Todd A. Pletcher Racing Stables, Inc.

Tommy Macho Wins Hooper

Tommy Macho wins the Fred W. Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Tommy Macho Wins Hooper

Paul Pompa Jr.'s Tommy Macho powered to the front around the far turn and fended off game longshot Conquest Big E to snap a six-race losing streak in the $175,000 Fred W. Hooper Stakes (G3)Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park.

Tommy Macho was the 2-1 favorite in his season debut for trainer Todd Pletcher. Unraced since running fourth in the Sept. 23 Kelso Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park,  it was the sixth victory and third at Gulfstream for the 6-year-old Macho Uno  horse, who won the Hooper in 2016 and took the Hal's Hope Stakes (G3) in January of 2017, which was his most recent win until Saturday.

Moves Like Ali was fastest from the gate and took the field through a quarter-mile in :24.09 and a half in :46.57, as jockey Luis Saez had Tommy Macho poised to strike in the clear three wide. As three-quarters went in 1:10.79, the eventual winner surged to the lead approaching the stretch. He was followed by 15-1 Conquest Big E, who chased down the lane as they separated from their rivals, but was unable to get by.

"That stretch run was really impressive," Saez said. "He was really ready for this race today. He broke well, we got a perfect position, and when we hit the stretch, he just took off." 

Tommy Macho ran the mile in 1:36.10 over a fast main track to win by three-quarters of a length over Conquest Big E. He returned $6.20, $4.40, and $3, while the runner-up brought $11.60 and $6.20. Tale of Silence ($3.40) finished third, another 4 1/4 lengths back, with Giuseppe the Great fourth. FrammentoFirst GrowthBeasleyEight Town, and Moves Like Alicompleted the order of finish.

"He's a cool horse," Pletcher said. "I give the horse a lot of credit. He loves Gulfstream. He loves the one-turn mile. He's been awfully good to us. We'll probably skip the (Feb. 24 Hal's Hope) and go to the race on March 31 (the grade 2 Gulfstream Park Mile)."


Tommy Macho was bred in Kentucky by John Liviakis, out of the Awesome Again  mare Starstream, and sold for $25,000 to Juan Naciff through the War Horse Place consignment to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall 2013 yearling sale. 

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