Tommy Macho draws away in Discovery
Tommy Macho seized command leaving the far turn and easily proved best in Wednesday’s $150,000 Discovery H. (G3), scoring by 4 ¼ lengths in the Veteran’s Day feature at Aqueduct. The Macho Uno colt provided Todd Pletcher with his sixth career victory in the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds.
Madefromlucky closed belatedly to complete the exacta for Pletcher, who also sent out fifth-place finisher First Spark in the seven-horse field.
After placing in the Dwyer (G3) and most recently the Pennsylvania Derby (G2), Tommy Macho registered his first stakes tally for owners Paul Pompa Jr. and All American Horses. His only unplaced showing was a seventh in the West Virginia Derby (G2) two starts previously. The Kentucky-bred has now earned $363,050 from a 7-3-0-3 record.
Jockey Javier Castellano hustled his mount from the starting gate and Tommy Macho tracked in second as 8-5 favorite Ocean Knight established opening fractions of :24.25 and :49.45 on the sloppy track. The pair drew even rounding the far turn, with Tommy Macho sticking a head in front through three-quarters in 1:14.63.
Cornering four wide into the straightaway, Tommy Macho eliminated any suspense as he drew clear by midstretch, reaching the mile mark in 1:39.05 with a three-length advantage. The winner continued to draw off in the final furlong, stopping the teletimer in 1:51.67.
Tommy Macho left the starting gate as the 7-2 third choice in the wagering. Madefromlucky, the 2-1 second favorite, edged Ocean Knight by a length in deep stretch. Smart Transition wound up another neck back in fourth.
Total Joint and Made in Detroit completed the order of finish.
Bred by John Liviakis, Tommy Macho sold for $25,000 as a yearling at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale. He’s the first stakes winner from the Awesome Again mare Starstream and this is the extended female family of 1992 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner and $2.6-million earner Fraise.
Todd Pletcher: "[Tommy Macho] ran a sneaky good race in the West Virginia Derby. The inside was very dead that day and he got stuck on the rail the whole way. Then I thought he ran an incredible third in the Pennsylvania Derby. He tends to run well fresh and I don't think he minded the off track.
"He's a horse that's continued to train well. He's developed physically into a stronger fall 3-year-old than he was in the spring and you always like to see that. He's trained extremely well coming into this and he's run well fresh. We've kind of been targeting this for a little while. It didn't hurt our feelings when it came up wet, he's got a big wet track pedigree. I thought he worked out a really good trip.
"I think he's continuing to improve. He behaved much more professionally today than he has at times in the past. Sometimes, he can get a little animated in the paddock and around the starting gate [but] he behaved himself pretty well today.
"We felt like Ocean Knight was the horse to beat and was the main pace in the race, and we didn't want to allow him to walk the dog up front. So we felt like Tommy Macho's running style would hopefully, if he broke well, put him in a position to keep some pressure on the favorite. I thought Madefromlucky probably would've appreciated a little better post position than he got. It seemed like he lost some momentum in the far turn and once he found some clearance, he came on again down the lane.
"I actually thought [First Spark] ran pretty well. It was his first time in a stakes. He could've benefited from a little hotter pace up front, but he put in a good middle move, just hung a little bit in the last part. I think he's a horse we might leave here this winter and hopefully develop into a stakes horse."
Javier Castellano: "Beautiful Trip. My only concern was getting a good break out of the gate. Sometimes he misses the break, but today he felt sharp. I give all the credit to Mr. Pletcher. He did all the right things with this horse, schooling him in the mornings and it showed here this afternoon. He broke out of the gate perfect and I knew I had enough horse in the stretch coming home."
Tommy Macho photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese Photography