island Sand, who also produced two-time Grade I-placed Maya Malibu and stakes-placed Midnite Poppa.
This is also the family of champion Pozo de Luna and classic winner Niigon.
Mo Donegal’s victory came half an hour after Uncle Mo’s two-time Breeders’ Cup winner Golden Pal won the Grade II Shakertown. Between those two races, Adare Manor finished a close second in the Grade II Santa Anita Oaks behind Cupid’s Desert Dawn.