Derby Trail: Mucho Macho Man

About an hour before the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, Gulfstream will run the Mucho Macho Man Stakes. Like the Sham earlier, it’s hard to get past a short-priced runner.

Previously: Sham Stakes

Let’s take a look at the field.

#1 Coltandmississippi (12-1) – He won his debut at Saratoga going seven furlongs, but earned just a 60 Beyer. After a rough go in the Sapling Stakes, he won an allowance race at Gulfstream Park West and then struggled in the Smooth Air on a sloppy track last time out. He does add blinkers today but I don’t know that he’s good enough.

#2 Forever Taken (20-1) – Antonio Sano trains this son of Take Charge Indy that has run his two best figures on sloppy tracks, and neither race is good enough to threaten in here.

#3 Dak Attack (9-5) – The morning line has Dak Attack favored over Mask (2-1), though we expect Mask to go off favored. Dak Attack has been sizzling in the morning for his first start since the Ellis Park Juvenile in August. He can stalk the pace, has finished well in both of his starts, and should stretch out being by Ghostzapper. Maybe he will need one off the bench, but he looks ready to roll.

#4 Bal Harbour (9-2) – This son of First Samurai goes out for Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez. He’ll be coming from off the pace and perhaps moved up from the sloppy track last time (he’s 2-2 in the slop). We’re against.

#5 Santiamien (8-1) – This son of Dialed In is 2-2 for trainer Antonio Sano and picked up a solid six-furlong win last time. He does get Irad Ortiz for this race. He’ll need another step forward, however.

#6 Mask (2-1) – We think he’ll be favored and we think he’ll win. Of the maiden winners this fall, he might be the one we were most impressed with. This son of Tapit broke a little slowly, moved up, waited, professionally split horses, and drew off to a nice win. He’ll likely be up close pressing the pace and we are expecting a win in his return.

#7 Handsome Franco (50-1) – He came in from Puerto Rico and was beaten 15 lengths in the Smooth Air. He seems overmatched.

#8 Whereshetoldmetogo (6-1) – Of the runners from the Smooth Air, we prefer him, as he might have moved a little too soon in that race. He also flipped in the paddock before the Lewis at Laurel two-back and drew well outside.

The Play
We’ll single Mask in multi-race wagers and use him in the verticals over Dak Attack, Santiamien and Whereshetoldmetogo.

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