You have to have something to Let it Ride. I was wrong. Mucho Macho Man kept close to the pace, ran the best race, and ultimately won the Risen Star(Race Replay) with relative ease. It was a great comeback race for him after running a tired 4th in the Holy Bull Stakes 3 weeks earlier.
Rajiv Maragh, who picked up the mount at the last minute due to an injury to Eibar Coa, had Mucho Macho Man in perfect stalking position from the start. He broke out of the gate well, let the longshots carry a relatively pedestrian pace and took control when he was asked.
Regardless of his form moving forward, Mucho Macho Man likely booked his ticket to Louisville with the $180,000 won in the race. The other top contenders finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th but have a little more to do(earn $$$) to get on the track to Louisville.
- Mucho Macho Man $9.20 $4.80 $2.80
- Santiva $6.00 $3.40
- Rogue Romance $2.60
This was a race where many of the top choices looked a little rank (uneasy and unsettled early) and Macho’s previous race in the Holy Bull gave him a slight edge and needed experience. As it stands, I expect to see improvement from Rogue Romance and Santiva as they were making their first starts of the season.
Also, it looks like most of the top players are the Florida based horses and shippers. It will be very interesting to see who tackles the Florida Derby and who chooses to find something slightly easier. $1 earned in Florida is still worth the same $1 earned in Louisiana when it comes to Kentucky.
Congrats to the connections, epecially Kathy Ritvo on her first graded stakes win.
Also, later this week, we will have a showdown in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream with two of my favorites in Soldat and To Honor and Serve. It will be very interesting and potentially profitable (hopefully).