The $100,000 Mucho Macho Man Stakes will run as Race 10 on the Jan. 2 card at Gulfstream Park.
The event for 3-year-olds will cover one mile on dirt and include names like Mutasaabeq, Pickin’ Time, and Big Thorn among the field of 10.
Here is a look at the top runners set for the Mucho Macho Man Stakes.
Betting Preview: Mutasaabeq, Pickin’ Time
The morning-line favorite coming in at 5/2 is Shadwell Stable’s Mutasaabeq. The son of Into Mischief is trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher.
He has a career record of 2-0-1 from four starts and earnings of $199,600.
The colt is coming off a 10thplace run in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Keeneland, which followed a victory in the Oct. 4 Bourbon Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. He also took third in the Nov. 7 Runhappy Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Saratoga and first in an Aug. 8 maiden special weight race at the track.
Mutasaabeq will break from post 5 under Luis Saez.
He will be up against the 3/1 Pickin’ Time, owned by John Bowers, Jr. The Stay Thirsty colt is trained by Kelly Breen.
He is 3-1-0 from six career starts with earnings of $193,025.
Last time out, he took fourth in the Dec. 5 Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct. The colt’s victories include the Nov. 8 Nashua Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct and the Sept. 27 Smoke Glacken Stakes (Black Type) at Monmouth Park. He also finished second in the Sept. 6 Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Pickin’ Time will break from post 7 under rider Joe Bravo.
Betting Preview: Big Thorn
Another runner to look out for is Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s Big Thorn. The son of The Big Beast is trained by David Fawkes and has a morning line at 5/1.
He is 2-1-0 from three career starts with earnings of $70,556.
The colt’s most-recent run was a Nov. 22 victory in the Juvenile Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park West, which followed an Oct. 29 maiden special weight win at the track. His other performance was a runner-up effort in a Sept. 26 maiden special weight race at Gulfstream Park.
Big Thorn will have to overcome the outside post 10 under jockey Paco Lopez.
The rest of the field (post, morning line) is set to include: Ultimate Badger (Post 1, 15/1); Jirafales (Post 2, 15/1); Easy Time (Post 3, 12/1); Kiger (Post 4, 8/1); Awesome Gerry (Post 6, 6/1); Raison d’Air (Post 8, 12/1); and Papetu (Post 9, 20/1).
Free Betting Pick
Grade 2 winner and favorite Mutasaabeq is going to be hard to beat in this one. He earned a grade 1 placing in his most recent dirt start. He will be looking to bounce back after an off-the-board run last time out, where he never really threatened and finished 10th. However, he came up from 11thin the start before that to take his turf debut in the Bourbon Stakes. He also has a Hall of Fame trainer in Pletcher, who says the horse can handle both surfaces well.
Spooky Express Free Pick: Mutasaabeq
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