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Eeeneemeenee ... Uncle Mo

May 6, 2011 - Neil Rudel
Four rings, five rings ... their apartment isn't that big!

I knew what was up: Dave Rudel didn't want to take the call.

Dad has gotten a little gunshy during Derby week since his predictions haven't exactly been the names mentioned when the field heads for home as in, "DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME!"

Devout readers -- OK, it's down to Larry McAleer and some family members -- remember when dear old dad picked Funny Cide from out of the blue as a 15-1 shot in 2003. McAleer was aghast that I didn't publish my dad's Preakness pick that year.

It's been downhill since. But in the name of tradition, I called.

"Hummana, hummana, hummana," Dad said, stammering in his best Ralph Kramden nervous imititation.

"Dad, relax. I took it out of the paper to relieve the pressure and only post it online now. Maybe if you hit one, I can get it back in print."

Dead air.

"I know you've looked at the board. C'mon!"

Dad says he likes Uncle Mo in part because "he's out of that Pletcher Farm so he can't be all bad."

"Dad -- he's a 9-2 shot, like the second-lowest odds in the field. You never go for a favorite. Don't you have a longshot?"

"I've done so poorly with the longshots that I thought I'd go back to the favorites. What'd your friend Larry say last year, that anybody could have picked my horse [that finished last]?"

I asked if we have an "Uncle Mo" and mentioned Moe Torledsky, a sharp Johnstown businessman who wore jeans well into his 70s and used to own LA Surplus on Market Street in the Flood City.

"No relation," my dad clarified, "but I liked Moe."

So Uncle Mo it is. Let's just hope he gets a call. A couple of hours after my dad's pick, it was reported the horse may not run because of a stomach ailment.

That's another bad omen on Dave Rudel's resume, but we shall see. Enjoy your Derby Day, and if you're as lucky as me, you'll get to watch it with your dad.

And your Uncle Mo!

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