Five alumni from the 2011 Kentucky Derby - including Mucho Macho Man and Shackleford - are set to run at various tracks through Monday.
Mucho Macho Man, third behind Animal Kingdom and Nehro in the Derby, is 3 of 4 this year and is seeking his first Grade 1 win in the Woodward. The 8-5 favorite is coming off an impressive win in the Suburban Handicap with jockey Mike Smith, who’ll be aboard again.
One of his toughest challengers could be an old rival – Stay Thirsty, who was 12th in the Derby. The son of Bernardini is at home on the Saratoga dirt, with 3 of 4 wins and a second. He’s trained by Todd Pletcher, who’s having his usual stellar meet at the Spa, winning at a 25 percent clip.
In the Grade 1 Forego Stakes, the popular chestnut Shackleford hopes to bounce back from a disappointing last-place finish over a muddy track in the Vanderbilt Handicap. Trainer Dale Romans blamed the off track for the loss and said he expects the son of Forestry to give a good showing. Shackleford finished fourth in the Derby after setting the pace and went on to win the Preakness Stakes.
Bob Baffert’s Midnight Interlude, 16th in the Derby, looks to notch his fourth career win in the Harry Brubaker Stakes on synthetic at Del Mar. Del Mar’s leading rider, Rafael Bejarano, will pilot the son of War Chant.
On Monday, Watch Me Go – who had a troubled start and finished 18th in the Derby with Bejarano aboard – will compete in the Ruidoso Downs Thoroughbred Championship Handicap for trainer Weston Martin.
The Forego and Woodward will be televised on NBC-TV from 5-6 p.m. ET.
Photo by J.J. Hysell