Uncle Mo's offspring earned more headlines than money over the weekend with victories by Miss Mo Mentum in the Grade 3 Trillium Stakes at Woodbine and by King for a Day in the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth. The latter race, in particular, made headlines across all media because a son from the fourth of former champion juvenile Uncle Mo named King for a Day defeated Maximum Security (by New Year's Day), who had been first across the line in this year's Kentucky Derby and had been hammered down as the 1-20 favorite in the race because he was some people's notion of the leading colt of the crop.
So where does that leave King for a Day? Certainly, the king for the day. And also perhaps a colt for tomorrow because he is a lightly raced and progressive colt of substantial size who is obviously improving with time.
The Pegasus was the second consecutive stakes victory for King for a Day, who won a maiden and was fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes from his three starts last year at 2. The bay colt was off for nearly six months but is undefeated so far in 2019 from two starts.
Bred in Kentucky by Red Oak Stable, King for a Day is among the 50 stakes winners from five crops (including 2-year-olds of 2019) of racing age by Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie). The Pegasus winner is out of the French Deputy mare Ubetwereven, and King for a Day is the third stakes winner out of the mare from eight foals that are 3 or older. The mare's other stakes winners are the full sisters Feel That Fire and Ima Jersey Girl (both by the Storm Cat stallion Lightnin N Thunder). All three stakes winners out of the mare won stakes at Monmouth Park.
The immediate female family goes back through several generations that were bred and raced by Martha Gerry, also breeder of the great champion Forego, to the 1979 Test Stakes winner Clef d'Argent (Key to the Mint), and thence back through generations of French-bred producers to the 1908 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches winner Sauge Pourpree (Perth).
The latter was bred by Le Comte Jacques le Marois, for whom the G1 race in France is named, and Sauge Pourpree was one of the high-class French-bred performers of the first decade of racing in France. Racing and breeding in France had reached a level to challenge the top racers in England a generation prior to the Great War, and Saugre Pourpree won the fillies' mile classic at 3, then France's great stamina test, the Prix du Cadran, and the 51st Prix Biennal de Longchamp at 4 against colts.
The sire of Sauge Pourpree was the even greater French-bred racehorse Perth. At 3, he won the colts' mile classic, the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, plus the Prix du Jockey Club and Grand Prix de Paris, then the Prix du Cadran at 4.
Perth became France's leading sire in 1907, 1908, and 1911. Unfortunately, the high-class racehorse and sire had died in 1907 from some form of kidney disease.
Among the contemporary relations of King for a Day, his half-sister Feel That Fire is the dam of G1 winner Mind Control (Stay Thirsty), victor in the 2018 Hopeful Stakes, as well as the Bay Shore and Jerome this year.
The day before King for a Day upset the race return of Maximum Security, Uncle Mo's 4-year-old daughter Miss Mo Mentum won the third stakes of her career in the G3 Trillium. A stakes winner at 2 and 3, Miss Mo Mentum is the second stakes winner out of Somalia (Mineshaft) and is the mare's third foal.
Somalia has also produced Lookin for Eight (Lookin for Lucky), winner of the G3 Durham Cup at Woodbine. Somalia's second dam is the G3 winner Ziggy's Act (Danzig), winner of the G3 Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington, and Ziggy's Act is out of stakes winner Comedy Act (Shecky Greene), winner of the G1 Santa Barbara Handicap.
Somalia has an unraced 3-year-old filly named Cosmic Link (Data Link), was barren for 2017, has a yearling colt by American Pharoah who sold for $300,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale, and foaled a colt of 2019 by last year's Horse of the Year Gun Runner.
With good performers like King for a Day and Miss Mo Mentum representing him presently and large crops from even more highly pedigreed mares coming along, Uncle Mo is in a premium position to confirm a position as the major young sire in America.
Frank Mitchell is author of Racehorse Breeding Theories, as well as the book Great Breeders and Their Methods: The Hancocks. In addition to writing the column “Sires and Dams” in Daily Racing Form for nearly 15 years, he has contributed articles to Thoroughbred Daily News, Thoroughbred Times, Thoroughbred Record, International Thoroughbred, and other major publications. In addition, Frank is chief of biomechanics for DataTrack International and is a hands-on caretaker of his own broodmares and foals in Central Kentucky. Check out Frank's lively Bloodstock in the Bluegrass blog.
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