Mike Repole raised a glass of champagne and toasted his latest Kentucky Derby contender, Stay Thirsty.
"To have one horse for the Derby is unimaginable; to have two is unimaginable, a miracle," the colt's owner said after Stay Thirsty's victory in the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct last weekend. "This doesn't come along very often, so let's all enjoy the ride."
Repole has been doing just that for weeks with unbeaten Uncle Mo, who remains No. 1 in the AP's latest Run to the Roses Top 10 Derby list. Stay Thirsty, who has been running in his stablemate's shadow, moves in for the first time at No. 6.
Both colts are trained by Todd Pletcher, who also trains No. 2 Brethren.
Uncle Mo gets his chance to prove himself worthy as the early favorite for the May 7 Derby when he makes his 3-year-old debut Saturday in the Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Stay Thirsty, who ran fifth behind Uncle Mo in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in November, will have his final Derby prep in either the Florida Derby on April 3 or the Arkansas Derby on April 16.
"I couldn't be any happier for this horse," Repole said. "I keep hearing about 'Mo's shadow,' 'stablemate.' This is one of the top six 3-year-olds in the country. He is a really special horse."
Dialed In dropped out of the Top 10 from No. 5 after finishing second to 4-year-old stablemate Equestrio at Gulfstream Park on Sunday.
Trainer Bob Baffert decided one of his top Derby prospects, The Factor (up two spots to No. 5 this week), will run next in the Rebel Stakes on March 19 at Oaklawn Park.
"We want to see what he can do around two turns against top company, and this looks like a good spot for him" Baffert said of the Rebel, which covers 11/16 miles. "Right now, this horse is a runaway train, and if it doesn't work out we'll go on to something else."
In other Derby preps Saturday, there's the San Felipe at Santa Anita and the Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs, both 11/16 miles. No. 8 Jaycito is set for his 3-year-old debut in the San Felipe; No. 2 Brethren is set for the Tampa Bay Derby.