Mac the Man was clearly the man in the $50,000 96ROCK Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, breaking for the lead and dictating all the pace to win by two lengths under Norberto Arroyo Jr.
Bye Bye Bernie, who broke from the outside post in the field of 10, was hustled up early, tracked the winner in second all the way and finished there, 6 1/4 lengths ahead of 42-1 Takin the Sloroad in third.
The 96ROCK was the second straight stakes win for Mac the Man, who won the Turfway Prevue Stakes in his last start. It was the second stakes win on the day for Arroyo, who also won the Cincinnati Trophy aboard Allanah.
Arroyo, who also rode Mac the Man in the Turfway Prevue, didn’t ask the 3-year-old colt for his best run until the field turned for home.
Trained by Jeff Greenhill for his wife, owner Sherri Greenhill, Mac the Man came in to the 96ROCK off two straight dominating sprint wins at Turfway.
Completing the order of finish in the 96ROCK Stakes were Gefest, I Do Believe, Silver Tongued (also trained by Greenhill), Indiana Charlie, Count On Silver, Smoke Em Charlie, and Mellow Fellow. Special Sun and Yougotthatgoinforu were scratched by their trainers.
Mac the Man controlled the pace at :24.33, :48.16, and 1:13.60 before finishing the mile over Polytrack in 1:40.52.
The winner was the even money favorite and paid $4.00, $3.00, and $2.60.
Mac the Man was bred in Kentucky by St. George Farm LLC and is by El Corredor out of the Mountain Cat mare Marchmont. He now has four wins and one second in seven career starts for earnings of $114,840.
Both the Turfway Prevue and the 96ROCK stakes are local preps for the Grade III Spiral Stakes on March 23, a designated points race leading to the Kentucky Derby. The 96ROCK does not carry Derby points.
The final local prep is the John Battaglia Memorial on March 2. Greenhill has not yet decided whether Mac the Man will return for that 1 1/16-mile race.
Norberto Arroyo, Jr.: “This is the first time he’s gone two turns, and I didn’t want him to be surprised by anything, so I tapped him a couple times. But he didn’t really need it. He’s a racehorse."
Jeff Greenhill: "I don’t think Norberto even asked him in the Prevue. He won in hand. When you’ve got a horse who wins at 6 1/2 (furlongs) like he did those two times, you have to figure he can get another furlong and a half. This horse right here, he can run.”
Edited Turfway Park release
Pat Lang Photo