Mo Donegal: Kentucky Derby contender profile

Profile Picture: James Scully

April 28th, 2022

Kentucky Derby hopeful Mo Donegal

Mo Donegal utilized a tremendous late kick to win the Wood Memorial (G2), reeling in a classy loose-on-the-lead rival to prevail by a head, and the bay Kentucky-bred registered a whopping 111 Brisnet Speed and 121 Late Pace figure for the career-best effort. A juvenile Grade 2 winner, the late runner will have to work out a trip from off the pace in the Kentucky Derby, but Mo Donegal has proven fast enough to win and is being prepared by a top-notch Kentucky Derby barn.

Mo Donegal Speed Ratings

Top Brisnet Speed: 111, Wood Memorial

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Top Brisnet Late Pace: 121, Wood Memorial

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Mo Donegal Pedigree

Sire: Uncle Mo

The champion two-year-old male in 2010, Uncle Mo did not make it to the Kentucky Derby the following spring. He’s by Indian Charlie, who finished third in the 1998 Kentucky Derby, and Uncle Mo proved to be an instant success at stud, producing 2016 Kentucky Derby victor Nyquist from his first crop.

Read More: Mo Donegal pedigree profile.

Dam: Callingmissbrown

Mo Donegal is out of the Pulpit mare Callingmissbrown, who hails from multiple Grade 1 winner Island Sand. Pulpit is best known as the sire of three-time leading sire Tapit, and his best Kentucky Derby result came via 2010 runner-up Ice Box. As a broodmare sire, Pulpit has proven to be a fine influence for classy long-distance performers, and the 1 1/4-mile Derby distance should be no problem for Mo Donegal.

Mo Donegal Connections

Owner: Jerry Crawford’s Donegal Racing

Jerry Crawford’s Donegal Racing finished third with their first two Kentucky Derby starters, Paddy O’Prado (2010) and Dullahan (2012), and Mo Donegal will be the fourth attempt for the Iowa-based owners. Donegal purchased the colt for $250,000 as a yearling.

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Since making his debut in 2000, Todd Pletcher has started at least one horse every year but 2003, saddling a record 59 horses in the Kentucky Derby. The Hall of Famer won with Super Saver (2010) and Always Dreaming (2017), and Pletcher also has a pair of seconds and four thirds. He’s twice sent out a record-tying five runners, and Charge It and Pioneer of Medina will join Mo Donegal to give Pletcher multiple Kentucky Derby runners for the 19th time.

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

A three-time Eclipse Award winner, Irad Ortiz Jr. led all jockeys by wins the last five years, and topped the earnings list thrice. He merits the highest regard, capturing 14 Breeders’ Cup races and a Belmont S., and the Kentucky Derby is the one accomplishment missing from his bio. Ortiz’s best result from five mounts is a fourth aboard Improbable (2019).

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