Race of the Week 2017

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Zipse At The Track

Met Mile Dreamin’ - Caleb’s Posse vs. Mucho Macho Man

With Kentucky Derby fever in full flight, fans are clamoring for Union Rags – Hansen II. I’m all for that; a real honest to goodness rivalry through the Triple Crown would be great for our sport, but a couple of performances this past week have me very excited for the potential of another match-up. First Caleb’s Posse closed like a rocket to just miss in the Tom Fool at Aqueduct last week, and then yesterday, Mucho Macho Man toyed with a solid field in the Gulfstream Park Handicap. Two of my favorite things in racing are anticipation and a real showdown. Often these two things come together, as we dream about potential match-ups between true stars of the sport. Sometimes our anticipation is rewarded, Affirmed and Alydar went at it ten times, and sometimes it is not, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta never raced. Either way, the thought of what might happen is something that makes our sport just a little more exciting. I ask you, how much fun would a Caleb’s Posse vs. Mucho Macho Man meeting in Belmont’s Met Mile be?
Caleb’s Posse may not be a two-turn horse, but give him one-turn and he has proven to be a real monster. In fact, he’s proven it time and time again. Caleb’s Posse has won many stakes races, but it was the Grade 1 King’s Bishop that took his star to a new level. When the talented Uncle Mo took command in the stretch it would have been hard to believe that anyone would come get him. Sure enough, Caleb’s Posse did with a late rush to get there on the wire. After one more attempt at two turns, the Donnie Von Hemel charge was ready to become a Breeders’ Cup winner, and he did it in virtuoso style. Content to sit way back off a strong early pace in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Caleb’s Posse appeared to be shot out of a cannon down the lane, sweeping to a romping win against some of the best 8 furlong horses the country has to offer. He did not get the Eclipse Award as America’s top three-year-old, as many thought he should, during the off-season, but he promises he may be even better this year judging from his powerhouse finish in the six furlong Tom Fool. The Carter and then the Met Mile would seem to be a perfect fit for the sprinting late-runner, but in the Met he could face his toughest competition yet.
Last year, Mucho Macho Man was the physical specimen who just needed to time to grow into his sizable frame. Ever since that big kid, who was able to run third in last year’s Kentucky Derby despite obvious immaturity, came back from an extended break last fall, he has been dominating his foes in impressive style. Starting with a mile optional claimer at Aqueduct, the Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team One Racing Stable runner has looked every bit the part of an emerging superstar. After whistling in fast time at the Big A, Mucho Macho Man has easily dispatched of solid fields in the Sunshine Millions Classic and yesterday’s Gulfstream Park Handicap. In the Sunshine Millions, he was able to easily hold off the late rally of Ron the Greek at nine furlongs. That performance was flattered when his vanquished came back to sweep to victory next out in the Santa Anita Handicap. Cut back to a mile yesterday, Mucho Macho Man displayed oodles of class when reeling in the dangerous speed of Tackleberry, with another top runner, Jackson Bend, never able to get to close with his late rally. Caleb’s Posse may be the current top of the mile heap, but clearly, Mucho Macho Man is ready to challenge.
You can see why I am greatly anticipating this year’s Met Mile … oh, and did I mention that To Honor and Serve is starting to crank up the workouts at Palm Meadows?


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Older Comments about Met Mile Dreamin’ - Caleb’s Posse vs. Mucho Macho Man...

To Honor and Serve and Caleb's Posse
Going to be the race of the Memorial Day weekend for me, looking at a super edition of one of my favorites...like Caleb, but at least 4 or 5 of the listed probables would be no surprise--great betting race!
I believe at 8 F Calebs Posse is the BOSS
this is going to be an awesome race, mini breeders cup dirt mile like. many of last years best to square off
Caleb's Posse has the PERFECTY STYLE for 8 furlongs, the other one does not
I think Mucho Macho Man might hold a slight advantage at 1 mile. He's obviously improving and I think his running style would give him an edge over Caleb's Posse's "dead-last" rallies.
It's a little early to tell, but as referenced in the article, To Honor and Serve would be another to help make this a great race.
To Honor And Serve?
Will The Factor or Force Freeze be there? Hymn Book?
What a trio .... here's my call, Shackleford is pure from 1 mile to 1 1/8th, CP flat out 7f to 1mile, and MMM 1mile to 1 1/4th ... at 1 mile a fresh Shacleford noses ot CP and MMM just starting to run makes them both sweat.
Though MMM looks great, I've always been partial to Caleb's Posse!
I'll throw Shackleford in the mix and we have a great Met Mile in store. A pace setter, a stalker, and a closer, gives me shivers
I look forward to seeing that race!
Tough call. Caleb's Posse loves 7-8 furlongs, and MMM loves 8-9 furlongs. A flat mile could go either way.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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