As Uncle Mo was the American champion 2-year-old male of 2010, his ability to get top juveniles and early 3-year-olds is in line with his own racing performance. The big question now is, what next? Will he prove to be mostly a sire of precocious speedsters and milers, or is he a legitimate shot to sire Classic winners as well?
At first glance, neither Nyquist nor Mo Tom looks like a good candidate to get classic distances. Not only did Uncle Mo never win at more than 8.5 furlongs himself, but both colts have horses better known for speed than stamina as broodmare sires: Nyquist is out of the Forestry mare Seeking Gabrielle, while Mo Tom is out of Caroni, a daughter of 1992 American champion sprinter Rubiano.
Digging a little deeper gives a more nuanced picture for both colts. Nyquist, for instance, has Seeking the Gold, a Grade I winner over 10 furlongs and one of the more stamina-oriented of Mr. Prospector's sire sons, as the sire of his second dam; Cox's Ridge, who got a number of good performers over 10 to 12 furlongs as the sire of his third dam; and the staying Arts and Letters, who captured the 1969 Belmont Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup (then at 2 miles) as the sire of his fourth dam. These influences suggest that he can probably stretch his speed at least 9 furlongs and perhaps further. Mo Tom's pedigree may be even more promising with regard to stamina, as his second damsire is Caro (a Group I winner over 2100 meters, or about 10.5 furlongs) and his dam is inbred 3x3 to the great Nijinsky II, winner of the English Triple Crown.
It may also be a mistake to assume that Uncle Mo cannot supply classic stamina himself. Although his only black type at distances of 9 furlongs or more was a third in the Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial (USA-I), it must be remembered that the colt was compromised by a liver disorder that knocked him out of training for the next two months. Although he recovered well enough to beat some very nice older horses over a mile in the Kelso Handicap (USA-II) in October, he probably lacked the conditioning over routes to give the best possible account of himself in the Breeders' Cup Classic (USA-I), in which he was unplaced for the only time in his career.
Even if Uncle Mo's 3-year-old season represented a true bill on his own racing aptitude, it should not be forgotten that stallions do not always reflect their own racing aptitude in their progeny. Sometimes they throw more in line with a maternal grandsire, as was the case with both Secretariat (who, like his broodmare sire Princequillo, did best with speedy mares) and Damascus (a great stayer whose stud record appeared to reflect the influence of his broodmare sire, the speedy My Babu). In Uncle Mo's case, his maternal grandsire is Arch, whose strong suit as a stallion has been stamina. Thus, while Uncle Mo may not be the best candidate to sire a Classic winner from a strongly speed-bred mare, he may well have the genetic flexibility to get staying runners from mares whose pedigrees, like his own, reflect a mix of speed and staying elements.
Of course, it is always possible that Uncle Mo may prove to be a flash in the pan; other champion freshman sires have done so. This year's Triple Crown campaign should go a long way toward showing what kind of stallion he truly is.