2011 Kentucky Derby Odds: Is Uncle Mo Worth Placing a Bet On?

Jason Figueiredo@sportschatterCorrespondent IMay 3, 2011

Uncle Mo working out with Stay Thirsty at Churchill Downs
Uncle Mo working out with Stay Thirsty at Churchill DownsMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

Before the Wood Memorial, Uncle Mo strutted around the track as the favorite to take the 2011 Kentucky Derby.   Since falling flat on his face in his longest race ever, Uncle Mo and his faithful jockey John Velazquez are now emerged in a cloud of uncertainty about their true Kentucky Derby chances.  

Uncle Mo’s third place finish at the Wood Memorial sent a fistful of doubt directly into the stomach of every expert that thought he was a sure thing.  However, should this one race entirely erase the pages of hype that this horse worked hard to earn?

Although Uncle Mo definitely lost a significant amount of steam coming down the stretch at the Wood, this is hardly the first time a horse lost a race prior to the Kentucky Derby.  In fact, only seven of the past 21 Kentucky Derby winners found the winner circle in their Kentucky Derby prep race.

Some jockeys ride horses differently prior to a bigger race, but it is hard to say that this occurred with Velazquez and Uncle Moe.

After Uncle Mo’s disastrous finish, the miniscule hope that Velazquez was laying off the gas will not placate the fellow that is fetching to place a nicely sized wager on the most exciting two minutes in sports. 

To break it down, Uncle Mo’s speed alone should be the most intriguing part of deciding whether or not to choose him on your betting card.  He tops the field with the highest Beyer Rating (108) and has the power to explode towards the finish line. That alone is worth a spot on a trifecta box or an exact box. 

While many people are worried if Uncle Mo can last the one and a quarter mile, promising work outs are swaying many bandwagon jumpers to get back on the carriage. 

Uncle Mo tends to sprint to the beginning of the field and stay there, using his bursts of speed down the stretch.  With the longer track and an enormous field, reaching the front of the pack can be a difficult chore.

Uncle Mo hasn’t spent much time in the pack, which obviously raises more concerns for some. 

In the BC Juvenile, Uncle Mo showed a glimmer of pack resilience, riding close to the bunch for most of the race, eventually navigating through a few horses to reach the front in the home stretch. 

Overall, people are selling Uncle Mo way too short after one lousy performance.  When it comes down to it, this Kentucky Derby field is wide open and Uncle Mo has as good of a chance of taking home this crown as any of the other favorites. 

A wet track should slow down the majority of the field, providing Uncle Mo with an excellent shot down the stretch, allowing him to utilize his speed for a chance at the win.  Whether or not his tank reaches empty before crossing the finish line is really anyone’s guess.

Nonetheless, Uncle Mo is definitely worth placing a bet on to win, place, or show, especially with the bad press.  As the odd makers drive his chances down, you can reap the benefits once he proves them all wrong.