One sure thing about Saturday’s $150,000 Pan American Stakes (Grade 2) at Gulfstream Park is that the odds on Mucho Mas Macho will be lower than 41-1.
The 4-year-old gelding was sent off at that price on Jan, 12 when he rallied from ninth place entering the stretch and won the Fort Lauderdale (Grade 2) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The $85.20 payoff was the highest on a $2 win ticket in a Gulfstream stakes race this season.
“We decided to give him a break until the Pan American,” said Henry Collazo, the trainer of Mucho Mas Macho. “We have been pointing to this race since last fall.”
The Pan American is 1 ½ miles on turf, a distance Collazo feels is a good fit for Mucho Mas Macho’s running style.
Juan Leyva, Mucho Mas Macho’s regular jockey, has the mount,
The race has 10 entrants, including seven that have won at least one stakes race since the start of last year.
Newsdad, the winner of last year’s Pan American is the 2-1 favorite in Gulfstream’s morning line,
Teaks North is listed second at 3-1. On the Gulfstream turf this year, he won the Sunshine Millions Turf at 1 1/8 miles on Jan, 19 and finished second in the Mac Diarmida at 1 3/8 miles on Feb, 16.
Mucho Mas Macho is next at 5-1.
The Pan American also has the third through fifth place finishers from the Mac Diarmida.’
Those horses are Ioya Bigtime, Twilight Eclipse and Bebo Acteon.
Belo Acteon and Ioya Bigtime can be expected to challenge Teaks North for the lead.
That could produce a solid pace that might help Newsdad and Twilight Eclipse, who usually are in the second pack of horses, as well as Mucho Mas Macho and fellow closer Empire Builder.
Mucho Mas Macho had just three wins in 16 career starts until Sept. 17, 2012, when he won the Needles on turf at Calder
“He was starting to mature and figure out what it’s all about,” Collazo said. “He became very comfortable with Juan, who knows how to time his moves,”
In his race prior to the Fort Lauderdale, Mucho Mas Macho was sent off at 39-1 and finished second to Twilight Eclipse on Nov..24 in the W.L. McKnight (Grade 2) at 1 ½ miles on turf at Calder.
“I expect the odds will be lower this time, but I can’t predict how much,” Collazo said. “He’s been good in training and the race might set up well for him,”
Gulfstream Seeks More Dates
Gulfstream on Friday asked the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering for permission to have racing on Mondays and Tuesdays from April 8 through June 25 this year.
Gulfstream, in Hallandale Beach, will end its 2012-2013 meet on April 5.
Calder, eight miles west of Gulfstream in Miami Gardens, does not have racing scheduled any of those 24 days,
Gulfstream wants the additional days to enable trainers to keep running horses there until July 6, when it will begin year-round racing on Saturdays and Sundays, the track’s president Tim Ritvo said several days before its filing.
July 6, the first Saturday in that month, will be the start of Gulfstream and Calder racing head-to-head every Saturday and Sunday between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.
Gulfstream’s new request is for a schedule expansion during the state’s current fiscal year.
Thus it was required to obtain written approvals from the other seven pari-mutuels within its 50-mile radius,
Earlier this month, Calder, Mardi Gras Gaming and Isle Casino & Racing at Pompano Park did not give approvals. They cited competitive financial reasons,
In its filing on Friday, gulfstream noted the tax revenues that the state would gain from its extra racing days.
The Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering does not have a deadline for issuing a ruling on Gulfstream’s request.