Macho Again runs second in Preakness(G1)
"History never looks like history when you are living through it." - John W. Gardner
History is a funny subject. Historic moments are rarely known while they occur. However, on Saturday, Macho Again stepped into the spotlight and grabbed a piece of history by running second in the 133rd Preakness Stakes(G1). On a day when the eyes of the racing world tuned in to see if Big Brown could take the next step toward immortality, Macho Again emerged from the shadows to announce himself a contender in the three-year old division.
Breaking from the rail, Macho Again got away extremely alertly. Jockey Julien Leparoux got Macho Again to settle while saving ground through the first turn. Macho Again sat comfortably in sixth through a quarter-mile and half-mile. Macho Again was shuffled back to eighth after six-furlongs. Leparoux was caught down inside and had to briefly check at the quarter-pole, but he swung Macho Again five wide in the stretch. Macho Again responded gamely when set down for the drive and rallied stoutly down the center of the track to get up for second by a half-length.
While Big Brown captured the Black Eyed Susans, Macho Again earned his own place in history. He became the first West Point Thoroughbreds horse to place in a Triple Crown race and is now Grade 1 placed. In a year with a superstar in the making, Macho Again proved that he takes a back seat to nobody. When we look back upon this day years from now, we will understand exactly the context of this moment in history.
Trainer Dallas Stewart said, "I was saying all week he was a two-turn horse. He hadn't had the chance to prove himself. He showed he can go two turns, and he can run against the nice horses." He really, really ran great. I knew he was a real nice horse and came home great. He hooked a superstar. Big Brown really threw it down. You have to admire a performance like that."
Jockey Julien Leparoux said, ""We just got beat by a monster. He might just be a Triple Crown winner. We ran huge and that's very important. This is kind of the best second place I've ever had. I don't like to be second, but it's not bad to be second to this horse."
West Point Thoroughbreds President Terry Finley said, "We came into the race a little bit unnoticed. We were quietly confident, but we did not go around all week promoting ourselves. We're in this sport to compete. You have to prove your merits on the track. We knew how tough Big Brown would be, but we were not going to shy away from one horse. If your horse runs as well as they can, then that is all you can ask for. We did that, and we proved to everyone that Macho Again belonged."
A son of Macho Uno, Macho Again now has three wins and three seconds from nine career starts. His career earnings now exceed $343,000.