Macho Again runs second in Super Derby
Macho Again once again proved his guts, tenacity and sheer competitive spirit as he finished second in the Super Derby(G2) at Louisiana Downs on Saturday. The winner, My Pal Charlie, got a dream trip, saving ground down on the rail just behind the front-runner for the length of the race, and having the rail open up for him in the stretch behind the tiring leader. Macho got up for second, but had to do it the very very hard way. The pan and head-on replays show just how many obstacles he had to overcome from start to finish and how none of them took a fraction off his will to give one-hundred and ten percent.
After one of his patented lunging breaks, as he embarked on his mile and an eighth journey, Macho Again was brushed by his outside neighbor. Unphased, he angled over to the rail with a view to a ground-saving trip. Through the clubhouse turn and down the length of the backstretch, however, the bunched front-runners took on the look of a freeway - bumper-to-bumper at high speed. Macho was down on the rail, third in line and traffic kept shifting in the two and three paths. The head-on shows him practically obscured behind a wall of horses for the length of the backstretch. Going into the stretch turn, traffic got even tighter, forcing Macho to check slightly and costing him ground. That might have taken some horses out of race, but not Macho. At the top of the stretch, the crowd in front of him started to loosen up a little. The front-runner tired and moved off the rail leaving a hole for the eventual winner, but there was no clear sailing even then for Macho. He now found himself again in need of running room on the rail and had to angle to the outside. Now, the leader got a chance to spurt ahead in a straight path to put an insurmountable margin between him and the traffic behind. Macho did the only thing left for him: to win the race behind the winner, which he did by a neck with his characteristic grit and will to win. The final time of the race was a fast, a stakes record 1.48:36, which is just over two ticks off the track record.
Macho came out of the race in excellent shape and good spirits. A couple hours later he had cooled out, had his dinner and was "bucking and squealing" in his his stall. He's a fighter and he's a happy horse. Hat's off again to Macho Again, who just gave us yet one more reason to appreciate what a special colt he is and one more reason to wish that the racing gods could be a little kinder to him.