MUCHO GUSTO (c, Mucho Macho Man—Itsagiantcauseway, by Giant’s Causeway)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O-Michael Lund Petersen. B-Teneri Farm Inc. & Bernardo Alvarez Calderon (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $14,000 Ylg ’17 KEEJAN; $95,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP; $55,000 RNA 2yo ’18 OBSMAR; $625,000 2yo ’18 EASMAY. Lifetime Record: MGSW & GISP, 4-3-1-0, $234,000.
Last Start: 1st, GIII Robert B. Lewis S., SA, Feb. 2
Next Start: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 14.
Bob Baffert’s re-routing of Game Winner and Improbable to the Rebel S. had ripple effects for ‘TDN Rising Star’ Mucho Gusto, who on Sunday got detoured from his previously announced trip to Oaklawn to the GIII Sunland Derby on Mar. 24 instead. This $625,000 EASMAY first-crop Mucho Macho Man chestnut was part of the contingent of workers Baffert transferred from Santa Anita to Los Alamitos over the weekend, and on Sunday Mucho Gusto was clocked in :57.80 (2/25) for five furlongs in company with a recent 3YO maiden victress. A tall, still-developing Apr. 26 foal who has been schooled to relax off the pace, Mucho Gusto most recently beat up on a so-so five-horse crew in the sloppy-track GIII Lewis S. by 4 ¾ lengths (the margin could have been more but he was geared down late). The rather thin level of competition in that Feb. 2 race doesn’t tell us much about where this colt fits overall, and unless the Sunland Derby comes up unusually stronger than usual, we might not get many additional clues from that race either-although its 50 winner’s-share qualifying points should be enough to punch Mucho Gusto’s ticket to Louisville when added to the 14 he has already accrued.