Mucho Macho Man ranks as Big ‘Cap highweight with 124
Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man has been assigned top weight of
124 pounds for Saturday’s Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap, with Classic
runner-up and Eclipse champion Will Take Charge assigned second-high weight of
123 pounds. Two-time Big ‘Cap winner Game On Dude has been assigned 122.
Owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Stronach Stables, Mucho Macho Man, a
six-year-old horse by Macho Uno, is trained by Kathy Ritvo. A dazzling 14-length
winner versus Florida-breds in the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Jan.
18, “MMM” seeks his 10th win in what will be his 25th career start. He has
earnings of $5,580,410.
Voted America’s top three-year-old in 2013, Will Take Charge was beaten a
scant nose in the Breeders’ Cup Classic November 2, and followed that with a
game head victory over two-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude in the
Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 29, and was second, beaten 1 1/2
lengths, in his most recent start, the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream on February
Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, “WTC,” a four-year-old colt by Unbridled’s Song,
is owned by Willis D. Horton and Three Chimneys Farm, LLC. With $3,155,148 in
earnings, he has six wins and four seconds from 16 lifetime starts.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Game On Dude, a record-breaking 7 3/4 length winner
of last year’s Big ‘Cap, seeks to become the first three-time winner in the
77-year history of America’s longest continually run hundred grander.
Owned by Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride, LLC, the Lanni Family Trust, Mercedes
Stable, LLC and Bernard Schiappa, Game On Dude, a seven-year-old Awesome Again
gelding, has 15 wins, six seconds and one third place finish from 30 starts. He
has earnings of $5,713,893.
With 16 nominations, the weights and trainers for the Santa Anita Handicap
are as follows:
|Mucho Macho Man||124||Kathy Ritvo|
|Will Take Charge||123||D. Wayne Lukas|
|Game on Dude||122||Bob Baffert|
|Fury Kapcori||115||Jerry Hollendorfer|
|Govenor Charlie||115||Bob Baffert|
|Long River||115||Kiaran McLaughlin|
|American Blend||114||Carla Gaines|
|Appealing Tale||114||Peter Miller|
|Clubhouse Ride||114||Craig Lewis|
|Hear the Ghost||114||Jerry Hollendorfer|
|Majestic Harbor||114||Sean McCarthy|
Mucho Macho Man will also be installed as the morning line favorite for the
Big ‘Cap, according to Jon White, Santa Anita Park’s oddsmaker. But, White
added, Will Take Charge will be a close second choice.
“In trying to determine Big ‘Cap favoritism, a key reason for making Mucho
Macho Man the morning line favorite over Will Take Charge is Mucho Macho Man was
a shorter price than Will Take Charge in the Breeders’ Cup Classic,” explained
White, who also provides pre-race commentary for the track’s simulcast network.
“Mucho Macho Man was 4-1 in the Classic, while Will Take Charge was 8-1. And
since that race, Mucho Macho Man has done absolutely nothing wrong. He won the
Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park by 14 lengths, though, truthfully,
that really was nothing more than a paid workout. Will Take Charge won the Clark
Handicap at Churchill Downs after the Breeders’ Cup, then ran second in the Donn
Handicap at Gulfstream.
“Even though Will Take Charge did not win the Donn, he ran well. The winner,
Lea, broke the track record (for 1 1/8 miles). But any way you slice it, Mucho
Macho Man is going into the Big ‘Cap off a 14-length win, while Will Take Charge
is going into it off a loss.
“Another reason for making Mucho Macho Man the favorite is his excellent
record on Santa Anita’s main track. Mucho Macho Man ran a very good race on
Santa Anita’s main track when he finished second to Fort Larned in the Breeders’
Cup Classic in 2012. He also won the Awesome Again on Santa Anita’s main track
before last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.”
White expects the Big ‘Cap betting on Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge to
“Right now, while reserving the right to make last-minute adjustments based
on the field size and any late developments, I’m planning to make Mucho Macho
Man the 9-5 favorite, with (Will Take Charge) 2-1 and Game On Dude 5-2,” White
When White made the official morning line for last year’s Breeders’ Cup
Classic, he installed Game On Dude as the 8-5 favorite and he left the starting
gate at 8-5. But White said he believes it is unlikely that the bettors will
make Game On Dude the favorite in Saturday’s Big ‘Cap.
“Game On Dude has been the betting favorite in his last 15 straight races in
this country,” White noted. “But I don’t think he will be the favorite this
time. He’s going into this year’s Big ‘Cap with a three-race losing streak. He
finished far behind both Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge in the Breeders’
Cup Classic. Then he got beat by Will Take Charge in the Clark. And then he ran
fifth as a heavy favorite in the Santa Antonio.
“But while it’s true that Game On Dude has lost three in a row and didn’t hit
the board in the San Antonio, one still has to take into consideration that he
is a two-time Big ‘Cap winner and he does have a terrific record on Santa
Anita’s main track — seven wins from 10 starts.
“I think it’s very difficult to try and predict just how much Game On Dude’s
stock with the bettors has fallen now that he’s lost three straight. Would I be
surprised if he goes off higher than 5-2? No, that really wouldn’t surprise me.
On the other hand, considering Game On Dude has been the favorite in 15 straight
races in this country, I also wouldn’t be surprised if he goes off lower than
“All in all, it’s wonderful to see three outstanding older horses like Mucho
Macho Man, Will Take Charge and Game On Dude clash in this year’s Big ‘Cap.”
Entries for the Santa Anita Handicap will be taken Wednesday. First post time
on Big ‘Cap Day will be at noon (PST). Admission gates will open at 10 a.m.