by Jerry Shottenkirk
January 6, 2018
The Mucho Macho Man Stakes is a 100-grander, but it’s probably worth a lot more than that for the connections of the participants.
The race is logged in as today’s 10th at Gulfstream Park, and not only is it the feature, it could go a long way on the 3-year-old scene. Do well in this one, then run in the direction of the Florida Derby and the graded stakes races that lead up to it.
The Mucho Macho Man is a one-turn mile and looks like a good spot for highly regarded and unbeaten Dak Attack, a Ghostzapper colt trained by Dale Romans. Dak Attack lived up to billing in Kentucky and now is the time Romans will find out just what kind of horse he has. In listening to him on television Friday, it’s easy to conclude he thinks he has something special and could get that confirmed in this one.
Dak Attack broke his maiden at 1-2 odds at Churchill Downs in June and two months later impressively moved from off the pace and won going away in the Ellis Park Juvenile. He enters the Mucho Macho Man as the 9-5 morning-line choice.
Sapling winner Bal Harbour, trained by Todd Pletcher, won the Smooth Air Stakes going this distance here in December and takes his case as upper echelon sophomore to the fore. The First Samurai col has won three of six, and he’s perfect in two at this distance.
Mask, a son of Tapit with an easy Belmont maiden win in his only start, was not favored in that race but was still 2-1 and could be around the same price in the Mucho Macho Man. He should fit very well at this distance, and while he doesn’t have the experience of some of the others, the Chad Brown trainee clearly sent positive vibes in that first one.
Dak Attack. Bal Harbour and Mask are a suggested Pick 4 ticket here. The 10th and 11th look like the races that require fewest choices on the Pick 4 ticket. Armchair Jockey and Ox Bro are the Race 11 representatives, and the most horses are used early on.
The Pick 4 opens with a wide-open 8th race, and seven horses are used here: Deputy Czar, The Green Mo’star, Somebody, Cove Blue, Life’s a Parlay, Marriage Counselor and Orbed. The second leg (Race 9) includes Thewayiam, Andina Dei Sur and Delamar on the ticket.
Here’s the suggested Pick 4 ticket:
Race 8: #1 Deputy Czar, #2 The Green Mo’star, #4 Somebody, #5 Cove Blue, #6 Life’s a Parlay, #7 Marriage Counselor, #10 Orbed.
Race 9: #5 Thewayiam, #8 Andina Dei Sur, #9 Delamar.
Race 10: #3 Dak Attack, #4 Bal Harbour, #6 Mask.
Race 11: #2 Armchair Jockey, #4 Ox Bro.
50-cent Pick 4: 1-2-4-5-6-7-10 with 5-8-9 with 3-4-6 with 2-4 ($63).