Uncle Heavy Pulls The Upset in the Withers

Uncle Heavy | Sarah Andrew

Pennsylvania-bred Uncle Heavy (Social Inclusion) shipped up from his base at Parx for an outfit capable of pulling a surprise on this circuit and did just that, nailing El Grande O (Take Charge Indy) right on the wire by a nose to earn 20 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby in Saturday's $250,000 GIII Withers S. at Aqueduct.

Drawn one from the outside over a rain-affected strip that was putting a demand on stamina, the hulking bay, off at 9-1, raced in the four path, but with cover on the back of longshot Khanate (Hightail) as El Grande O fought out the early fractions from the inside.

Asked to improve approaching three furlongs from home, the Butch Reid-trained Uncle Heavy appeared to be running in place as El Grande O and Khanate began to separate themselves at the quarter pole.

El Grande O was finally able to shake off Khanate entering the final eighth of a mile, pinched a break and looked on his way to victory, but Uncle Heavy kept plugging away and was shoved across the line first. El Grande O was second ahead of even-money favorite Lightline (City of Light) in third.

Uncle Heavy, a narrow debut winner going six furlongs versus open company at Parx Oct. 23, dwelt and ducked in at the start and finished fifth as the favorite in the Pennsylvania Nursery S. Nov. 28. He successfully stretched to two turns with a rallying victory going one mile and 70 yards against fellow state-breds in the Wait For It S. last time Dec. 27.

“I have always felt all along with this horse, the further the better,” Reid said. “He certainly proved that today. He looked like he was just hitting his best stride about 50 yards from the wire. He really started stretching out nice.”

He continued, “We haven't had a whole lot of time, and this was only his second time around two turns. For him to go a mile and an eighth and under the circumstances is a testament to him. It worked out great. It's a short ship [from Pennsylvania] and there's a lot of big money up here.”

On a potential next start in the GII Wood Memorial S. Apr. 6, Reid added, “We're going to keep him around two turns from here on out. We'll definitely have a look at the Wood, there's no doubt about that. We're going to sit down with (owner) Mikey (Milam), and start plotting and planning from here on in.”

Pedigree Notes:

Uncle Heavy is the first graded stakes winner for Social Inclusion, who entered stud at Woodford Thoroughbreds near Ocala in 2017, transferred to Diamond B Farm in Pennsylvania after two seasons and now stands privately at Briardale Farm under the stewardship of Joe Imbesi.

Bred in Pennsylvania by trainer Robert Reid's sister-in-law Barbara Reid, Uncle Heavy is out of the winning Tiz Wonderful mare Expect Wonderful, who brought just $1,700 from Milam Racing Stables at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed Sale while expecting the winner.

A $70,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Preferred New York-Bred yearling, Expect Wonderful RNA'd for $15,000 at the 2019 edition of the December Mixed Sale in foal to The Factor. The hammer fell at $70,000 for the resulting foal, later named Roan Burgundy, at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

Expect Wonderful's 2-year-old colt Beyondexpectations is by Peace and Justice, and she was bred to Weigelia for 2024.

Saturday, Aqueduct
WITHERS S.-GIII, $250,000, Aqueduct, 2-3, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:53.79, my.
1–UNCLE HEAVY, 118, c, 3, by Social Inclusion
1st Dam: Expect Wonderful, by Tiz Wonderful
2nd Dam: Holiday Peace, by Harlan's Holiday
3rd Dam: Stilled, by Quiet American
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. O-Michael Milam; B-Barbara Reid (PA); T-Robert E Reid Jr; J-Mychel J Sanchez. $137,500. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-0, $293,580. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree or free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–El Grande O, 119, c, 3, Take Charge Indy–Rainbow's Song, by Unbridled's Song. 1ST GRADED BLACK-TYPE. O-Barry K Schwartz; B-Stonewall Farm (NY); T-Linda Rice. $50,000.
3–Lightline, 118, c, 3, City of Light–Upperline, by Maria's Mon.
1ST BLACK-TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK-TYPE. ($600,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). O-Albaugh Family Stables LLC; B-Town & Country Horse Farms LLC (KY); T-Brad H Cox. $30,000.
Margins: NO, 2HF, HF. Odds: 9.30, 4.10, 1.15.
Also Ran: Deposition, Khanate, Speed Runner, Mission Beach, Society Man, Seminole Chief. Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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