MUCHO GUSTO (Mucho Macho Man) lived up to his name and then some with an ultra-impressive debut victory at Los Alamitos Thursday to become his freshman sire (by Macho Uno)'s fourth winner and first 'TDN Rising Star.' Hammered down to even-money favoritism, the $625,000 EASMAY buy broke on top from his rail draw and was just loping along under a motionless Joe Talamo as he zipped through a first quarter in :21.96. He floated out three wide turning for home, but was still going easily, registering a half-mile in :45.75. Confronted by a rival to his inside at the top of the stretch, the chestnut instantly powered clear when given the signal by Talamo, pouring it on down the lane to win by a geared-down four lengths. Vantastic (Dialed In) completed the exacta.
Picked up for just $14,000 at Keeneland January, Mucho Gusto brought $95,000 in his next trip through the Keeneland ring that September. The colt RNA'd for $55,000 at the OBS March sale after breezing an eighth in :10 flat over the synthetic and was sent through the ring at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale two months later, where he summoned $625,000 from Michael Lund Petersen after working a quarter-mile over a sloppy dirt track in an eye-catching :21 1/5. He is currently the most expensive offspring of 2013 GI Breeders' Cup Classic hero Mucho Macho Man to be sold at auction.
Mucho Gusto hails from the family of Canadian Horse of the Year and MGISW Peaks and Valleys (Mt. Livermore) and MGSW millionaire Alternation (Distorted Humor). The winner's dam Itsagiantcauseway (Giant's Causeway) did not produce a foal in 2017, but had a Jack Milton colt Apr. 15 of this year and was bred back to Alpha.
3rd-Los Alamitos, $40,690, Msw, 9-20, 2yo, 6f, 1:10.14, ft.
1st Dam: Itsagiantcauseway, by Giant's Causeway
2nd Dam: Countervail, by Seeking the Gold
3rd Dam: Strike a Balance, by Green Dancer
O-Michael Lund Petersen; B-Teneri Farm Inc. & Bernardo Alvarez Calderon (KY); T-Bob Baffert.