Updated on 09/15/2011 12:40PM

Chalky Macho Uno runs segundo


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - This time, Macho Uno lost the bob.

In a finish reminiscent of last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Macho Uno was bobbing and weaving through the stretch, but this time he fell a nose short in his 3-year-old debut Wednesday at Saratoga. Wicked Will ($22), under Pat Day, came flying through the lane to get up and beat last year's 2-year-old champion. He covered seven furlongs in 1:21.88.

It was the first race for Macho Uno since he nipped Point Given in the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, weaving through the lane but holding on to win by a head.

Macho Uno, away for so long because of an ankle injury, was fractious in the paddock. Trainer Joe Orseno had to saddle him while on the move in the walking ring. Behind the gate Macho Uno acted up to a point where jockey Jerry Bailey got off the horse to allow the assistant starter to load him. Once in the gate, he acted up again and got off a little slow.

"He was so bad in there he was about to turn over backwards," Bailey said. "We couldn't get him standing perfect."

Macho Uno broke a step slow, but was quickly in good position, behind the dueling Stake Runner and Country Only. Approaching the quarter pole, Bailey swung Macho Uno three wide, and when he came up alongside Country Only he lugged in and nearly brushed that rival. After making the lead, he raced erratically through the stretch and was caught on the wire.

"As soon as he got his neck in front, he started his old tricks, pulling up, going left, going right," Bailey said.

Orseno said Macho Uno does not do any of the things he did in the race in the mornings. And he plans to put blinkers on Macho Uno for his next start, which could come in the Grade 1 King's Bishop here on Aug. 26.

"It's something we're going to have to do," Orseno said. "It'll help him focus a little better."

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