HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Colts Neck Stables’ Awesome Speed has been entered in Saturday’s $100,000 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park, where the Alan Goldberg-trained colt is slated to seek his third straight victory in the mile stakes for newly turned 3-year-olds.
The Mucho Macho and the $100,000 Hutcheson (G3), the first important stakes for 3-year-olds on the 2016 calendar, will highlight a five-stakes program that includes the $100,000 Old Hat (G3), the $100,000 Dania Beach (G3) and the $100,000 Ginger Brew.
The promising career of Awesome Speed hardly got off to an auspicious start Aug. 31 at Parx Racing, where he finished a distant seventh after never being in contention.
“That was puzzler,” Goldberg said. “We had expected a pretty good race. He was doing well, training well. He got hit by dirt and just didn’t seem to run into it.”
Despite the disappointing debut, Awesome Speed continued to train well for his second start, making his connections cautiously confident. The son of Awesome Again ran to his training, scoring a going-away 3 ¾-length triumph at Laurel Oct. 10.
“He ran terrible in his first race and we didn’t understand it. He trained well for his first race; he trained well for his next start,” Goldberg said. “He ran his second start like he was supposed to run the first time.”
Awesome Speed came right back to win the six-furlong James F. Lewis III Stakes at Laurel No. 14, continuing to make amends for his baffling debut. Goldberg doesn’t expect the stretch out to a mile to be a problem.
“We’ll keep him around one turn and see how he gets a mile and go from there,” he said. “He’s not a big old heavy horse. He has a pretty long stride, so we’re hopeful.”
Joel Rosario has been named to ride Awesome Speed for the first time.
Jacks Or Better Farm’s Fellowship ascended to the top of the Florida-bred pack when he captured the $500,000 In Reality, the Florida Sire Stakes series finale at Gulfstream Oct.3. Stanley Gold has seized the opportunity to see where the son of Awesome of Course stands among some of the best open-company 3-year-olds by entering the late-charging homebred in the Mucho Macho Man.
Fellowship surged from 12th at the top of the stretch to capture the 1 1/16-mile In Reality by 4 ½ lengths going away. He followed up the big-money score with a second-place finish in the Juvenile Sprint for Florida-bred horses at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 7, closing from last while cutting back to 6 ½ furlongs. Fellowship stretched out to a mile in the Smooth Air Stakes at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 28, again closing from last to finish second behind highly promising Rafting.
“I’m not sure how much potential he’s got,” said Gold, who awarded Jose Caraballo with the return mount. “It makes you hopeful that he’ll keep on going and go long because of his running style. We’ll find out.”
Trainer Juan Andres Rodriguez and Golden Legacy Stable entered a pair of horses in the Mucho Macho Man: El Charro, who finished fourth in the Smooth Air, and Golden Ray, who captured an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Dec. 18.
El Charro broke his maiden by nearly five lengths at Gulfstream Aug. 29 before finishing fifth in the In Reality. The son of Put It Back went on to win an optional claiming allowance by 8 ¼ lengths at Gulfstream Park West prior to his fourth in the Smooth Air. Golden Ray has won two straight races at the mile distance.
Luis Saez has been named to ride El Charro, while Joel Rosario has the mount on Golden Ray. Wilfredo Agusti’s Aggressive Driver, a front-running three-length maiden winner at Gulfstream Park West last time out, is slated to stretch out from seven furlongs to a mile. Trained by Oscar Gonzalez, the son of First Dude previously had lost a photo finish for the win in his debut at Gulfstream Sept. 26.
Four Horse Racing Stable and Lady Lindsay Racing Stable’s Bullet Gone Astray, an easy winner of the Mountaineer Juvenile last summer; and Crossed Sabres Farm’s Picadilly Roadster, a maiden winner at Gulfstream Park two starts back; round out the seven-horse field.
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