pace in your face with a can of mace

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

August 30th, 2013

Can he be there on Saturday in the Woodward? The pace figures easily say yes. With Fort Larned out, Paynter and Mucho Macho Man are tied for the best early pace last race figure. Early pace measures from the start to the first call, and it's several points back to Flat Out and the rest.

Like most high-class animals racing in quality races, Mucho Macho Man goes faster for the first six furlongs than he does for the first half mile. His E2 pace rating (start to second call) was 109 last time, but that's not even close to what he's capable of. When he won the Suburban last year he popped a 100 through half a mile and then a 117 through six furlongs and kept on going.

I'm betting on the come here, because there is no guarantee he'll keep on going this time, but I do think there's a better than 20% chance that he does, and that makes him a good play.

Take a look at the race summary below and check out how Mucho Macho Man stacks up against the rest in average and best pace. Is he a standout? No, but considering the prices I think he's the obvious bet.

The Forego is a different situation, as I'm playing against the speed in this race, but I don't think Lea is as much of a stretch as everyone else.

Lea was everyone's sexy pick to upset Horse of the Year Wise Dan in both the Firecracker and Fourstardave Handicaps. He was 9-to-2 in both attempts and never really threatened the dual champion with a now-eight-race winning streak. He'll be at least double (and more likely triple) that price in the Forego with a lot of positive angles in play, including going turf to dirt on the cut back.

It's also worth noting that his best race came in a one-turn dirt affair. Granted, that was off the turf on a sloppy track, but there is no reason to think that Lea can't fulfill his promise with a Grade 1 win here.

WAGERING STRATEGY: I'll play Lea across the board. There's no reason to get cute in exotics when he'll be a square price and you'll get paid just for hitting the board. As for the Woodward, Mucho Macho Man is a win-place candidate.

As for multiple-race wagers, there's an all-graded-stakes Pick 3 that begins with the Bernard Baruch, and Silver Max is a single for me in there and a win bet at odds of 8-to-5 or better (I'll single him down to even money). I'll play him with ALL in the Forego and the aforementioned quartet in the Woodward for $32. I'll also give myself a chance to really by right by playing Silver Max-Lea and Lea-Mucho Macho Man doubles.

Good luck!