A Jim Dandy Day For Macho Again
Macho Again proved that he is one of the best (and grittiest) three-year-olds in the country by winning his first Graded Stakes in Sunday’s $500,000 Grade 2 Jim Dandy. Nobody who saw his determined victory or the masterful ride by pilot Julian Leparoux will forget either any time soon.
Overlooked by bettors and fans alike, Macho Again entered the storied Saratoga paddock like it was another day at the office. Little did the racing world know that this gutsy colt would make his mark in New York racing history 21 minutes and 51.16 seconds later.
As anticipated, Mint Lane and Da’Tara hooked up early in a speed duel covering the rest of the field with the mud left by a cloudburst an hour earlier. The two leaders folded after swift early fractions of 23.51, 46.94 and 1:11. 82. Macho Again spent the majority of the race tucked in a rail-skimming and ground saving position. Midway on the turn Julien Leparoux angled Macho Again out but ended up in traffic between horses nearing the quarter pole.
At this point, Leparoux looked first to the inside for a seam and then quickly decided to move Macho Again to the outside of Tiz Now Tiz Then. That gave Macho Again his chance to strike. From that point Macho Again took charge and surged past Tiz Now Tiz Then to take the lead. In deep stretch, Macho Again repelled a late bid from favorite Pyro. He won by a margin of a length and a half and covered the mile and an eighth in 1:51.16.
Trainer Dallas Stewart was beaming after the victory stating, “This was my first stakes win as a trainer at Saratoga. I’m so excited. This colt likes to stalk, so the pace was exactly what we needed. I’m glad everyone got to see how good this colt is.” Jockey, Julien Leparoux, added “My colt was so game today. He wasn’t going to let that horse pass him at the wire. He just kept digging in. He was great.”
Macho Again earned $300,000 for his effort. If all goes well in the next few weeks, he’ll contest the Travers Stakes on August 23.