Statement from Pletcher and Repole reveal Uncle Mo GI tract infection - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Statement from Pletcher and Repole reveal Uncle Mo GI tract infection

The trainer and owner of Uncle Mo have issued statements concerning the health of the 2-year-old champion, who suffered his first defeat while finishing third in Saturday's Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct. The statement indicates that testing discovered a GI tract infection, or an inflammation of the villi in the gut that helps control absorption. In humans when the villi and small intestine lining are inflamed, toxins are not absorbed or removed as quickly from the system.

The statement from Pletcher and Repole did not address a question from the Paulick Report through their publicist concerning recent speculation about whether Uncle Mo may have had surgery to remove a bone chip following his Breeders' Cup Juvenile win in November. Uncle Mo spent time at an Ocala, Fla.-area farm before resuming training in South Florida this winter. The Paulick Report has heard from several sources — none of which have a direct connection to the colt — that surgery was performed, but neither Pletcher nor Repole has responded to questions confirming or denying the surgery.

Todd Pletcher – Although it is not my standard practice to share a horse's examination results with anyone other than the owner, I feel that Uncle Mo's disappointing performance in the Wood Memorial warrants an explanation.  After his three extremely impressive starts as a two-year-old and his dominant performance in the Timely Writer S. in March, the Wood Memorial was an uncharacteristically poor effort.  On Tuesday, we did a number of tests and pulled some blood work.  Late yesterday, both Mike and I spoke with the vets, who concluded that Uncle Mo has a GI tract infection, and we began treatment immediately.  The vets also concluded that Uncle Mo is perfectly capable of returning to full training while the treatment continues.  He will ship to Churchill Downs on April 18th and will have two works before May 7th.  If I do not feel that Uncle Mo is 100% for the Kentucky Derby, both Mike and I agree that he will not run.  My main focus is to return Uncle Mo to optimum health in the next 23 days, and I am optimistic that we can accomplish this goal.

Mike Repole – I am relieved that the vets were able to find a reason why we got a disappointing performance from Uncle Mo in the Wood Memorial. I, like all racing fans hope that Uncle Mo will be 100% on May 7th and in the starting gate at Churchill Downs.  Though it has been a lifelong dream to run and win the Kentucky Derby, if Uncle Mo is not 100%, we will skip the Derby and go right to the Preakness. I have the utmost confidence in Todd, his staff and Mo's team of veterinarians. We all appreciate everyone's concern and care for this wonderfully gifted champion.”

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