LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Uncle Mo was made the early 5-2 favorite Monday in a field of 13 for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, where the colt who beat a life-threatening liver disease will try to complete his comeback with a victory.
Uncle Mo and John Velazquez will break from the No. 12 post in Saturday’s race at Churchill Downs, where the colt was scratched on the eve of the Kentucky Derby in May because of a mystery ailment that was eventually diagnosed as liver disease.
“It gives Johnny some options going to the first turn,” trainer Todd Pletcher said about Uncle Mo’s post position. “It’s perfect. He’s a good horse getting away from the gate.”
Uncle Mo will be running against an accomplished field that includes his stablemate Stay Thirsty, filly Havre de Grace, Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice, Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Flat Out and Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude.
Uncle Mo lost 200 pounds while he was sidelined for 4½ months. He returned to the races in August and lost the King’s Bishop by a nose before winning the Kelso Handicap by three lengths earlier this month.
“He’s doing as well as he can be doing,” Pletcher said. “We’ve come a long way since May.”