Conquest Mo Money (Uncle Mo), the GI Arkansas Derby and GIII Sunland Derby runner-up who would have had to have been supplemented for $200,000 in order to run in the GI Kentucky Derby, will instead wait for the GI Preakness S. two weeks later May 20, announced owners Tom and Sandy McKenna at a press conference held at Sunland Park Tuesday afternoon. “This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made in my life, and I’ve made lots of them,” Tom McKenna said. “I made the choice based on what I think is best for the horse. That’s the only reason we’re here today. I do the same thing if it’s a $5,000 claimer or a million-dollar stakes horse–we haven’t had many of those, this is the first one. We believe the best choice for Conquest Mo Money is the Preakness, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
The McKennas, who race as Judge Lanier Racing, must still make a $150,000 payment in order for Conquest Mo Money to start in the Preakness. They paid $8,500 for the New York-bred colt as part of the Conquest Stables dispersal at last year’s Keeneland November sale. The Miguel Hernandez trainee, who annexed Sunland’s Riley Allison S. and Mine That Bird Derby in January and February, respectively, has earned $508,900 to date.
Added Sandy McKenna, “We’ve raced him very cautiously, and he’s always performed very well. To put him on this trail where it’s three weeks to the Derby, [two] weeks to the Preakness and three weeks to the [GI] Belmont S. is asking a lot of any horse… Even though it would be wonderful to say, ‘I’ve been to the Derby,’ it’s just a lot more logical to take this horse and go to the Preakness.”
With the defection of Conquest Mo Money, Cloud Computing (Maclean’s Music) now has a starting spot in the Derby. Should his connections also decide to skip the race, Untrapped (Trappe Shot) will get in.