'Mucho Macho' & Kathmanblu Drill For Louisiana Engagements
By Jack Will
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and partners’ 3-year-old colt Mucho Macho Man and Five D Thoroughbred and Wind River Stable’s 3-year-old filly Kathmanblu each posted workouts Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park ahead of a trip to New Orleans next week.
Mucho Macho Man breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 for trainer Kathy Ritvo and is the likely favorite in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2). The son of Macho Uno began the season with a fourth-place finish in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes G3) at Gulfstream on Jan. 30 and won the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2) last out at Fair Grounds on Feb. 19 by 1 ½ lengths under jockey Rajiv Maragh.
Kathmanblu earned the ‘bullet’ for five furlongs on the Saturday morning tab with a 59 4/5 clocking for trainer Ken McPeek. The daughter of Bluegrass Cat made her first start of the season winning the $100,000 Sweetest Chant on turf at Gulfstream on Jan. 22 and shipped to Fair Grounds to win the $150,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes last out on Feb. 19 by 1 ¼ lengths the same day that Mucho Macho Man won the Risen Star.
Another South Florida-based 3-year-old bound for the Louisiana Derby will be Lori and George Hall’s Nacho Business, according to trainer Kelly Breen, who was at Sunland Park Saturday morning with the Halls’ 3-year-old Nacho Saint, who will run in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) on Sun., Mar. 26.
Nacho Business is a son of Rahy that made both of his career starts earlier in the Gulfstream meet, winning his debut going a mile on Jan. 30 and running a very good race to be second by three-quarters of a length behind Arch Traveler in a 1 1/8 miles allowance race on Feb.26.
Breen had a third top 3-year-old prospect for the Halls this season in Sweet Ducky. The son of Pulpit was a stakes winner last year and began the 2011 campaign with a solid second-place finish in the Holly Bull Stakes (G3) here behind Dialed In, but has been sold privately and is currently in Dubai where he will run in the $2 million UAE Derby (G1) on Sat., Mar. 26.
Velazquez & Pletcher Team Up for Friday Double
Jockey John R. Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher collaborated for two winners on Friday’s program at Gulfstream Park, including the fourth race allowance feature with Melnyk Racing Stable’s high-class turf sprinter Bridgetown, as both horsemen are on top of the standings for the meet.
Velazquez’ two wins brought him into a tie for the lead in the jockey standings with Javier Castellano with 47 victories each going into the weekend, followed by defending Gulfsteam champion Paco Lopez third with 40 as returned to the saddle on Wednesday for the first time since sustaining an elbow injury in a spill here on Feb. 18.
Pletcher has nearly lapped his closest rival in the standings with a 30-16 lead over Nick Canani second. Pletcher is bidding for an unprecedented ninth consecutive Gulfstream title. Wesley Ward ranks third currently with 15 wins and David Fawkes and Chad Brown are tied for fourth with 14 apiece.