Uncle Mo is unbeaten no longer.
Toby’s Corner surged past Uncle Mo and Arthur’s Tale in the stretch to post a shocking upset in the $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack yesterday in New York.
Uncle Mo came into the Grade 1 Wood as the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby in four weeks, but that will all change after one of the biggest upsets in the 87-year history of the Wood.
Sent off as the overwhelming 1-10 favorite against what was supposed to be a weak field, Uncle Mo controlled the race from the start. But when the 10 3-year-olds turned for home, Uncle Mo could not come up with his usual strong finish despite jockey John Velazquez’s best efforts.
First, Arthur’s Tale went past him, then Toby’s Corner went past both of them to win by a neck. Uncle Mo was another length back in third.
It was the first defeat for Uncle Mo after the son of Indian Charlie had rolled over the opposition in winning four races by a combined 27 lengths, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at
Toby’s Corner, the second betting choice at 8-1, came into the race off a third-place finish in the Gotham Stakes last month at Aqueduct. But the chestnut colt is a son of Bellamy Road, who won the 2005 Wood by a record 17 lengths.
Toby’s Corner returned $19.40, $7, and $2.50. Arthur’s Tale paid $11 and $3.30, and Uncle Mo returned $2.10 to show. The winning time was 1:49.93. Toby’s Corner earned $600,000 to boost his earnings to $722,240 and put him in the mix for the Derby.
Santa Anita Derby — Midnight Interlude won in Arcadia, Calif., giving Bob Baffert another Kentucky Derby contender after his other horse, Jaycito, was scratched because of a foot injury.
Midnight Interlude rallied in the stretch under Victor Espinoza to beat Comma to the Top by a head in the $1 million race, the West’s biggest prep for the Kentucky Derby. The colt ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.66.
Sent off at 13-1, Midnight Interlude paid $29.80, $12, and $6. It was Baffert’s record sixth win in the race.
Comma to the Top returned $9.20 and $5.80, while Mr. Commons was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $3.60.
Illinois Derby — Joe Vann won the $300,000 race at Hawthorne.
Ridden by Florent Geroux, Joe Vann ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.91.
Zoebear was second, followed by The Fed Eased and Sour. Joe Vann isn’t nominated to the Triple Crown series, although Zoebear and The Fed Eased are.
Ashland Stakes — Lilacs and Lace pulled off a stunner in the $400,000 race in Lexington, Ky., going wire-to-wire to punch her ticket to next month’s Kentucky Oaks.
The 3-year-old filly went off at 49-1 in the field of nine but looked at home on Keeneland’s synthetic surface. Javier Castellano sent her to the front and she was never really threatened while beating Wyomia by a length. Lilacs and Lace paid $99.40, $32.40, and $10.