Inveigled Favored for Monday’s Mucho Macho Man
Cibelli Trainee Steps onto Road to the Curlin Florda Derby
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The manner in which Mark Grier’s Inveigled dominated an optional claiming allowance for 2-year-olds at Gulfstream Park Dec. 9, trainer Jane Cibelli had reason to dream big for the gelded son of Enticed.
Inveigled is scheduled to embark on the road to the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) in Monday’s $150,000 Mucho Macho Man Monday’s New Year’s Day program at Gulfstream Park.
“I don’t particularly like coming back in three weeks, but I also don’t want to go right into graded company,” said Cibelli about opting a somewhat conservative route with Inveigled. “So, I thought this was a good start. If he runs well or wins, we could look at graded races.”
The Mucho Macho Man, a mile stakes for newly turned 3-year-olds that will co-headline Monday’s program with the $150,000 Cash Run for 3-year-old fillies, will be followed on the road to the March 30 Florida Derby, by the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) Feb. 3, and the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) March 2.
“We’ll take one race at a time. I just didn’t want to throw him into graded company right off the bat. I would like a bit more time, but I felt like in the last race, he did it so easily,” Cibelli said. “There’s no reason not to run. We pulled his blood, and his blood is as good as blood gets. We scoped him. I’ve given him every reason to not run, but he’s been just great.”
Inveigled has been installed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite in a field of eight 2-year-olds following his eye-catching score at a mile three weeks ago. The Indiana-bred gelding stalked the early pace before making a three-wide move to the lead and drawing clear to win going away by 4 ¾ lengths under Irad Ortiz Jr.
“The way Irad rode him last time, it was faultless,” Cibelli said. “I had a feeling he might go to the lead, going short to long, because he showed speed going short. Irad is just brilliant. He drops his hands, drops them off the pace. He’s just a fantastic rider.”
Inveigled debuted with a troubled third in his Sept. 15 debut at Pimlico before graduating by eight lengths in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight race at Laurel Park while equipped with blinkers for the first time.
“This first time he ran, I was a little disappointed, but the blinkers really made a difference,” said Cibelli, who has awarded the return mount Ortiz, the defending Championship Meet titlist.
In his race prior to his Gulfstream score, Inveigled was involved in a protracted duel while racing on the inside in six-furlong James F. Lewis III Stakes at Laurel, holding on gamely to finish second by a neck.
WinStar Farm LLC and Siena Farm LLC’s Otello is rated second on the morning line at 3-1 on the basis of a promising debut score at Aqueduct Nov. 4. The Christophe Clement-trained son of Curlin rallied from fifth to get up by a neck while going a one-turn mile.
Luis Saez is scheduled to ride Otello for the first time Monday.
Qatar Racing LLC and Hunter Valley Farm’s First World War will make his stakes debut on dirt, following a strong runner-up finish in an optional claiming allowance over Churchill Downs main track Nov. 9. The Brendan Walsh-trained colt had run twice previously on turf, winning his debut at Kentucky Downs Sept. 13 and finishing a close-up fourth in the Bourbon (G2) at Keeneland.
Tyler Gaffalione has the return call on the son of War Front, who is rated third at 7-2 on the morning line.
AMO Racing USA’s Boy Magic, undefeated in two starts, is slated to make his stakes debut in the Mucho Macho Man. The son of Good Magic won at first asking by 4 ¼ lengths in a six-furlong maiden special weight race at Delaware Park Aug. 24 before coming back a month later at Pimlico to win an optional claiming allowance over Catahoula Moon, who won the Maryland Million Nursery in his next start.
Paco Lopez, who was aboard for the first two starts, has the return mount on the Jorge Delgado-trained Kentucky-bred colt.
Morplay Racing’s No More Time enters the Mucho Macho Man off an impressive debut victory at the one-turn distance at Gulfstream Oct. 23. The Jose D’Angelo-trained son of Not This Time, who finished second in his debut, attended the pace on the backstretch before pulling away to a 6 ¾-length victory.
Jose Ortiz is scheduled to ride No More Time for the first time Monday.
Holly Crest Farm’s Sea Streak, who was a beaten-favorite second behind Inveigled Dec. 9, returns in the Mucho Macho Man. Prior to his Gulfstream debut, the Eddie Owens Jr.-trained son of Sea Wizard scored a 4 ¾-length maiden special weight victory at Aqueduct.
Luca Panici has the call on the New Jersey-bred colt.
Anne-33 LLC’s Orb Alpha and Donald Ming’s Everdoit round out the field.