Monday, November 7, 2011

Uncle Mo retired

I'm not surprised to see this morning that Uncle Mo has been retired following his 10th place finish in the Breeders Cup Classic on Saturday. Even allowing for the fact that he might not have been able to get 10 furlongs against really good competition even at his best, he was certainly less than his best for at least a week. I'm usually sad to hear about a young horse retiring, but in this case it's surely the right thing to do.

He looked terrible in his Churchill Downs workout earlier in the week -- not so much slow as sickly -- and he should probably have been scratched. His liver enzymes are apparently up again, which has his people fearing a return of the disease that stopped him in the spring. I hope he recovers fully, since he is a magnificently fast and beautifully conformed horse with good breeding. He should make an outstanding stallion.

As for the Cup series -- they now may have to take applications for Horse of the Year. Nobody stands out and if none of the possible contenders races (and wins) before the balloting closes, the award will probably go to Havre de Grace, in spite of her so-so performance in the Classic.

Personally, I don't have a problem with choosing a horse who most dominated his (or in this case, her) division, rather than the horse most likely to win at 9 or 10 furlongs. If everybody agreed with me, the HOY would probably be either the two-year-old filly My Miss Aurelia or the three-year-old filly Royal Delta, who might even get a few votes from people who don't agree with that approach.

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