Mucho Mas Macho came from ninth place in the early going to catch the deep-stretch leader, Tiz Sardonic Joe shortly before the wire and to complete the upset at the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes in Gulfstream Park.
Mucho Mas Macho was the second longest shot on the board at 42-1 odds and was making his first start since last Nov. 24, when he finished second in the Grade 3 W.L.McKnight Handicap over 12 furlongs at Calder Race Course.
The race became a wide-open race after morning line favorite Dominus was scratched early on Saturday.
At the start, Fifty Proof with Elvis Trujillo aboard went for the early lead, taking advantage of his third-post starting position and taking a one-length lead over Quick Wit, while Tiz Sardonic Joe tracked from third.
As they started to make the final turn, jockey Francisco Torres moved Quick Wit to start pressuring the leader and wrestled the lead away as they turned for home.
Tiz Sardonic Joe was running three-wide but rallying strong to the outside, and he engaged Quick Wit, taking the lead with just less than furlong to go.
Mucho Mas Macho was rallying but was still running ninth as they turned for home. At that point, jockey Juan Carlos Leyva swung him five-wide to the outside, and that proved to be the winning move for him.
He started a mad dash on the clear and caught Tiz Sardonic Joe right before the wire to win by a neck.
Big Blue Kitten, third choice at 4-1, was behind a wall of horses before the stretch. He got a seam started to make his rally but was good for just third best today.
Nikki’s Sandcastle was coming off a pair of wins and was the the 2-1 favorite. He had to take a five-wide trip during his rally on the turn and looked threatening but flattened out in the stretch, finishing fourth.
Sky Blazer, the second betting choice at 4-1, never found room to run behind the horses while running along the rail and had to be steadied twice, finishing a non-threatening eight.
It was the first win for Mucho Mas Macho in five starts outside of Calder. He had been twice to Gulfstream Park, finishing fifth once and out of the money the other.
Mucho Mas Mucho is a four-year-old son of Macho Uno out of the Star de Naskra dam A.P.Andie. He is owned by Signal Hills Farm, trained by Henry Collazo and was ridden by Juan Leyva.
His record now stands at 20-5-4-0, and he has lifetime earnings of $227,951.
He could be making his next start 11-furlong, Grade 3 Mac Diarmida on Feb. 16, and that could serve as his prep race for the Grade 2, 1 1/2-mile Pan American the following month.
|Ft. Lauderdale Stakes - Grade: 2|
|Age Restriction: Four Year Old and Upward|
|Distance: One And One Sixteenth Miles On The Turf|
|Track Condition: Firm|
Winning Time: 1:40.39 Fractions: 23.10, 46.99, 1:10.54, 1:40.39|
|9||Mucho Mas Macho||Juan C. Leyva||85.20||30.20||10.80|
|10||Tiz Sardonic Joe||Jose Lezcano||16.40||8.00|
|8||Big Blue Kitten||Javier Castellano||3.80|
|Also ran: 2 - Nikki's Sandcastle , 6 - Quick Wit , 11 - Empire Builder , 1 - Vertiformer , 7 - Sky Blazer , 5 - Hollinger , 3 - Fifty Proof|
|Scratched horses: Pants On Fire (Main-Track-Only) , Dominus (Trainer)|
|Winning Breeder: Adena Springs|
|Winning Owner: Signal Hill Farms|
|Winning Trainer: Henry Collazo|
|Wager Type||Winning Numbers||Payoff|
|$1 Pick 3||2-3-9 (3 correct)||6,220.00|
|$2 Daily Double||3-9||699.40|
|$1 Consolation Pick 3||2-5-9 (3 correct)||347.50|