Tommy Macho got the best of stablemate Madefromlucky for the second straight start Nov. 11 atAqueduct Racetrack, taking the $150,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) by a commanding margin. Watch Video
The 3-year-old Macho Uno colt, owned by Paul Pompa Jr. and All American Horses and trained by Todd Pletcher, pressed the pace of frontrunner Ocean Knight through the backstretch and into the final turn of the 1 1/8-mile event on a sloppy main track and kicked clear in the stretch to win by 4 1/4 lengths.
"We felt like Ocean Knight was the horse to beat and was the main pace in the race, and we didn't want to allow him to walk the dog up front," Pletcher said. "So we felt like Tommy Macho's running style would hopefully—if he broke well—put him in a position to keep some pressure on the favorite."
Madefromlucky, one of three Pletcher entries in the seven-horse field, stalked and rallied late to finish second, followed by Ocean Knight, who held for third.
Ocean Knight set fractions of :24.25, :49.45, and 1:14.63 through six furlongs, and Tommy Macho finished off the nine furlongs in 1:51.67.
"My only concern was getting a good break out of the gate," said winning jockey Javier Castellano. "Sometimes he misses the break, but today he felt sharp... He broke out of the gate perfect and I knew I had enough horse in the stretch coming home."
It was the first graded win for Tommy Macho, who finished third in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) last time out, when Madefromlucky finished seventh. A start prior, Tommy Macho finished seventh in Madefromlucky's victory in the West Virginia Derby (gr. II).
"(He) ran a sneaky good race in the West Virginia Derby," Pletcher said of Tommy Macho. "The inside was very dead that day and he got stuck on the rail the whole way. Then I thought he ran an incredible third in the Pennsylvania Derby. He tends to run well fresh and I don't think he minded the off track."
The winner paid $9.30, $4.50, and $2.80 across the board. Madefromlucky brought $3.40 and $2.60, while 8-5 favorite Ocean Knight delivered $2.40 to show.
Smart Transition finished an even fourth, followed by First Spark,Total Joint, and Made in Detroit to complete the order of finish.
Tommy Macho, out of the Awesome Again mare Starstream, was bred in Kentucky by John Liviakis. He now has a 3-0-3 record from seven starts with $363,050 in earnings.