Mucho Macho Man, impressive winning the $400,000 Classic by 1 ½ lengths over Ron the Greek, was grazing early Sunday morning outside his barn while a large group of fans, including owners from Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team One Racing Stable, admired the tall 4-year-old bay colt.
Trainer Chad Brown, who saddled Stronach Stables’ undefeated Eclipse winner Awesome Feather for a 5 ¾-length victory in the $300,000 Distaff, said the 4-year-old filly came out of her ninth consecutive victory “real good.”
“The race was real impressive,” said Brown, who watched the filly stalk a :46.69 and 1:10.82 pace before drawing away down the stretch and covering the 1 1/8th mile in 1:49.17. “I don’t have anything picked out right now for her next start. We’ll get her back on the track in the next couple days, see how she’s doing, and then pick something out.”
Priscilla Vaccarezza’s 5-year-old Florida homebred gelding Little Mike ran his Gulfstream Park turf course record to five wins from six starts in the $150,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Turf Saturday with a stunning wire-to-wire score by three-quarters of a length under regular jockey Joe Bravo as the 8-to-5 favorite.
“He came out of it just fine,” said trainer Dale Romans Sunday morning of the son of Spanish Steps that was making his second start back here after spending nearly nine months on the sidelines because of a cracked shin. “He’s a better horse this year and I always thought he would go the mile-and-an-eighth because he can relax on the lead.”
No decision has been made for Little Mike’s next appearance. Winner of three Graded stakes here last year – Fort Lauderdale (G3), Canadian Turf (G3) and Appleton (G3) – Little Mike’s only defeat over the course came in the Gulfstream Turf Handicap (G1) going 1 1/8 miles last year as Teaks North pulled a 25-to-1 upset, although beaten only 2 ½ lengths. Teaks North finished fifth in Saturday’s race.
Trainer Bill Kaplan reported Sunday morning champion filly and mare sprinter Musical Romance, fourth in Sunday’s Filly & Mare Sprint, grabbed a quarter leaving the gate “but it isn’t that bad and it looks like we’ll be able to get her back to training in four or five days.”
Kaplan said the Feb. 19 Hurricane Bertie Handicap (G3) will be Musical Romance’s next start.