Making a Kentucky Derby Case For: Uncle Mo's Stable Mate Stay Thirsty

Melissa Bauer-Herzog@mbauerherzogCorrespondent IMarch 31, 2011

Stay Thirsty before the 2010 Breeder's Cup Juvenile Photo: Melissa Bauer-Herzog
Stay Thirsty before the 2010 Breeder's Cup Juvenile Photo: Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Stay Thirsty is the forgotten stable mate of superstar and Facebook addict Uncle Mo. But sharing trainer Todd Pletcher is not all the the two three-year-olds have in common; they also share owner Repole Stables.

While Stay Thirsty isn't as high-profile as Uncle Mo, he definitely holds his own when it comes to racing with a record of 5-2-2-0 (his only off the board finish came in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile) and $260,000 in graded earnings, placing him at No. 13 on the Kentucky Derby eligibility list.

Stay Thirsty won his maiden impressively in his second start before finishing second in the Hopeful Stakes (G1)  behind two-year-old sensation Boys at Tosconova.

In his final race of the season, he ran fifth behind Uncle Mo, Boys at Tosconova, Rogue Romance and Biondetti. Boys of Tosconova and Rogue Romance have been removed from the Derby Trail while Biondetti hasn't ran since the Breeder's Cup. The Juvenile may have been about the time people jumped off Stay Thirsty's bandwagon. Admittedly, he did not have the greatest race and was overshadowed by multiple horses but it was a great learning experience.

Stay Thirsty got a few months off before running in a Gotham Stakes that appeared worse than it was. The horse was as green as spring grass (hence the possible addition of blinkers for him in the Florida Derby this weekend), switching leads, lugging in, and just acting like a normal inexperienced baby. While people have used that as ammo against the horse, Pletcher was happy with the race.

“I thought he ran huge. He’s coming in off only five breezes, going a mile and a sixteenth, and he hasn’t run since Nov. 6. It was very encouraging," Pletcher told The Bloodhorse. "I was a little concerned when he broke just a step slowly, sort of tossed his head at the break, but he recovered real quickly and put himself in a good spot. I was very, very pleased with the way he finished up. Ramon said he was very handy and was there every time he called on him. He was impressed, as we all were.”

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While I like the little horse for his heart and the talent he's shown even while running green, his breeding has pulled me even closer.

Stay Thirsty is out of Bernardini, three-year-old wonder in 2006 that won five stakes races and finished second in the Breeder's Cup Classic at the same distance as the Derby. Bernardini showed talent at the longer distances and has seemed to pass that on to his get. Bernardini's sire is A.P. Indy, a winner of multiple classic distance races in addition to siring classic winners so Bernardini gets his distance love honest.

Stay Thirsty's dam Marozia doesn't have the most impressive race record winning only one time and hitting the board three other times in nine starts while racing in England but her produce record looks much better. She produced Andromedas Hero, who placed in some of the biggest races in America including the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Donn Handicap (G1).

So while Stay Thirsty may not be the most impressive three-year-old right now, he definitely has the breeding and the talent to get the Derby distance. He may just turn into the horse that upsets his stablemate and win the second Derby in two years for Todd Pletcher.