Stud Notes: The Preakness Field. Can Nyquist Lead Home An Uncle Mo Trifecta?
Nyquist (Photo ESW)
The Uncle Mo juggernaut can't be stopped. With four colts by this amazing young sire in the Preakness field, including the unbeaten champion favorite Nyquist, it is statistically likely that a son of Uncle Mo will win the second leg of the Triple Crown, and if that happens, he will take over, from Tapit, as leading sire. The other sons of Uncle Mo are Uncle Lino, just inside of Nyquist in the number two post position, Laoban, in the eight hole, and Abiding Star, in the nine. What if there's an Uncle Mo trifecta in the Preakness? Statistically unlikely though it may be, (Exaggerator will have something to say about that), it would be historically unique and stunning.
The Tapit army that entered the Kentucky Derby has retreated to lick its wounds, with only the goofy Japanese colt, Lani, still in the fray. He's been training at Belmont, and seems less angry at the world, but is unlikely to be a factor.
El Prado, however, will be a factor in the Preakness, as his grandson Cherry Wine, by Paddy O'Prado, and other grandson Stradivari, by Medaglia d'Oro, have entered. The Preakness marks Stradivari's first appearance in a stakes race, but he is trained by Pletcher and ridden by Velazquez, so can't be ruled out. It's a bold move, and his draw of the outside post position may help keep him out of trouble.
Two representatives of the Mr. Prospector sire line, Exaggerator (by Curlin) and Baffert's new entry, Collected (by City Zip), will line up. Collected, similar to Stradivari, seems overmatched but underestimating Baffert will usually be a mistake. But Exaggerator is the real deal, and if the rain forecast for the Preakness arrives, this mudder should be dueling at the wire.
Finally, the re-emergence of Awesome Again, a great sire whose progeny have been quiet of late, is evident. His son Awesome Speed is in the four hole, while his grandson, Fellowship, launches from the ten.
These five sire lines account for the entire field, a true oddity. Only the one A.P. Indy line horse, no Storm Cat line horses, and more than a third of the field from the first crop of a wonderful sophomore stallion from the unlikely Indian Charlie line - is American classic racing about to be radically altered by the unavoidable assumption that Uncle Mo is the next big thing?
The Preakness will reveal the second chapter in this fascinating saga.