Mucho impressive at Saratoga
by JOHN MUCCIOLO
There are often telling signs that a horse is ready to run a big race. And on Saturday, Bill Mott’s MUCHO was one of those.
When a juvenile is bet down to 2-1 odds from a 12-1 morning line, chances are he will be live. There aren’t too many secrets with the babies at Saratoga.
It is also an indicator that an animal has talent when posting sizzling workouts of :48 1/5, :47 1/5 and :36 on the Oklahoma training track. Horses don’t tend to work that swiftly on the surface.
Mucho was second in a four-horse field in a Belmont debut in June. While it was tough for me to get a great gauge on that performance, the colt left little doubt on Saturday.
Son of Blame broke well in his Spa debut and traveled between runners before being taken back some by Jose Ortiz. Always looking like he had a ton of horse, Ortiz nudged his colt into the clear approaching the turn for home and it was over soon after.
Gliding to the lead easily, Mucho quickly got clear and dominated through the lane without being persevered with. Claiborne/Dilschneider homebred was 9 3/4 lengths clear under the wire after clocking six furlongs in 1:10 over the fast strip. He earned a robust 96 BRIS Speed figure for his work.
Mucho is out of Extent, who was a two-year-old graduate herself, and he is a half-brother to Grade 3 queen Size.
His second dam Limit produced a pair of stakes winners, one of the graded kind. She is kin to Group 1 star Archipenko, and also Broodmare of the Year Liable, who produced Blame, the sire of Mucho. This is a fine Claiborne family where stamina influences abound.
We don’t really know yet what Mucho beat Saturday. Though the race was full of expensive runners from top outfits, and they never had a chance. It’s likely this dash will produce some prospects going forward as special weight events on Whitney Day often bring out runners.
With roughly 270 days until the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) it’s a bit too early to start that kind of talk. But I witnessed, in my opinion, the sharpest two-year-old winner at Saratoga through this juncture of the meeting.
I am very excited with the colt and would love to see him take a crack at the Hopeful (G1) on closing day, September 3. It’s safe to say that Mucho has us wanting more!
Photo by Teresa Genaro