Race of the Week 2017

Big Macher Upsets Goldencents in Bing Crosby

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 of racetrack.”

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 one-sixteenth.

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.



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