Macho Again wins Derby Trial
There were no lawyers, no judge and no jury, but Macho Again proved his case to win the $100,000 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs. Macho Again had to find his footing at the break, but he was eager early before settling comfortably for jockey Julien Leparoux. Macho Again laid sixth about five-lengths back behind a quarter in 22.2 and a half in 45 flat. Engaged from the outside heading into the turn for home, Macho Again kicked on in tandem with Majestic Warrior. Macho Again continued his charge through the turn drawing on nearly even terms with the pacesetter. Macho Again was bumped soundly at the top of the stretch when Majestic Warrior shifted in, but Macho Again remained strong and determinedly continued his march to the front grinding away at the deficit before collaring the leader in the final stages to score a half-length win. The running time for the seven and a half-furlongs was a strong 1:28.2 just over two-fifths of a second off the track record.
Trainer Dallas Stewart said, "I appreciate the support I have gotten with this colt. We know he doesn't like polytrack, but he's a nice colt. We found the right spot for him today. The distance hit him perfectly, and he kept running despite the adversity he faced. He showed a ton of heart against a very strong field. These horses were no pushover."
Jockey Julien Leparoux said, "My horse settled into a comfortable rhythm down the backstretch. He was very eager at the start, but he relaxed beautifully. When he got bumped at the top of the stretch he got angry and just kept coming. I felt confident. All he needed to do was see Kodiak Cowboy and he never stopped. He ran great."
A three-year-old son of Macho Uno, Macho Again earned $68,569 for the win. The victory pushed his career earnings over $143,000 from eight career starts.