Rising Stars Shine for Uncle Mo in Saturday Victories
It was a big Saturday for Uncle Mo’s 3-year-old crop with three Maiden Special Weight winners at major tracks.
Lory (3f Uncle Mo x Principal Role, by Empire Maker) was the belle of the ball on debut early on the Tampa Bay Downs card for owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms and Chad Brown. Racing over 6 ½ furlongs on the dirt, she went off as the favorite in the race and quickly proved why.
Breaking a step slow, Lory was last for a few strides before showing her speed to race up the rail and challenge for the lead. By the time they raced into the stretch, Lory had open lengths on the field and crossed the line an eased down 7 ¾ lengths in the end.
Only 20 minutes later, Final Belle (3f Uncle Mo x Lemon Belle, by Lemon Drop Kid) lined up for her own debut in a Gulfstream Maiden Special Weight. Racing over a mile on the turf, Final Belle broke strongly to race to the front before settling in midpack. The Bill Mott trainee was relaxed in the spot under Edgard Zayas and easily responded to his cue to run in the turn.
Entering the stretch in a four-way battle for the lead, Final Belle proved to be a professional when sticking with the only horse to go on from that duel. The filly had a slight disadvantage but dug deep to find an extra gear near the line and win by half a length for the Estate of her breeder Edward A. Cox, Jr.
After seeing his 4-year-old son Modernist finish second in the Grade III Challenger after a long layoff, Uncle Mo ended the day with another promising Maiden Special Weight winner.
Making his second career start for owner-breeder Three Chimneys Farm and trainer Steve Asmussen, Ottothelegend (3c Uncle Mo x House of Danzing, by Chester House) had figured out the game by the time he shipped to Oaklawn Park for this race.
Racing over 1 1/16 miles on the dirt, Ottothelegend broke from the widest gate and stayed a few paths off the rail for much of the race. The colt was in the midst of a sizable leading pack as they entered the turn and was desperate for a hole so he could show his stuff. That hole finally came in the final furlong with Ottothelegend passing the leaders and pulling away for a two length victory.
Ottothelgend is a half-brother to Grade I winner and successful sire Twirling Candy, Grade II winner Ethnic Dance, and Grade III winner Dubai Sky. The colt also hails from the family of Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year Affirmed and Grade I winner Top Size. His dam House of Danzing returned to Uncle Mo last year.
The Juddmonte-bred Lory is one of three winners from three to race out of stakes winner Principal Role. That mare is a half-sister to Grade I winner Midships and the dam of Group I winner Temida. Lory’s third dam is the successful broodmare Intermission, whose descendants include Group I winner Zambezi Sun and Champion European Sprinter Continent.
Final Belle’s name is a fitting tribute to her family with the filly out of a half-sister to Grade I winner Unrivaled Belle, who is also the dam of two-time champion Unique Bella. One of three winners from three to race out of her winning dam Lemon Belle, Final Belle’s family also includes Grade I winner Masochistic.