Claimed for $20,000 from a maiden race at Del Mar last
summer, Big Macher climaxed his rise to stakes prominence with an upset
of odds-on favored Goldencents in the featured Grade I $300,000 Bing
Crosby Stakes Sunday.
With Tyler Baze in the irons, Big Macher held off the
furious closing rush of Goldencents in the final sixteenth to win by a
half-length in 1:08.82 for the six furlongs.
“Did I get any special instructions? Oh, no. I gave the
instructions," said winning rider Baze. "Richard (trainer Richard Baltas) tends to be a little
serious. He was all wound up in the paddock. I said: ‘Richard I got
this. Don’t worry.’ I have so much confidence in this horse. He’s all
racehorse with a huge, huge heart. I get on him in the mornings and I
know how good he really is. They’ve found out he does well with time
between his races. They gave him some time for this and he came back
running. I had a beautiful trip today and I had the right horse.”
Seeking the Sherif, who battled with the winner entering
the stretch, faded to third, 1 ½ lengths behind Goldencents and a length
in front of Indexical in the field of seven sprinters. Wine Police was
scratched from the original field.
Big Macher, a four-year-old gelded son of Beau Genius
owned by Tachycardia Stables and Mansor and trained by Richard Baltas,
was claimed by his present owners July 17, 2013 from a maiden claiming
race in which he finished seventh of 12 horses after breaking slowly.
He broke his maiden three starts later for a $40,000
claiming tag at Santa Anita and since then has won five of eight races
with two seconds and a third. The Crosby marked his first start since he
won the Grade II Portrero Grande at Santa Anita in April.
Sent postward at 9-1, Big Macher rewarded his backers with
$21.20, $6.20 and $4.40 across the board. First money of $180,000
boosted his earnings to $496,428.
Additionally, since the Bing Crosby Stakes is part of the
Breeders’ Cup’s “Win and You’re In” series, all B.C. entry fees for Big
Macher will be paid.
Goldencents, winner of the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile,
finished second for the second year in the Bing Crosby, losing by a head
to eventual Eclipse Award sprint champion Points Offthebench last
summer. The four-year-old, who was ridden by Rafael Bejarano, conceded
two pounds to the winner, 123-121, in a valiant effort.
“He tried hard," said Bejarano. "He broke good and had good speed, but I didn’t want to
go to the front with those other ones. I sat in a good spot behind them,
then – when we came into the stretch – they were fanned out in front of
me and I had to go around them. He finished strong, but we just ran out
The runner-up, who went postward at 3-5, paid $2.40 and $2.20, while Seeking the Sherif returned $4.20 to show.
In the afternoon’s supporting feature, the $150,500
California Dreamin’ Handicap for older California-bred horses, favored
Rock Me Baby and jockey Corey Nakatani scored a come-from-behind
triumph, defeating Starspangled Heat by 3 ¼ lengths Originally scheduled
to be run on the infield grass course, the stakes event was moved to
Del Mar’s main track. The time was 1:42.88 for the mile and
Ethnic Dance was third, with Mega Heat fourth.
Rock Me Baby, trained by Craig Dollase and owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, earned $85,500 and paid $6.20.
Kent Desormeaux, back on the West Coast after competing in
the Midwest in recent years, continued his hot riding as he booted in
three winners – Friendly Banter in the third, Tiz a Kiss in the fourth
and Kool Kat in the ninth.
Sunday’s attendance was 13,396.