Yaupon Earns First G1 in Tough Forego
Yaupon (4c Uncle Mo x Modification, by Vindication) repelled five Grade I winners on Saturday to win the Grade I Forego Stakes at Saratoga and become the ninth Grade I winner for Uncle Mo.
Racing over seven furlongs on the dirt, the colt immediately shot to the lead with Firenze Fire pressuring him every step of the way. Yaupon was challenged in the turn by that runner and dug in deep to hold him off.
In the stretch, the pair dueled neck and neck with Yaupon just keeping his nose in front. The colt showed his professionalism when Firenze Fire spent multiple strides inside the final furlong biting at him – even grabbing Yaupon’s bridle at one point – with Yaupon continuing to race without flinching.
In the end, Yaupon won by a head to take his record to six wins from eight career starts for $703,264 in earnings with four stakes wins.
“Everybody’s always known what a brilliant horse he is, the talent that he’s shown and for him to show up today on a stage and beat five Grade 1 winners was amazing,” trainer Steve Asmussen said.
The colt is raced by William and Corinne Heiligbrodt and was purchased for $255,000 by East Hickman Bloodstock from Wavertree Stables as a 2-year-old.
Bred by Betz, Lamantia, CoCo Equine, Magers & Burns, Yaupon is a half-brother to multiple Grade II-placed Sawyer’s Hill and two other winners out of Grade I-placed Modification. Modification is also a half-sister to Grade III winner Sky Alliance and stakes winners Classic Alliance and Prime Ruler.
Three of Modification’s half-sisters are also stakes producers, led by Swiftly Classic producing Grade III winner Sky Mom.
Modification has a 2-year-old filly by American Pharoah named Royal Flower, who was a $1.2 million Keeneland September purchase by Mike Rutherford last year. She was bred back to Uncle Mo in 2021.
Uncle Mo has sired a Grade 1 winner from each crop four years old or older and is the sire of 73 stakes winners and 124 stakes performers overall.