'Macho Man' Mucho Fast In Gulfstream Workout
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Kentucky Derby (G1) hopeful Mucho Macho Man dazzled during a morning workout at Gulfstream Park Saturday, breezing five furlongs in 58 1/5 seconds under exercise rider Mike Herra. The clocking was the fastest of 14 recorded at the distance.
“I just wanted him to do it on his own and finish up. He was a little speedy this morning. He’s feeling good. It’s been two weeks since he ran,” said trainer Kathy Ritvo, whose stable star galloped out six furlongs in 1:11-and-change. “He’s been going two miles three or four mornings in a row and (Friday) he went a mile and a half and went to the gate and school. He was really good. Today he was full of energy.”
The son of Macho Uno showed no ill effects of a minor foot injury incurred while pulling a shoe at the start of the recent Louisiana Derby, in which he finished third as the favorite. Ritvo said the incident likely impacted her colt’s performance, in which he was beaten by less than a length by winner Pants on Fire.
“I definitely do, because he’s a little immature and I think it threw him off a little,” said Ritvo, who trains the Florida-bred colt for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team One Racing.
Mucho Macho Man, who completed a promising 2-year-old season with runner-up finishes in the Nashua (G2) and Remsen (G2) stakes at Aqueduct, captured the Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds on Feb. 19 prior to finishing third in the Louisiana Derby on March 26.
“We’ll see how he comes back from the work. He surprised me a little today. We’ll adjust his work next week and then we should be off to Kentucky,” said Ritvo, who expects to ship to Churchill Downs a few days after next Saturday’s scheduled workout.
Apriority & Morning Line in Carter on Wood Memorial Undercard
Donald Dizney’s Apriority and Thoroughbred Legends Racing’s Morning Line were major players during the 2011 Gulfstream Park meet and the two talented 4-year-olds are set to clash Saturday afternoon in the $250,000 Carter Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct in the race before Repole Stable’s Uncle Mo runs as the odds-on favorite in the Wood Memorial (G1).
Apriority appears poised to join the top ranks of the nation’s sprint division this season for trainer David Fawkes, who guided Big Drama to Eclipse champion honors last year, climaxed by victory in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs last fall.
Apriority is a Florida homebred colt by Grand Slam and set a Gulfstream track record winning an allowance race going 6 ½ furlongs by 4 ½ lengths on Mar. 5. In two previous starts this year, Apriority won a one-mile allowance at Gulfstream on Jan. 6 and shipped to Santa Anita where he lost a head decision finishing second in the $200,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint on Jan. 29.
Morning Line made two starts at the meet for trainer Nick Zito, finishing third as the favorite in the Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) on Jan. 8 and second to Giant Oak in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) on Feb. 5. Jockey John R. Velazquez has been the Tiznow colt’s regular rider and will have the mount in the Carter before climbing aboard Uncle Mo in the Wood.
Apriority has company on the trip to New York as Fawkes also sent Harold Queen’s 3-year-old filly Hot Summer to run in the $150,000 Comely Stakes (G3) earlier on the program. The daughter of Malibu Moon won two of three starts last year and finished fifth in her lone outing this season at Gulfstream behind division leader R Heat Lightning in the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) on Feb. 26 after setting the early pace.