Well-represented both by in-foal mares and by short yearlings at this week’s Keeneland January sale, Uncle Mo is the second in a quartet of juvenile champions that Coolmore acquired for its Ashford Stud operation here in Kentucky. All champions at 2 and all by different sires and from different sire-line branches, the four are Uncle Mo (by Indian Charlie, Caro male line), Lookin at Lucky (Smart Strike, Mr. Prospector), Hansen (Tapit, A.P. Indy), and Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday, Storm Cat).
Champion and classic winner Lookin at Lucky (by Smart Strike) was the first of the four, and his initial racers came to the track last season. Lookin at Lucky finished the season as the third-ranked freshman sire of 2014, and several of his offspring appear likely to improve with time and distance.
Now, Uncle Mo is on deck, and his first crop will be highly anticipated at the premium sales of juveniles in training during the late winter and spring. Then we will see how the first of the stallion’s racers fare at the top tracks against the other hot young prospects of the coming season.
If the past is a guide to the future and to the horse’s prospects as a sire, the offspring of Uncle Mo will begin to progress strongly through the spring, come out to race in the summer and fall, then show their form through the fall. So far, the first-crop yearlings have been very well-received at the select sales of 2014, some of them bringing exceptional prices, even better than their sire.
As a sales horse, Uncle Mo was a good prospect, but as a racehorse, Uncle Mo was a revelation. Unbeaten in three starts at 2, the big, brawny colt was a man against boys with his romps in the G1 Champagne and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Those made him champion of the division, and the great question for the untried stallion is whether his offspring will follow their sire’s example.
The case for Uncle Mo’s success will be helped by the breeding program at Ashford. They get a high volume of mares to their stallions, and Uncle Mo has been one of their most popular. His mates will have a great variety of types and bloodlines, and those which fit him best should become obvious more quickly.
As an individual, Uncle Mo was notably precocious, and that is even more unusual because he is a towering beast of a horse. He is tall, like his tall and toweringly talented sire, Indian Charlie. The latter was the best racer by the very talented racehorse and sire In Excess. This is a line of big horses, horses with size and speed and class.
Uncle Mo is a natural inheritor of this tradition, and his combination of size and mature development proved a lethal combination against the competition. If he manages to pass along the required combination of those, plus class and soundness, then Uncle Mo could challenge for leadership at the top of the freshman sire list.
*The preceding post, in a slightly different form, was first published earlier this week at Paulick Report.