|Uncle Mo (l) and the brilliantly named Stay Thirsty (r). (Reed Palmer photo)|
Now ten days before the Kentucky Derby, two of the top contenders are headed in opposite directions.
Uncle Mo appeared right at home on the dirt at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, leaving trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Mike Repole optimistic he will be ready to run under the twin spires on May 7 at Louisville, Ky.
The Factor, meanwhile, will be a nonfactor. The San Vincente and Rebel Stakes winner is out of an increasingly wide-open Derby following throat surgery.
Chalk it up to another chaotic day in a series of them leading up to the big race.
A semblance of sanity, however, may have returned following Uncle Mo's steady five-furlong workout under the lights in the pre-dawn darkness.
The 3-year-old colt clocked the distance in 1:01.80 under the lights early Tuesday morning, his first major training move since a gastrointestinal infection was discovered following a third-place finish in the Wood Memorial on April 9.
|(Joe Ganley/EquiSport Photos)|
Pletcher called the move "an indication that he's in good form."
The pre-race favorite now might be Dialed In who won the Florida Derby back in March. However, Uncle Mo's biggest victory (the Breeders Cup Juvenile) did happen at Churchill Downs last November. The victory earned Uncle Mo the Eclipse Award for champion two-year-old colt.
Other contenders include: Mucho Macho Man, Santiva, Toby's Corner, Pants On Fire, Midnight Interlude, Soldat and Brethren, among others.