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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

'3M' Returns to NO from South Florida: 9-5 Favorite

3/20/2011

Mucho Macho Man has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite for Saturday’s Grade II Louisiana Derby, for 98 years the showcase race of New Orleans and worth $1 million this year.

On Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park, Mucho Macho Man completed a five-furlong maintenance breeze in 1:02.60, prompting trainer Kathy Ritvo to say later in the morning, “He went very well and he galloped out great. He is ready to run.”

Ritvo, it should be noted, is a human interest story even without Mucho Macho Man. The 41-year-old mother of two underwent heart transplant surgery in November, 2008, and is suddenly the trainer of one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby. Overbrook Farm’s Grindstone in 1996 was the last horse to sweep the Louisiana Derby and the Kentucky Derby.

Jamaican-born jockey Rajiv Maragh, who rode Mucho Macho Man to a length and a half-victory in the Risen Star, will return in the irons for the Louisiana Derby, a race he won last year aboard Mission Impazible.

Machen, who finished fourth in the Risen Star in his third lifetime start, has been pegged as the 7-2 second choice in Saturday’s local Derby. He's trained by Neil Howard, who handled Comic Strip to win the 1998 Louisiana Derby and Line In The Sand in 1992. Machen broke his maiden at Fair Grounds at first asking Jan. 2 by 5 1/2-lengths and graduated out of first-level allowance company with a five-length tally Jan. 30.

Edgar Prado, who rode Barbaro to victory in the 2006 Kentucky Derby, has been engaged to ride Machen.

Capable of providing strong competition for Mucho Macho Man and Machen are Elite Alex and Wilkinson.

Elite Alex, 6-1 in the Louisiana Derby morning line, finished third in the Grade III Southwest Stakes in his last start following a troubled trip. He was a late scratch from the  Grade II Rebel Stakes in favor this race. Connections didn't like the wide post at Oaklawn, but he's drawn wide again for the Louisiana Derby.

Calvin Borel, a native of Catahoula, Louisiana who has won three of the last four Kentucky Derbies but has never won a Louisiana Derby, gets a chance to fill that void aboard Elite Alex.

Wilkinson, the 8-1 fourth choice and a second Neil Howard trainee, won the Grade III Lecomte Stakes in January but has fallen off the radar after being withheld from the Risen Star.

Garrett Gomez, who was aboard for Wilkinson’s Lecomte score, returns for the Louisiana Derby.

Completing the field, with respective jockeys and morning line odds, are: the George and Lori Hall-owned coupling of Nacho Business, Joe Bravo and Pants On Fire, Rosie Napravnik (10-1); Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Left, Jesse Campbell (10-1); Gallant Stable’s Majestic Harbor, Corey Lanerie (12-1); Padua Stable’s Le Mans, Robby Albarado (20-1); Team Block’s Mavericking, Shaun Bridgmohan (20-1); Klaravich Stables’ Populist Politics, Richard Eramia (30-1); Zayat Stables’ Nehro, Michael Baze (30-1); and Thomas Amenta and Tom Amenta II’s Liondrive, James Graham (50-1).


--Edited track release

Saturday, Race 10
Grade II Louisiana Derby
Fair Grounds
Purse: $1,000,000
Distance: 1 1/8 Mile
Surface: Dirt
Post Time: 5:55 ET

Post
Horse
  ML Jockey
Wt
S
M
Trainer
1
Nacho Business (KY)
  10-1 J. Bravo
122
C
L
K. Breen
2
Pants On Fire (KY)
  10-1 R. Napravnik
122
C
L
K. Breen
3
Nehro (KY)
  30-1 M. Baze
122
C
L
S. Asmussen
4
Mavericking (IL)
  20-1 S. Bridgmohan
122
C
L
N. Pessin
5
Mucho Macho Man (FL)
  9-5 R. Maragh
122
C
L
K. Ritvo
6
Liondrive (LA)
  50-1 J. Graham
122
C
L
T. Ice
7
Machen (KY)
  7-2 E. Prado
122
C
L
N. Howard
8
Majestic Harbor (KY)
  12-1 C. Lanerie
122
C
L
P. McGee
9
Le Mans (KY)
  20-1 R. Albarado
122
C
L
S. Asmussen
10 Wilkinson (KY)
  8-1 G. Gomez
122
C
L
N. Howard
11 Left (KY)
  10-1 J. Campbell
122
G
L
A. Stall Jr.
12 Elite Alex (ON)
  6-1 C. Borel
122
C
L
T. Ritchey
13 Populist Politics (LA)
  30-1 R. Eramia
122
C
L
T. Amoss

Coupled Entries - Nacho Business & Pants On Fire

Owners:  1 - George & Lori Hall; 2 - George & Lori Hall; 3 - Zayat Stables, LLC (Ahmed Zayat); 4 - Team Block (David & Patricia Block); 5 - Reeves Thbd.Rac. & Dream Team 1 Rac. (Dean Reeves)(Jim Culver); 6 - Thomas Amenta & Tom Amenta, II; 7 - Courtlandt Farms (Donald A. Adam); 8 - Gallant Stable (Ron Beegle, et al); 9 - Padua Stables (Satish Sanan); 10 - Gaillardia Racing, LLC (Ed Gaylord); 11 - Adele B. Dilschneider & Claiborne Farm (Seth Hancock); 12 - Elite Alex, LLC (Charles Zacney, et al); 13 - Klaravich Stab.,Inc.& William H.Lawrence (Seth Klarman)

Breeders: 1 - Three Chimneys Farm LLC & Trust B U/TAlbert G. Clay Restated Rev. Trust; 2 - K & G Stables; 3 - Mt. Brilliant Farm LLC; 4 - Team Block; 5 - John D Rio & Carole A Rio; 6 - Rebecca Farms Inc.; 7 - Courtlandt Farm; 8 - Liberation Farm & Brandywine Farm; 9 - Bradley Purcell & Charles Parker; 10 - Gaillardia LLC; 11 - Claiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider; 12 - Allison Register; 13 - B. Wayne Hughes

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