Macho Again Runs 8th in the Travers
Anyone trying the leave the Saratoga racetrack on Saturday afternoon experienced a watered down version of what Macho Again had to undergo about half an hour earlier when he finished 8th in the Travers Stakes: traffic and frustration. What is more, Macho Again's trip, unlike most trips home from the track, was filled with traps and dangers, and we all feel incredibly lucky that he only ended up a little banged up after the fact. Things could have been much worse.
Macho broke well and stayed with the leading group through much of race. In the first turn and down the backstretch, he was positioned fifth or sixth, but never more than a handful of lengths off the lead, in and among horses, but going very comfortably. At the top of the turn, however, things started to go downhill fast. He began to find himself in very tight traffic all around and then, at the top of in the stretch, very nearly went down when he clipped heels in tight. The stumble effectively took him out of the race and Leparoux took him to the outside to finish up.
Disappointment that Macho was never put in a position to get a chance to run his race was immediately replaced by something much worse, when he came up limping in front afterwards. A couple of agonizing hours later, the x-rays thankfully came back all negative. Macho Again was favoring his leg, it turns out, after hitting a nerve on the back of the ankle.
Needless to say, Dallas experienced the full range of emotions on Saturday, from disappointment, to fear to relief, but ended up expressing that tough spirit, which makes him and Macho a good match: "He almost fell down. It stung him pretty good. Thank goodness, he's OK. The bones are fine, and he ate up good. We'll live to fight another day."
Macho Again will return to Kentucky to regroup. Currently the plan is to fly him back this week. Dallas and Terry will determine whether it is best for Macho Again to take a little time after his tough spring and summer campaign or to forge on ahead.