Mucho Macho Man readies for Breeders’ Cup with Santa Anita win
Mucho Macho Man proved he’s ready to take another run at the Breeders’ Cup Classic when he dominated the Grade 1 $250,000 Awesome Again Stakes on Saturday. Sent off as the 8/5 favorite, Mucho Macho Man stayed in mid-pack as Summer Hit went out to the early lead and set good fractions. Gary Stevens sent Mucho Macho Man (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) up after the lead turning for home and he was able to open up down the stretch, eventually beating Paynter (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) by four and a quarter lengths. Long shot Soi Phet was able to get up into the third spot while Golden Ticket (BetPTC.com Top Selection) finished fourth.
Beholder turned in one of the more impressive performances of the day as she was able to get off to an easy lead and never looked back, giving Gary Stevens another stakes win as they took the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes. Beholder was unopposed early on and Authenticity (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) was the only one who made any kind of move, finishing second, but still a length and a quarter behind at the wire. Bond Holder turned in a huge run at 10/1 odds to get up and win the Grade 1 Frontrunner, setting himself up as a contender for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Bond Holder and Mario Gutierrez were far back early on as Test Ride set the early fractions. Dance With Fate (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) made a move after the lead and took command in mid-stretch, but couldn’t keep going as Bond Holder flew by late to win by two and a quarter lengths.
Tiz Flirtatious (BetPTC.com Top Selection) rallied from mid-pack to get up and just outlast Marketing Mix (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) to win the Rodeo Drive Stakes. Tiz Flirtatious settled in fourth as Vionnet went out to the front and opened up a big lead early on. Vionnet carried that lead deep into the stretch before Tiz Flirtatious and Marketing Mix blew by in the final yards. In the Grade 1 Chandelier it was Secret Compass (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who rallied past a stubborn She’s a Tiger (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) to score a 12/1 upset win. She’s a Tiger had the lead into the stretch, but Rosie Napravnik and Secret Compass had a little more left late. Fascinating (BetPTC.com Top Selection) rallied up to get third to complete a trifecta worth $68 for every $1 play.
Fort Larned preps with win at Churchill Downs
Fort Larned will look to defend his Breeders’ Cup title in a few weeks at Santa Anita, and he prepped for that race with a facile win in the $175,000 Homecoming Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday night. Fort Larned (BetPTC.com Top Selection) and Brian Hernandez made an easy lead and never looked back as they opened up five lengths in mid-stretch. Windswept (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) rallied from out of the pack to get up and finish second, only a length and a half behind Fort Larned. Worldy finished up third at 27/1 while Prayer For Relief, the second choice, could only manage to finish fifth.
General Election (BetPTC.com Top Selection) put in one of his patented late running efforts as he closed from last to get up and win the Grade 3 Jefferson Cup under the lights at Churchill Downs. General Election was last early on and jockey Joe Rocco Jr. had to navigate him through traffic, getting up to catch favored Redwood Kitten (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who had shook loose in mid-stretch.
Broadway Empire upsets Departing in the Oklahoma Derby
Departing took all the money, but it was Broadway Empire who rewarded his backers as he cruised all the way to win the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remingotn Park on Sunday afternoon. Sent off at odds of 3/1, Broadway Empire went right to the front under jockey Rico Walcott. Walcott was able to get him to relax as he maintained a strong lead going into the final turn. Departing and Robby Albarado were placed in fourth for most of the race and tried to rally up on the far outside. But as the field straightened away, Broadway Empire turned on the afterburners and opened up to win by nearly five lengths. Departing couldn’t hit the board and finished fourth, leading to some monster show payouts for those who ventured against the favorite