Jockey Gary Stevens says Macho Uno has turned into a real professional.
The 4-year-old son of 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull spent most of the $500,000 Grade 2 Massachusetts Handicap in the middle of the pack and waited for mid-stretch before altering course and steaming to a 1 3/4-length victory Saturday at Suffolk Downs.
Evening Attire came in second, a neck ahead of defending MassCap champion Include. Special Terms finished fourth.
Macho Uno ran the 1 1/8 mile dirt course in 1:50.52.
Macho Uno paid $620, $3.40 and $2.20; Evening Attire, $5.40 and $3, and Include, $2.20. A $2 Perfecta paid $32.80.
"He is a much more professional horse than earlier in his career," Stevens said. "I don't want to say he will be Horse of the Year, but I hope he stays the way he is."
Macho Uno, who started from the No. 2 position, was checked behind a wall of horses nearing the eighth pole. Stevens decided to take him outside, then drove clear.
Macho Uno won the Eclipse Award as a champion 2-year-old in 2000 and pushed his earnings to $1,659,803 with Saturday's win.
It was the first stakes start for Macho Uno since the 2001 Breeders' Cup Classic, where he finished fourth. Wearing Stronach Stable colors, he scored a sharp allowance victory at Gulfstream as a prep for Saturday's effort.
"After his allowance win, I called Mr. (Frank) Stronach in Austria and told him that we could be looking at a Horse of the Year," trainer Joe Orseno said. "I think he's as good a horse that is out there in the handicap division. He's mentally grown up and physically filled out. I've told all my friends and anyone who would listen, 'Watch what my horse does this year.'"
Heavy favorite Siringas rallied in the stretch to build up a 1-length lead to capture Sunday's $250,000 Grade 2 Nassau Stakes for fillies and mares at Woodbine.
The 4-year-old bay filly with Jose Santos aboard allowed second-finisher Rosthern to set the pace and finished the 1 1/16-mile turf course in 1:41.01. The Irish-bred daughter of Barathea rallied three wide in the drive getting up in the final strides while lugging in badly.
Mountain Angel was third by a Neck and Nyphenburg finished fourth in the seven-horse field.
Siringas won $162,960 for owner Skymarc Farm Inc.
Siringas paid $3.50, $2.80 and $2.10; Rosthern, $9.40 and $4, and Mountain Angel, $2.40. The $2 Exacta paid $36.50.
Shaws Creek, fresh from a seven furlong win in the Queenston Stakes May 4, hung behind the pacesetters until the stretch then posted a 3/4-length win to capture Saturday's $150,000 Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine.
Jockey Jake Barton was worried early on as his 3-year-old son of Tejano Run settled in comfortably, four back.
"At no point do you ever think you have a race like this won," Barton said. "When I asked him to kick on, I actually asked him a little premature because he got in front and wanted to wander a bit. That horse (Classic Mike) came to him, he dug right in and he wasn't going to let him by.
Shaws Creek covered the 1 1/8-mile dirt course in 1:52.38. Classic Mike finished second and Anglian Prince was third.
Shaws Creek paid $10.10, $4.50 and $3.10; Classic Mike $6.50 and $4.40, and Anglian Prince, $4.10.
Shaws Creek stalked the early pace outside, rallying four wide at the turn before taking command mid-stretch. It was Shaws Creek's fourth win in only seven starts. The win, his third in stakes action, brings his bankroll to $376,995.
"This was his first time going two turns," trainer John Ross said of the Jam Jar Racing Stable's bay colt. "He was coming up to the race and training really well this week. He's progressing well and no doubt we are thrilled to death the way he's going forward."
Lord Juban made it three in a row, capturing Saturday's $75,000 Simply Majestic Stakes at Calder Race Course.
The win was Lord Juban's fifth of 10 turf starts. The bay colt covered the yielding 1 1/16-mile grass course in 1:45.23, 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Noble Jester. Erv's Creek was another 3/4 length back in third and Wild Buddy was fourth.
"He's still a little green but he answered several questions today, particularly handling softer turf," trainer Tim Ritvo said of the 3-year-old son of Lord Avie. "This was just another stepping stone for a horse that we think is going to be a good one. We've planned right along that if he won nicely today we'd take him up to the Virginia Derby."
Lord Juban paid $3.60, $3 and $2.40; Noble Jester, $8.60 and $5.40, and Erv's Creek, $6.80.
Irish-bred Doc Holiday set the pace and inched away from the pack to win Saturday's Grade 3 $100,000 Will Rogers Stakes at Hollywood Park.
"He got the lead easy today," jockey David Flores observed. "At the three-eighths pole, I just kind of tapped him a little bit and he was really ready to go."
Doc Holiday, a 3-year-old chestnut son of Dr Devious and owned by Jarvis Conway and the Jess Miller Trust, covered the mile on the turf in 1:34.64, outrunning a late challenge by Johar by a neck. Golden Arrow finished third, four lengths back, and True Phenomenon finished fourth. The win was Doc Holliday's third in 11 lifetime starts.
Doc Holliday paid $8.40, $3.40 and $3.80; Johar, $3.20 and $3.80, and Golden Arrow, $5.60.
It was a roaring finish for SJB Stable Trust's Madame Roar in Saturday's $60,000 Skipat Stakes at Pimlico.
