Uncle Mo's Donegal Momentum Earns 'Rising Star' Honors on Debut

Donegal Momentum | Coglianese


Bet down from a 9-2 morning line into a 'they-knew' 7-5 at the off, Donegal Racing's Donegal Momentum (c, 3, Uncle Mo–Moon Dash, by Malibu Moon) never truly looked like losing his racetrack debut Thursday afternoon, kicking on full of run into the final furlong and a half to score by 8 1/4 lengths to become the latest 'TDN Rising Star' for his exceptional Coolmore-based stallion.

Having flashed a fair bit of ability as far back as March when training at Tom Morley's winter base at the Fair Grounds, he appeared to hold that form once shipped north, working an eye-popping half-mile from the gate in :45.50 over the Belmont training track Apr. 21, the best of a whopping 188 breezes and 1.51 seconds better than the next-quickest move that morning. Following a maintenance five-eighths May 2, he zipped four panels in :47.80 (6/77) May 9 and the money was very much on Thursday afternoon.

The $375,000 Keeneland September yearling bounced beautifully from an outside gate and was immediately in the thick of things, taking the sit just off the flank of the pacesetting and much more experienced Light the Way (Justify–By the Light) down the back and into the turn. Drawing more or less on even terms passing the three-furlong pole, Donegal Momentum was held together into the stretch by Javier Castellano, and when the Venezuelan cut the ribbons at the three-sixteenths, it was all over, as the colt bounded clear with every stride. The final time for the six furlongs on a rain-soaked track was a crisp 1:10.30. Deputy Mischief (Into Mischief), the half-brother to race one winner Delightful Flame (Flameaway), stumbled at the break and was beaten over 21 lengths into sixth.

“Ever since he started doing his fast work, this horse has shown an abundance of talent,” Morley told his wife Maggie Wolfendale on the 'America's Day At The Races' program. “I was a little dubious about the six furlongs today because that's not what he's bred to do at all, but he's basically had a six-furlong gate breeze. Very often first time out, they are very relaxed because they don't know what's going to happen. Around the barn he's got a ton of class, this horse. He could be a good one.”

A 17th 'TDN Rising Star' for Uncle Mo, Donegal Momentum was bred by Speedway Stable from their $650,000 OBS April grad Moon Dash, stakes-placed on the grass as a juvenile before retiring to the breeding shed in 2019. A daughter of SW & MGSP In The Slips, Moon Dash is also responsible for a 2-year-old Maclean's Music filly that made $200,000 from Rigney Racing at Keeneland September last fall and she is due to Speedway's Coolmore-based champion Corniche (Quality Road).

Donegal Momentum is one of 25 winners bred on the cross of Uncle Mo over the late Malibu Moon, a number that includes Grade II winner Celestial City.

Donegal Racing and Morley teamed to win the 2018 GI Secretariat S. with Carrick (Giant's Causeway).

6th-Belmont The Big A, $90,000, Msw, 5-16, 3yo/up, 6f, 1:10.30, my, 8 1/4 lengths.
                1st Dam: Moon Dash (SP, $40,600), by Malibu Moon
                2nd Dam: In the Slips, by More Than Ready
                3rd Dam: Tjinouska, by Cozzene
Sales History: $375,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $49,500.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
O-Donegal Racing; B-Speedway Stable (KY); T-Thomas Morley.

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