No matter how talented a 3-year-old might be, there’s no substitute for racing experience.
A young horse needs to learn how to adapt to situations in races, how to deal with adversity, how to compete.
Machen learned some lessons Sunday in defeating allowance rivals in
his first race around two turns. He broke slowly and was caught behind
horses. After being rank early, he settled on the backstretch. In the
stretch, he split horses and kicked clear impressively.
“This is exactly why you need these kind of races, to go from grammar
school to junior high and on from there,’’ trainer Neil Howard said
after the race.