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Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Anybody else having a bad case of Mo-verload? Yeah, me too. It's been covered ad nauseum. So grab your barf bag, I'm about to give my plugged Buffalo Nickel's worth. It's probably half the opinion that my pal and fellow blogger Chris aka "Tencent" could put out there, but in case you were wondering where the Space Camp goes...

It was a hot summer Travers Day in the year, I probably don't want to go all the way back to the beginning, but I do have a short story to share. The Saratoga Resident, my pop and I were sitting in the Turf Terrace (compliments of a fitty for my boy Manny - oops) watching a 2-year old named Uncle Mo destroy a $60k maiden field by about 14-1/2 lengths.

We were immediately on the bat-phone to our pal, Moe back in Buffalo. Moe, you see, is a non-racing fan, but he enjoys a good cigar and can quote Churchill even on a bad day. "We've got a Derby horse for ya, Moe," we screamed into the cellular telephone, "and he's got your name (sans the "e")!"  For then next few months through his BC Juvie win and through the winter we'd see Moe and tell him Mo's the real deal. Well, you know how that ended, and our hopes for Buffalo Moe to become a hooked racing fan went astray with the scratch on Derby eve of our man, Mo.

So what does that have to do with Uncle Mo pointing towards the Breeders' Cup Classic? Well, nothing really. I just though I'd share.

Fast forward five months and we have a nostril loss in the G1 King's Bishop and a monstrous Beyer Speed Figure (BSF) in the G2 Kelso, a one turn mile.The Mo Hype machine is revving up again. Get Moe back on the horn, his horse is back in the national spotlight. You probably think by now I've done a little too much National Vodka Day celebrating, especially after you read why I think this is a good thing, but really, I've only had one John Daly, so far.

So here are my five reasons why Uncle Mo going in the Classic is okay by me.

1) Mo Got Game. Not just because he's got the big BSF (that sounds kinda dirty doesn't it?). Not because he's the defending Juvie champ. He's got that second gear. We've all seen it. Not many horses have it. Mo's got it.
2) Sporting Move. As much as you can loathe the connections, having Mo in the Classic is good for the sport. It's kind of like how Jess Jackson was viewed before he pulled Rachel out of the Classic. He gave the poly a whirl with Curlin, he bought Rach and ran her in a Classic and against older males. He did what was good for the sport. Mo has sex appeal for that national TV audience. We'll get an extra couple of fractions out of the Nielsens having him run in the Classic versus the Dirt Mile.
3) Mike Repole is a Quote Machine. Yeah, he'd be there anyway with Stay Thirsty, but you know Mo's like his favorite kid. He won't say it out loud (or maybe he will), but Repole loves Mo. I mean he looooves him. The media has to be salivating over the fact that Repole will have a mic in his hand in Louisville. Bring on the entourage, just make sure you make your reservations early.
4) Pletcher has a lot to prove. It can't hurt the ratings that the five-time Eclipse winning trainer will have to pull off quite a feat to get a bottom under Mo before the Classic. A 7-furlong race followed by a one turn mile against lesser foes in the slop aren't exactly stellar workouts. On the other hand he'll be coming in third off the long layoff and he has a win over the Churchill strip and can handle the slop on the off chance it's a sloppy track. Pletcher has some TV appeal to the public, most non-racing fans, Moe excluded, know who he is.
5) BC Marketing Campaign around Mo v. Havre de Grace. You gotta go with the girl you bring to the dance. Why not hype the two horses that have the most appeal to fans to drive ratings, attendance and the like. The BC folks must be licking their chops.

Small print alert: P.S. There's some money to be made betting against him.

What's really not to like about it? It could be Classic Mo Time. Hey Moe, whaddya think?


tencentcielo said...

I'm so sick of the excessive "Mo-mentum" that when someone asks me what I think of him going in the Classic, I randomly give one of these answers:

"He'll crush!"
"Good. He'll get demolished at low odds. Better odds on every other male in the field."
"He should be in the Dirt Mile!"
"He should be in the Mile, breaking up Goldi's 4-peat instead!"
"Mo distance, Mo problems."

M said...

The most overrated horse and most over-quoted owner this year. The sooner they both fall off the face of the Earth, the better.

EquiSpace said...

Tencent: I knew I could count on you to put in your ten cents! Love the random Biggie favorite of your responses. Basically you gave your two cents five times or wait for it...a dime.

M: Are you the guy that is James Bond's superior and the head of MI6?

Unfortunately for you, I don't think Mr. vitaminwater is going anywhere soon...

Thanks for reading and commenting!

sunnysunrise said...

Mo-licious is BACK and that's a good thing for new fans that were attracted last year by Zenyatta. The Gracie and Mo Show will be good for ratings and fuel for the fires of both camps!! Anyone lucky enough to go to this year's BC will have plenty to do and see...Zenyatta's Museum Gala; more Repole than one could ever wish for and the endearing Goldie 4 Peating!! Yeah for American racing at its best!!!

MattG said...

As much as boisterous owners can get on our nerves, I'd rather have lots of talkative owners that want to spend money in the industry than none the flip side of the coin.

It's sort of a love/hate thing with Repole. Sure, the endless soundbites get old fast, but he's out there spending money in the sport. Something about "looking a gift horse in the mouth."

EquiSpace said...

sunny: love love love your enthusiasm.

Matt: Amen brother.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

Anonymous said...

I don’t have an aversion to Repole in the manner described above, but there’s one thing that is clear & quite independent of the issue of who he is & the effect he is having on you:

95% of the jockeys, trainers & owners are dull as dishwater & have been for as long as I can remember. Who in their right minds wants to interview THEM?

Their interviews are, at best, pedantic exercises in spewing non-offensive clich├ęs & gee-no-kidding information (Trainer to DRF reporter, waving his script: “Damn it, get it straight! I’M the one who’s supposed to say, ‘He’s a very good horse!’ ”).

(This “blanket boredom” effect doesn’t include the rare cases such as Rich Dutrow, whose irrational outbursts certainly have made for quotable copy - in the manner that people would be interested in reading an article about a famous businessman who has become unhinged & is now nagging the country about his not having to pay enough taxes, therefore, we all should pay more.)

So when a “quote machine” like Repole comes along (ala Bob Baffert, 1990s), the racing media reacts – understandably – like sailors who have just seen their first woman in a decade.

Unfortunately, Repole loves the bait & hasn’t rationed his exposure.

You’d think with the inescapable example of getting results contrary to expectations set by Speech-A-Day Obama, it would have occurred to Mike to space out his interviews.

But he hasn’t, & so at this point, blended in with all of the other irrationalities that are endemic in the sport, here we are.

With our hands over our ears.

Which is probably why I don’t have an aversion to Repole.

Don Reed

Anonymous said...

P.S. "Mo-verload" and your photo are wit/creativity exemplified - Bravo!

I meant to say this & then it passed through my rummagable thoughts unapprehended as I was diverted by the usual distractions!


Brian Appleton said...

I'm personally looking forward to seeing Uncle Mo in the Classic, I don't know if he can or can't go the distance, but I'm certainly going to enjoy watching him. I've been a fan from day one, literally, I chose him to win his maiden, so here's to hoping he makes is all the way!

Nice post, you know you've written a good piece when you get this many comments! :)


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