Review of Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 5

Race 10. Mucho Macho Man Stakes. For three-year-old at one mile on dirt. Purse $100,000.

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Garter and Tie Tyler Gaffalione Ralph E. Nicks 6/1
2 Well Define Carlos Montalvo Kathleen O’Connell 5/1
3 Trophy Chaser Leonel Reyes Juan Carlos Avila 4/1
4 Code of Honor John Velazquez Claude McGaughey III 7/5
5 Gladiator King Jorge Urdaneta Jaime Mejia 12/1
6 Mihos Jose L. Ortiz James A. Jerkens 7/2

Code of Honor has found a perfect race to kick off his 2019 Kentucky Derby Trail. He won his debut in gate-to-wire fashion at Saratoga. His debut effort was impressive and unexpected. He overcame a stumble at the start of the Champagne Stakes (Grade I) to rally from last place and finish a strong second behind the front-running Complexity. He missed the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with an illness. He was training towards the Remsen Stakes (Grade II), but ultimately skipped that race as well after failing to train as enthusiastically as in the past. He has posted only four recent workouts, none of them longer than a half-mile. This could be a “give-him-one” race with bigger prize in May. Code of Honor is vulnerable to an upset this Saturday.

Well Defined was a 7 1/2 length winner of the 8.5-furlong Florida Sire In Reality Stakes at Gulfstream Park in September. That performance prompted a start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I), but from the moment the gates opened Well Defined was in trouble. A slow start required jockey Mike Smith to vigorously urge Well Defined to assume his customary position on the lead, but Well Defined wasn’t quite quick enough to hold his position and wound up racing behind and inside of horses heading around the first turn. At that point, Well Defined put his head up, backed out of the pocket, and gradually retreated from there to finish twelfth while never asked for much run in the final few furlongs.

Well Defined should rebound in here and the drop in class, returning to Gulfstream Park, and returning to his on the lead style should be enough to be a major factor in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes.

Gladiator King and Trophy Chaser will be near the leader, Well Defined, racing out of the chute and down the long Gulfstream Park backstretch.

Our Top Three Picks

  • Well Define
  • Code of Honor
  • Trophy Chaser

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