Below is an in-depth look at today’s Mucho Macho Man Stakes from Gulfstream Park:
For whatever reason, trainer Nick Zito seems to love this guy. After a win — in slow time, but with a great late speed ration (LSR) — against Delaware Park maidens on Sept. 12, Zito entered Perro Rojo in the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, where the son of Birdstone was beaten like Ronda Rousey in her last fight (too soon?). That was followed by a so-so performance in the ungraded Street Sense and another thrashing in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs.
Fair Odds: 50-1
After leading at the first call in each of his first three races, this Henry Collazo trainee showed another dimension in the Juvenile Sprint Stakes for Florida-breds when he came from 10 lengths off the pace to win going away by three lengths. Unfortunately, he earned a very poor (-20) late speed ration (LSR) in that race, indicating — at least to me — that his best chance is on or near the lead today, which might take some running, as the projected ESR is a -10. Still, the son of Twirling Candy has the look of an overlay.
Fair Odds: 12-1
This dude ran a great race in defeat last time, earning a speed figure well above today’s par and he faced a pace scenario similar to what he is likely to encounter today — that’s the good news. The bad news is the -15 LSR the son of High Cotton earned in that affair (after recording a -2 in his debut). It makes me question how he’ll fare going an extra two furlongs today. Insist on a decent price.
Fair Odds: 8-1
Lots of things to like here, not the least of which is the improvement this colt has made since finishing off the board in his debut… at Canterbury Park, no less. He’s bred to go long and, in his last race at Aqueduct (the King’s Swan Stakes), he earned a -5 LSR after pressing the pace.
Fair Odds: 9-2
Went wire-to-wire in his debut at Aqueduct, while recording solid pace numbers and a good speed rating. His connections look a little weak — trainer Michael Mareina is 0-for-21 with shippers over the past year — but this guy definitely figures.
Fair Odds: 8-1
Godolphin Racing gelding made his debut on the lawn and finished poorly, but then switched to dirt and ran a corker (as my British friends say). He wired a one-mile maiden special weight affair by 5 ½ lengths at the “Big A” on Dec. 2 while recording a -11 ESR and a -5 LSR — both outstanding figures. On the negative side, we don’t know whether he can rate off the pace and win and, worse, his last race was scheduled for the green stuff, but came off, begging the question: Is turf this guy’s preferred surface?
Fair Odds: 7-2
After winning the Iowa Cradle Stakes (for Iowa-breds) in his debut, this Kendall Hansen colt went on to place in both the Grade III Grey Stakes at Woodbine and the Grade II Nashua at Aqueduct before getting crushed in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (GII) at Churchill Downs in his last start. I think he could get a piece of the purse, but his mediocre speed and pace figures don’t inspire me.
Fair Odds: 20-1
Todd Pletcher trainee looks very versatile to me, although I suspect he might be best on the engine — which seems an unlikely scenario against the likes of these. Tough call.
Fair Odds: 6-1
Extremely talented, but his ability to go a distance of ground is very much in question (ranked eighth in overall LSRs).
Fair Odds: 12-1
10-STATE OF HONOR
Began his career in stakes company, which I love to see, at Woodbine, but his frontrunning style and subpar ESRs give me pause.
Fair Odds: 15-1
Another Godolphin entry and this dude’s got improving speed and pace figures. Hemswoth is currently 80-1 in the Kentucky Derby future book and would likely come down should he win this. To do that, however, he’ll need to show that he can come from off the pace and work out a trip from a tricky outside post position.
Fair Odds: 5-1