TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

Mo Donegal

6) MO DONEGAL (c, Uncle Mo–Callingmissbrown, by Pulpit) O-Donegal Racing. B-Ashview Farm & Colts Neck Stables (KY). T-Todd A. Pletcher. Sales History: $250,000 ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 5-3-0-2, $621,800. Last Start: 1st GII Wood Memorial S. KY Derby Points: 112. Post 1, 20-1

I had this son of Uncle Mo ($250,000 KEESEP) solidly entrenched at No. 3 in the weeks before the post draw. But getting stuck with the one hole in a 20-horse crush cost Mo Donegal a few percentage points toward his likelihood of winning. Post one is never ideal in the Derby. But for a colt like Mo who always seems to be snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, the negative effects of being potentially pinned down inside are likely to be amplified. The last Derby winner to break from the rail was Ferdinand in 1986, and it's only been done seven other times since the advent of using the starting gate in the 1930 Derby.

But one advantage for this quick-on-his-feet colt will be Mo's proven ability to move nimbly and with sustained late-race focus, a tactical combination that is unmatched in this field. You want raw numbers to back that up? His winning moves into identical, ground-gaining :12.33 final furlongs in both the GII Remsen S. and the GII Wood Memorial S. represented the quickest final eighths among all 2021-22 preps at nine furlongs.



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