King Guillermo. Caracaro. Modernist. Uncle Chuck. The progeny of Uncle Mo have been prominent on the 2019-20 Road to the Kentucky Derby, with Pneumatic being the latest son of the popular stallion to join the fray.
Although an illness derailed much of Uncle Mo’s 3-year-old campaign—preventing him from competing in the spring classics—his raw talent was always obvious. Voted champion 2-year-old male of 2010 after winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and Champagne (G1), Uncle Mo is proving to be an excellent source of two-turn stamina, siring a multitude of Grade 1 winners running long on dirt.
Uncle Mo’s highest-profile runner to date has been Nyquist, who emulated his sire with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, emerging as the champion 2-year-old male of 2015. But unlike Uncle Mo, Nyquist stayed fit and healthy for the 2016 Kentucky Derby, which he won comfortably over future Preakness (G1) winner Exaggerator and 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner.
Pneumatic’s respectable fourth-place effort in the 1 1/8-mile Belmont Stakes (G1) suggests he’s inherited a solid dose of stamina from his sire, but Uncle Mo might not be the only source. Keep in mind, Pneumatic is the first foal produced by Teardrop, a stakes-placed daughter of three-time leading North American sire Tapit.
Winner of the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial (G1) and a competitor in the 2004 Kentucky Derby, Tapit has sired an impressive abundance of high-caliber route runners. Breeders’ Cup winners Untapable, Stardom Bound, Hansen, Tapitsfly, and Tapizar all achieved their signature victories running a mile or farther, but even they have been outdone by Tapit’s three Belmont Stakes winners Tonalist, Creator, and Tapwrit, who thrived racing 1 1/2 miles in the “Test of the Champion.”
Getting back to Teardrop, she hails from a classy and productive family. Produced by the Wild Again mare Wild Vision, Teardrop is full sister to 1 1/16-mile Silverbulletday (G3) winner War Echo and a three-quarter sister to Pyro, who claimed the 7-furlong Forego (G1) and 1 1/8-mile Louisiana Derby (G2) during three excellent seasons of racing.
Mixing and matching the stamina-oriented genes of Uncle Mo, Tapit, and Wild Vision figures to bless Pneumatic with a triple-dose of classic stamina, giving the dark bay colt every chance to excel over the 1 1/4-mile distance of the Kentucky Derby.