Jan. 8 will mark two years since Caracortado
won the Daytona Stakes for owner/breeder/trainer Mike Machowsky. The California-bred gelding has raced only once since, finishing fourth in the Eddie D. Stakes in September.
A nagging “frog” issue on his right front foot kept him away from the races most of that time. But with Caracortado still in the barn, walking daily but not ready to breeze again, Machowsky goes with Plan B for today’s Daytona, running El Commodore in the Grade III, $100,000 event at about 6 ½ furlongs on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course.
“Hard to believe it’s two years,” Machowsky said of Caracortado’s win, “but El Commodore is doing well. He’s never run down the hill, obviously, but we wanted to try him on it. He’s always been routing, and he’s kind of a speed horse, so shortening him up might work in his favor.”
A 6-year-old El Prado gelding, El Commodore has a 6-6-5 record from 34 starts. He has earned $267,236, but has never won a stakes.
The field for the Daytona, race eight of nine: El Commodore, Gary Stevens, 5-1; Chips All In, Aaron Gryder, 5-2; Unbridled’s Note, Corey Nakatani, 2-1; Handsome Mike, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1; Gallant Son, Isaias Enriquez, 7-2; Truest Legend, Brice Blanc, 15-1; and Ain’t No Other, Rafael Bejarano, 5-1.