|Written by Michelle Allan|
The decision was announced Friday morning that the colt would be scratched. Uncle Mo was the 9-2 second favorite for winning the race.
Three vets were brought in to examine Uncle Mo on Thursday, and their advice was that the horse would not be able to run in the Derby. The doctors are currently puzzled as to whether the GI infection is a primary or secondary cause of the horse's lack of appetite and lowered energy, however. So Uncle Mo will remain at Churchill Downs for the weekend and may visit another vet, but will not race.
This is the second time in the past three years that one of the favorites was scratched at the last minute. The last time a similar case happened was in 2009, when I Want Revenge was pulled the morning of the race due to a leg injury that ended up to be career-ending. Last year, the heavy favorite Eskendereya was withdrawn from the race a week prior to the start with an ankle injury.
While Uncle Mo's ailment is not expected to be career-ending, it had obviously affected his performance. It has also been reported that his energy and appetite have been lower than expected, which was another consideration in scratching him from the race. While he had been recovering, it has not happened quickly enough to allow him to run this weekend.
Uncle Mo disappointed seemingly the entire world when he finished third at the Wood Memorial after being considered a strong favorite. It was at that point the gastrointestinal ailment was found. Despite running well this week, the horse's owner Mike Repole decided to scratch the horse, believing that he would not be well enough to complete the 1 1/4 mile race.
So with Uncle Mo out, the race field has been lowered to 19 total horses. Dialed In is the 4-2 favorite right now, but the line will probably be revised based on the withdrawal of Uncle Mo. Repole also owns Stay Thirsty, who is is 20-1 shot and will be running in the Kentucky Derby, but Uncle Mo was the team's best chance for a victory.