TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

Mo Donegal

9) 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: GSW, 3-2-0-1, $197,800. Last Start: 1st GII Remsen S. Next Start: Aiming for GIII Holy Bull S., GP, Feb. 5. KY Derby Points: 10.

In this age of fewer starts for A-list horses, some sophomores–including highly heralded ones every year–get very deep into their Derby prep seasons without having been truly tested in a stretch fight. That won't be the case with Mo Donegal, who athletically tipped out past four frontrunners at the head of the lane before bumping and grinding through a :12.33 final furlong in the GII Remsen S. to prevail by a hard-fought nose. That was a much more impressive effort than it might appear considering this $250,000 KEESEP buy was facing winners for the first time while stretching out to the 1 1/8-mile distance. His MSW win at 1 1/16 miles was no slouch either, as Mo Donegal was roused from midpack to close an open-length gap late in the lane. Even his career debut–seemingly a throwout race on paper–was of the sneaky-good variety. Mo Donegal broke slowly from the rail in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint, checked at the half-mile pole, was still double-digit lengths off the leaders turning for home, then rallied determinedly to snag third before galloping out past everyone after the wire.

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