In a shocking upset, Toby's Corner runs down Uncle Mo in the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack. Toby's Corner, who went off at odds of 8-1, finished a neck in front of 20-1 Arthur's Tale, who finished another length in front of the heavily favored 1-10 Uncle Mo. Uncle Mo led through most of the 1 1/8 mile race under pressure from Duca, Starship Caesar, and Isn't He Perfect. At the eighth pole, with only a furlong to go, Norman Asbjornson began to gain on Uncle Mo. By the sixteenth pole, Arthur's Tale had moved into contention and was beginning to overpower Uncle Mo. Quick on the heels of Arthur's Tale was Toby's Corner, who was sixth at the top of the stretch. He gained ground and was able to pass both Uncle Mo and Arthur's Tale to take the Wood Memorial.
Completing the field behind Toby's Corner, Arthur's Tale, and Uncle Mo were Norman Asbjornson, Isn't He Perfect, Starship Caesar, Son of Posse, Preachintothedevil, and Duca. Full of Scoundrels was scratched.
After this surprising defeat, Uncle Mo has shown that he is beatable. This doesn't mean that Uncle Mo is any less capable of winning the Kentucky Derby. In fact, he and his connections may have learned something from this loss that they can use to move forward in the Kentucky Derby.
Toby's Corner's sire, Bellamy Road, won the 2005 Wood Memorial by a record 17 1/2 lengths. Bellamy Road went on to finish 7th as the beaten favorite in the Kentucky Derby. He was upset by Giacomo, whose sire, Holy Bull, had failed to win as the favorite in the 1994 Kentucky Derby. Could it be that it is Toby's Corner's turn to gain Derby revenge for his father?
Toby's Corner has never finished off the board and now has four wins out of six lifetime starts. Trainer Graham Motion had originally planned for Toby's Corner to miss the Derby and point toward the Preakness Stakes, but with the Wood Memorial win, Toby's Corner now enters the top five on the Kentucky Derby graded stakes list and is headed for the twin spires of Churchill Downs.
Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Derby