All of the inside scoop on Virginia's biggest day of Steeplechase racing -- the Virginia Gold Cup. Hey, 50,000 of your closest friends can't be wrong! Do you have your tickets yet?

Friday, May 6, 2011


As of yesterday, the field for the 86th running of the Livingsocial Virginia Gold Cup remains intact.  There have been no “scratches” from the field of seven horses.

(Isabel J. Kurek)
The Kentucky Derby picture is a little cloudier. 

As of 4:45 a.m., Uncle Mo's connections still weren't saying whether the talented colt will run in Saturday's first leg of the Triple Crown.

Last year’s two-year-old champion is recovering from a stomach ailment, but looked good as he galloped over the Churchill Downs track on Thursday.   

He is the 9-2 second choice behind 4-1 early favorite Dialed In.

Uncle Mo Thursday morning.
Owner Mike Repole anxiously awaited results from the latest vet exam, and promised to end the drama by announcing a decision sometime today.

"If he's not what we deem to be 100 percent tomorrow, he's not going to be 100 percent on Saturday," he said.

Repole said he won't sacrifice Uncle Mo's health to satisfy his 30-year dream of having a horse in America's greatest race. Either way, he won't be shut out. He has Stay Thirsty in the full field of 20 horses.

Still, the fast-talking Queens native, who got rich selling his Vitaminwater company to Coca-Cola, doesn't want to leave his best horse in the barn.

"It's tough," he said. "Racing needs superstars and if he's 100 percent, Uncle Mo could be that superstar."

Outwardly, Uncle Mo looks as healthy as, well, a horse. Internally, no one's sure exactly what's going on. That's the quandary.

Uncle Mo could be fine. Or Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher could be risking a repeat of his dull third place finish in his last race, the Wood Memorial in New York.

"If he runs and he runs seventh, Todd and I will look at each other and guess he wasn't 100 percent," Repole said. "If he runs and he wins by seven lengths, we can look at each other and say `Wow, we're geniuses.'"

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