By Steve Sherack
The lone horse to defeat-err, let's make that cross the wire ahead of–recently crowned champion 3-year-old colt Maximum Security (New Year's Day) is nearing a return to the races.
Red Oak Stable homebred King for a Day (Uncle Mo) posted a hard-fought victory over the disqualified GI Kentucky Derby winner after that one stumbled at the start in the TVG.com Pegasus S. at Monmouth June 16. The bay disappointed in his next start, however, and was placed on the sidelines following a well-beaten fifth-place finish as the 5-2 second-choice after being checked hard on the far turn in the weather-delayed GI TVG.com Haskell Invitational S. on a scorching summer day on the Jersey Shore July 20.
With four breezes under his belt at Todd Pletcher's Palm Beach Downs base this month, including a four-furlong spin in :48.69 (2/22) Jan. 19, the GIII Challenger S. at Tampa Mar. 7 is a tentative early-season target for King for a Day, per Rick Sacco, Red Oak's racing and operations manager.
“It was just a rough day overall waiting to run that horse on Haskell day and he wasn't the same when he hit the paddock,” Sacco said.
“He didn't run his race and he lost his action before the quarter pole having to steady and pull up. He hit himself at that point and he was a little banged up when he came back to the barn. We decided to give him the time at Red Oak Farm and pinfired his ankles where he hit himself and the horse has come back super. Each and every week he's getting better and stronger and the horse physically looks awesome. He's sound and happy and
Todd is very pleased with him.”
Sacco concluded, “We're looking forward to getting him back on track and just can't wait to get him back to the races.”
King for a Day, also a smart winner of last May's Sir Barton S. at Pimlico, is out of the unraced French Deputy mare Ubetwereven. He is a half-brother to the stakes winner Feel That Fire (Lightnin N Thunder), the dam of Red Oak and Madaket Stables's MGISW Mind Control (Stay Thirsty), who recently returned from a layoff with a game victory in the GIII Toboggan S. at Aqueduct.