Mucho Macho Man and a Positive Response

Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 63

I am liking Mucho Macho Man’s chances for the Kentucky Derby more with every passing day, so much so that he has moved all the way up to #2 on my personal Kentucky Derby list. Now events over the past few days are causing me to like him and root for him even more. Last month’s impressive victory in the Risen Star at the Fair Grounds verified the belief I had in his potential since last Fall. After running too close to a strong pace in a race too short for him in Gulfstream’s Holy Bull, trainer Kathy Ritvo shipped the son of Macho Uno to New Orleans sans blinkers, and the big leggy colt looked great. She has now confirmed that Mucho’s next race will come in the $1 million Louisiana Derby on March 26. Another two-turn race over a track that he likes six weeks before the Derby should serve as the perfect lead-up to Louisville.

Now as far as the rooting goes, did you hear what Mucho Macho Man’s principal owner Dean Reeves did on Thursday night? As reported by Mike Welsch of DRF, Reeves presented injured jockey Eibar Coa a check for $18,000 at Memorial East Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida. That amount equals what Coa would have earned if he had been able to ride Mucho Macho Man to victory in the Risen Star. Coa missed the mount when he fractured a vertebra in a riding accident the day before in Florida. Coa is reported to be in good spirits, and is looking forward to transferring from his hospital room to a rehabilitation center very soon.

As a believer in Karma, I am compelled to believe that good things are coming this colt’s way. The fact that he is developing into his large frame and is full of talent doesn’t hurt one bit either.

[I have Mucho Macho Man at #2, but the HRN Community has him down at #6 on the 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders ... who is right?]

With most Derby watcher’s eyes intently transfixed on Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes, and then Dialed In’s race on Sunday, the one prep race actually run in Kentucky this weekend, the John Battaglia Memorial, is in danger of being forgotten. It will not be by me. Turfway’s Battaglia is topped by a couple of colts coming from very different places. The Mike Maker trained Twinspired is coming off a dominant victory over the Turfway surface in the WEBN Stakes. If the son of Harland’s Holiday is to continue his winning ways at the Northern Kentucky track, he will need to deal with some salty invaders, including my top pick, Positive Response.

Positive Response has made the long trip to Turfway Park from Northern California’s Golden Gate Fields. The winner of both the Gold Rush and California Derby has run nothing but good races including last month’s sneaky good, 3rd place finish in the El Camino Real Derby. Positive Response is proven over a synthetic surface which he will see in the Battaglia, and should hold a class edge over Twinspired, and likely 3rd choice, Blue Laser. I expect him to take this and move on to the track’s marquee event, the Spiral, as one of the favorites.


In other Derby doings…

-Beware of The Fed Eased as a longshot capable of giving favorites Stay Thirsty and Toby’s Corner all they can handle in today’s Gotham.

-One of my top Derby prospects Sway Away turned in a leisurely 5f work at Santa Anita yesterday in 1:02.80. Now I await the decision on whether he will stay in California or head to Arkansas on his way to Louisville.

Past Performance provided by

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, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to HRN, 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. His racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing webcast HorseCenter, 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 hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves on the Board 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 and is a Vox Populi committee member. He is a voter for racing's Hall of Fame, as well as a weekly NTRA poll voter. 

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

ZATT's Star of the Week
Saudi Crown

Top Stories

The anticipation continues to build as we are less...
For the second time in the last six runnings of th...
Because early speed helps horses avoid the kickbac...
Training up to her next start in the Breeders’ Cup...
Jockey Tyler Conner had no idea about Honor D Lady...