06/14/2013 4:49PM

Belmont: San Pablo upsets Mucho Macho Man in Criminal Type

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Mucho Macho Man’s return to the races was spoiled by the return of San Pablo, who ran by Mucho Macho Man in mid-stretch and drew clear to win Friday’s $90,000 Criminal Type Stakes at Belmont Park by 3 1/2 lengths.

Mucho Macho Man, who made the lead after pressing fairly solid fractions, flattened out to finish third, three-quarters of a length behind Hymn Book.

Mucho Macho Man, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up, was making his first start since being pulled up in the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream in January.

Mucho Macho Man broke sharply under Edgar Prado, and he found himself pressing longshot Sovereign Default through a quarter in 23.07 seconds and a half-mile in 45.81 seconds. Mucho Macho Man took the lead approaching the five-sixteenths pole and turned for home in front, but he gave way in the stretch to San Pablo, who rallied to his outside, and Hymn Book, who came up along his inside.

“He seemed like he was happy there pricking his ears, galloping along,” Prado said. “When they came to me around the turn, I let him go a notch and he responded well, and actually, I thought he was home free. The last part, he didn’t quit, but he just got even.”

San Pablo, making his first start since finishing sixth in the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap on March 9, won for the 10th time in 18 starts. He covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.14 and returned $11.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said he may wheel San Pablo back in the Grade 2 Suburban here on July 6.

Kathy Ritvo, the trainer of Mucho Macho Man - who won last year’s Suburban - said she was pleased with her horse’s effort but wouldn’t divulge where he would run next. Since Mucho Macho Man is lacking a Grade 1 win, a race like the Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 3 would be a candidate.

“We have a plan," Ritvo said. "We’ll see how he comes back, and he’ll tell us if it’s the right one.”