Uncle Mo Colt Breeders’ Cup Bound after Skidmore
It was an impressive all-the-way victory for Golden Pal (2c Uncle Mo x Lady Shipman, by Midshipman) in the Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga on Friday to break his maiden.
Originally planning to ship to England for today’s Group I Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, Golden Pal was forced to skip the journey due to the weather forecast for the race. Rerouted here, the colt showed why trainer Wesley Ward and breeder/owner Ranto Investments rated him highly enough to take on his elders.
The colt broke on top in the 5½ furlong turf race and it was obvious he’d take a lot of work to beat. By the time they hit mid-turn, Golden Pal had the race well in hand and a few nudges from Irad Ortiz, Jr. sealed the deal. Golden Pal never felt the whip as he galloped home by a geared down 3 1/2 lengths to break his maiden and stop the clock just a few ticks off the track record.
"He's something special, this guy,” Ward said. “I think we just got a little peek at it. From everything we've seen here, they're coming into his homecourt like Michael Jordan in the United Center in the Breeders' Cup this year. He's a very, very nice colt. I'm very thankful for the owner."
Ward’s plans call for Golden Pal to train up to November’s Grade II Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, which will take place at his home track of Keeneland Race Course.
A hard-luck second last out at Royal Ascot by only a neck in the Group II Norfolk Stakes, Golden Pal is the first foal out of exceptional mare Lady Shipman.
A winner of 13 of her starts, including the Grade III Royal North Stakes among 11 stakes victories, Lady Shipman is a full sister to stakes placed Just Talkin. The speedy mare is also a granddaughter of multiple stakes winner Nannetta, who produced two stakes horses herself.
Golden Pal is the 61st career stakes winner for Uncle Mo. In 2020 alone, the leading young stallion has sired 26 stakes horses, 12 stakes winners, and seven graded stakes winners to put him second on the Leading Sires list by graded stakes winners, stakes winners and stakes horses.