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Uncle Mo

Uncle Mo arrives at Ashford Stud, pictured from left with director of sales Charlie O'Connor, Niall Power and manager Dermot Ryan

  PICTURE: Coolmore 

Breeders' Cup Classic tenth Uncle Mo retired

UNCLE MO, a brilliant winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile and tenth in Saturday's Classic, has been retired.

Blood tests showed elevated levels of one of his enzymes, gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), and were described by ownerMike Repole as "significantly higher" than normal.

The same problem led to the diagnosis of a rare liver disease which forced the son of Indian Charlie to miss the US Triple Crown races.

"We don't want to continue down this road where he's going to get ill again," Repole said, speaking to the Daily Racing Form on Monday morning.

"The vets did say that the stress and rigors of training could always bring about this elevated GGT.

"The liver regenerates, so there won't be any long-term damage, which is very important, but you can't keep stressing the horse's liver and then rest him, strain the liver and rest him. It's not right. I wouldn't do that to any of my horses."

Repole, who also owns Stay Thirsty, one place behind Uncle Mo in the Classic on Saturday, added: "The encouraging thing I heard from Dr Byars today was that this is a non-hereditary disorder.

"Now I only hope that Uncle Mo passes his speed, disposition, conformation, and brilliance on to his foals."

Mike Repole

Mike Repole: owns Uncle Mo

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Undefeated asa juvenile, Uncle Mo won his first start this year, but suffered a shock defeat in the Wood Memorial in April.

He returned in August, finishing second in the Grade 1 King's Bishop before landing a Grade 2 at Belmont.

He was fancied to run well in the Classic, but weakened inside the final furlong, beaten seven lengths behind Drosselmeyer.

Trainer Todd Pletcher paid tribute to the star colt, saying: "Had he not come down with this strange liver disease, he would have gone on to do greater things than he was able to do at three.

"It pretty much compromised his three-year-old season. He was still able to run some very good races, but it never allowed him to fulfill what he could have been."

He is set to stand at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky, but plans to retire Breeders' Cup Classic winner Drosselmeyer have yet to be confirmed.

A deal for last year's Belmont Stakes hero to stand at Keane Stud in New York was reportedly agreed at the end of last month, but there has been no immediate news since his length-and-a-half triumph over Game On Due on Saturday.

Havre De Grace, fourth in the Classic, will not run again this year, but remains in training for 2012, while Flat Out, sentoff favourite for the $5 million highlight, could bid for compensation in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on November 25.

>> Last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Big Drama has been retired. He was seventh in Saturday's Sprint and an announcement on where he will stand is likely to be made this week.

 

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