With Jeremy Rose aboard, the 3-year-old daughter of Roar recovered from a bobbled start but quickly set the pace, moving two wide from her 1A gate position and was never threatened, covering the six furlong dirt course in 1:11.31.
Prized Stamp finished 2 1/2 lengths back in second, a head ahead of Karaoke Dancer. Cloud City was fourth.
Rose said he'd been trying to get the 4-year-old bay filly to relax.
"When I first rode her she was a speed freak, with speed like I'd never seen before," Rose said. "I think she could even go a little farther now. I'd go anywhere to ride her. She's an awesome filly with pure speed and a lot of talent."
Madame Roar paid $3.40, $2.40 and $2.10; Prized Stamp, $2.60 and $2.10, and Karaoke Dancer, $2.10.
Jockey Jason Lumpkins said he just gave Full Moon Madness a little smooch in riding him to a half-length victory in Saturday's $55,000 Saratoga Handicap at Bay Meadows.
"I wasn't asking him. I just smooched to him," Lumpkins said. "He's a big animal and he kept digging in."
Despite a slow start, Full Moon Madness ran the six furlongs in 1:08.32. Lumpkins said second finisher Echo Eddie bumped him at the eighth pole. Beyond Brilliant ran third.
Full Moon Madness paid $4.80, $2.60 and $2.40; Echo Eddie, $2.80 and $2.40, and Beyond Brilliant, $3.20.
In other weekend racing action:
In his first start since November, 8-year-old Kona Gold went three-wide into the stretch and showed what made him the nation's sprint champion two years ago to win Sunday's $100,000 Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park. Jockey Alex Solis didn't spare the whip in the final leg, bringing the bay gelding trained by Bruce Headley in 1 1/4 lengths ahead of No Armistice. Komax was a neck back in third and Radiata finished fourth. Kona Gold, the 2000 Eclipse Award winner, made his move at the 5/16 pole and finished the six-furlong dirt race in 1:08.72. Kona Gold paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.20; No Armistice, $2.80 and $2.60, and Komax, $3.20.
Magic Smoke stalked the pace outside on the backstretch before making her move in the deep stretch to capture Sunday's $75,000 Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood Park. Lafitte Pincay guided the 2-year-old daughter of Smokester to a 1 1/4-length victory over Little Bit a Swiss in 1:04.60 on the 5 1/2-furlong dirt track. My Honey Bunny was four lengths back in third and Himalayan finished fourth. Magic Smoke paid $25, $8.60 and $5.40; Little Bit a Swiss, $5.20 and $4, and My Honey Bunny, $4.20.
Tweedside drew clear at mid-stretch to win the Grade 2 $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap Saturday at Belmont Park. Tweedside drew wide approaching the stretch and prevailed under a drive to cover the 1 3/8-mile turf course in 2:13.63. Sweetest Thing finished second by a nose and Golden Corona was back by another nose in third. Owsley finished fourth. Tweedside, with Jorge Vasquez aboard, is a 4-year-old daughter of Thunder Gulch and owned by Eugene and Laura Melnyk. Tweedside paid $25.60, $10 and $7.90; Sweetest Thing, $3 and $2.60, and Golden Corona, $5.30.
Pisces and Classic Par picked up a dead heat victory Saturday in the $100,000 Louisville Handicap after Two Point Two Mill was disqualified for drifting in front of Rochester in mid-stretch. Red Mountain came in third by a nose and Riddlesdown was fourth. Two Point Two Mill, a 67-1 shot, appeared to have a clear half-length victory after sweeping six wide before the challenge was lodged. Pisces paid $3.80, $4.20 and $3.40; Classic Par $13.80, $13.60 and $8, and Red Mountain, $7.80.
Lily's Affair overtook leader Quiet Lake who faded in the stretch to win the $100,000 Nastique Stakes Saturday at Delaware Park. Lily's Affair, owned by Double A. Partnership, finished five lengths ahead of Border Fire. Quiet was a nose back for third. Mystic Lady finished fourth in the field of four, which had been reduced by two late scratches. Quiet Lake had a clear lead on the second turn, pressing the pace three wide but weakened in the final furlong. Border Fire got off to a slow start and was no match for Lily's Affair. Lily's Affair paid $18.40 and $81.20; Border Fire $90.60.
McMahon went clear entering the bend and maintained a clear advantage to the wire to capture Saturday's $100,000 Precisionist Handicap at Prairie Meadows. McMahon, with K.A. Shino aboard, finished two lengths ahead of E Z Glory in 1:41.65. Halo Kris was five lengths back in third and Miner's Prize finished fourth. McMahon paid $7.80, $2.80 and $3.20; E Z Glory, $2.40 and $2.40, and Halo Kris paid $4.80.
Distinctive Mr. B set a pressured pace and took a clear lead in the stretch to capture the $75,000 Glassy Dip Stakes at Hawthorne Saturday. The bay son of Rare Brick, owned by Terrence Brown, finished 3/4 length ahead of Aloha. Grey Cart was 2 1/4 lengths back in third and Red Lightning finished fourth. Distinctive Mr. B paid $38, $10.60 and $5.40, Aloha bold, $2.60 and $2.40, and Grey Cart, $5.40.