11/12/2010 3:51PM

Caracortado takes comeback, targets Malibu

Barbara D. Livingston
After winning on turf in his first start since the Preakness, Caracortado will be pointed to the Malibu Stakes on opening day at Santa Anita.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- The sharp comeback win by Caracortado in an allowance race on turf on Thursday at Hollywood Park gives trainer Mike Machowsky more options with the 3-year-old in coming months, but the main year-end goal continues to be the Grade 1, $250,000 Malibu Stakes on opening day at Santa Anita’s winter meeting Dec. 26, Machowsky said Friday morning.

Caracortado was making his first start since the Preakness Stakes, in which he finished seventh. He also was racing on turf for the first time, and against his elders for the first time. Yet he zipped six furlongs under jockey Joe Talamo in 1:07.79, just .25 of a second off the course record.

“I thought he’d like the grass, the way he floats over the ground, and so did Zoe Cadman, who rides him in the mornings,” Machowsky said Friday morning. “I was going to wait two more weeks for a race on the main track, but he worked so good last week. It gives me more time to play until the Malibu, and horses usually bounce back better after a turf race. Now I don’t have to worry about the other race filling.”

In addition to the Malibu, which is at seven furlongs on the main track, Machowsky said he would nominate Caracortado to the Dec. 26 Sir Beaufort Stakes, a one-mile grass race.

“In the back of my mind I’ve always thought about the Malibu, but I want to see how he takes to the new track over there,” Machowsky said of Santa Anita’s new dirt surface.

Caracortado, a California-bred gelding, is now 6 for 9 lifetime. He won the Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita in February. He had no serious problem following the Preakness, but was in need of a vacation, Machowsky said.

“I breezed him once after the Preakness and he was a little drawn up, and Amy Mullins, who was working for me at the time, was on him and said he felt a little body sore, so I just sent him to John Amerman’s place, Peacefield Farm, in Temecula,” Machowsky said.