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Belmont Winner Mo Donegal Retired to Spendthrift

Mo Donegal retires with four wins from seven starts and $1,511,800 in earnings.

Mo Donegal wins the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park

Mo Donegal wins the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park

Coglianese Photos/Joe Labozzetta

Donegal Racing's and Repole Stable's Mo Donegal , the grade 1-winning millionaire by Uncle Mo  who captured the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) in June, has been retired from racing and will stand stud next year at Spendthrift Farm. His fee will be $20,000.

"It's always exciting when you can acquire a stallion prospect of the caliber of Mo Donegal, and we are thankful to Jerry Crawford, Mike Repole, and the Donegal Racing partners for the opportunity," said Ned Toffey, Spendthrift's general manager. "It's not often you can offer breeders a classic winner by an emerging sire of sires, which Uncle Mo appears to be. On top of that, Mo Donegal is very good-looking, comes from a brilliant and active family, was a 2-year-old graded stakes winner, and defeated some of the best from a pretty good crop of 3-year-olds this year. We expect him to be extremely popular, and we invite breeders to come out and see him."

Mo Donegal exited his victory in the final leg of the Triple Crown with some bone bruising, and it was ultimately determined that the three-time graded stakes winner would be retired.

(L-R): Gioia and Mike Repole, Irad Ortiz jr., Jerry Crawford, Todd Pletcher. Mo Donegal with Irad Ortiz Jr. wins the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) at Belmont Park on June 11, 2022.
Photo: Skip Dickstein
(L-R): Gioia and Mike Repole, Irad Ortiz Jr., Jerry Crawford, and Todd Pletcher after Mo Donegal's Belmont Stakes victory

"The Donegal Racing partners and I could not be more proud of Mo Donegal and the special places he took us the last two seasons," said Crawford, CEO of Donegal Racing. "The timing of the bone bruising was unfortunate and not going to allow us to make any of our target races for the remainder of the year. We felt the best decision was to retire him, and we are excited that he'll get a wonderful opportunity to make a great stallion at a place like Spendthrift."

Repole, who acquired an ownership stake in the son of his former stable star Uncle Mo earlier this year, said: "I was following Mo Donegal as a 2-year-old last year at Saratoga, because Todd (Pletcher) trained and liked him and, obviously, he's a son of Uncle Mo. I was very impressed, and I got to watch him win the Remsen. He was a horse that had already got the mile-and-an-eighth as a 2-year-old, and I knew he would get better. He went on to win the Wood, which was amazing, and then he gave me the biggest thrill of my life, winning the Belmont Stakes. Mo Donegal is a beautiful son of Uncle Mo, and he beat some of the best—Zandon, my filly Nest, Early Voting. Just very impressive all around."  

Mo Donegal broke his maiden last year at Belmont at before winning his first stakes in the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack in his next start, defeating eventual grade 1 winner Zandon.

Mo Donegal wins the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Race Track Saturday April 9, 2022 in Ozone Park, N.Y.
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Mo Donegal defeats Early Voting in the Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

This year at 3, he won the Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by Resorts World Casino (G2) over eventual Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Early Voting and graded winner Skippylongstocking, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.96—the fastest time recorded in the storied Kentucky Derby prep race since Bellamy Road's 1:47.16 in 2005. Following a troubled fifth from the one-hole in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), Mo Donegal returned to New York to decisively win the Belmont by three lengths over three-time grade 1 winner Nest and three other graded winners, including Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike.

"The classic winners that come through our program will always be special to me, and Mo Donegal showed in his Belmont Stakes win what we have always thought of him," said Pletcher. "We went into the (Kentucky) Derby this year with a lot of confidence, but the one-hole was just too much to overcome. Obviously, having trained Uncle Mo, it was nice for us to be able to campaign one of his best sons. Mo Donegal showed immense talent from the first time we breezed him at 2, and he's always been a very classy, good-minded, good-looking colt. I'd have to imagine breeders will love him."

Mo Donegal with groom Cesar Chuchuca<br>
June 12, 2022
Photo: Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher
Mo Donegal at Belmont Park

Mo Donegal retires with earnings of $1,511,800, joining Darley's Nyquist  as Uncle Mo's millionaire classic winners at stud. He is out of the Pulpit mare Callingmissbrown, a daughter of grade 1 winner and multiple stakes producer Island Sand. The immediate family also produced Queen's Plate winner Niigon, who was the second-leading sire in Canada in 2012 and among the top 10 for multiple years.

Callingmissbrown has produced three winners from as many to race, including Mo Donegal's half sister Prank (Into Mischief ) who won her racing debut July 31 at Saratoga Race Course by 9 3/4 lengths for Pletcher and the ownership group of StarLadies Racing, LNJ Foxwoods, and Gainesway Stable.