By Bill Finley
Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo), the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream, will be scratched from the race, reports owner Jerry Crawford. His next start will most likely be in the GII Wood Memorial S. Apr. 9 at Aqueduct.
Crawford said he and trainer Todd Pletcher were considering scratching after Mo Donegal drew the 12 post for the Fountain of Youth, but the decision became more clear cut after the colt developed a minor virus.
“We are going to scratch,” Crawford said. “In addition to the 12 post, 'Mo' woke up with a minor virus this morning. It's not serious, but not something we want to go into a race with when this is happening.”
Crawford said there shouldn't be any problem making another prep race for the GI Kentucky Derby and the Derby itself.
“This is not at all a serious problem and most likely he will run next in the Wood,” he said. “[Trainer] Todd [Pletcher] didn't seem particularly concerned about this. Before the virus popped up, one of the options we were seriously considering was training up to the Wood. So this isn't that big a change of plans for us.”
If going to the Wood Memorial, Mo Donegal will be returning to the scene of his biggest win, the 2021 GII Remsen S. He made his 3-year-old debut in the Feb. 5 Holy Bull S., where he finished third. With Mo Donegal out, the likely favorite will be Emmanuel (More Than Ready), who is also trained by Pletcher.