01/12/2013 7:38PM

Gulfstream Park Mucho Mas Macho surprises Ft. Lauderdale at 40-1

Courtney Heeney
Juan Leyva guides Mucho Mas Macho to a 40-1 upset in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -   Mucho Mas Macho, the second longest price on the board at 40-1, rallied from the rear of the pack to register a  shocking neck victory over the 19-1 Tiz Sardonia Joe in a roughly run edition of the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The race became a little more wide open earlier in the day when Dominus, the 12- pound highweight and likely favorite, was scratched.

Mucho Mas Macho, who finished second going 1 1/2  miles  to close out his 2012 campaign in Calder’s Grade 3 W.L. McKnight Handicap, gave trainer Henry Collazo his first win of the meet. A  4-year-old son of Macho Uno, Mucho Mas Macho  is owned by Signal Hills Farm and was ridden by Juan Leyva.

Mucho Mas Macho had one horse beat when angled out sharply by Leyva to commence his rally at the head of the stretch. He finished full of run down the center of the course to run down Tiz Sardonic Joe in the shadow of the wire. Tiz Sardonic Joe  stalked the early pace of Fifty Proof, gained control between calls in late stretch and just failed to last. Big Blue Kitten finished another head farther back after checking briefly between horses near midstretch.

Nikki’s Sandcastle, the 2-1 favorite coming off a pair of wins earlier in the meet, rallied mildly from between horses to finish third. Sky Blazer had the roughest trip of all, steadying repeatedly during the final quarter-mile, finishing seventh in a field of 10  grass specialists.

Mucho Mas Macho covered 1 1/16 miles  in 1:40.39 over a firm course and returned $85.20.

“He’s getting better because most of the Macho Uno’s get better with age,” said Collazo. “Ever since he was a 2-year-old I’ve been saying more distance, a little more maturity and the sky’s  the limit. Once I put him on the grass and I saw his stride on the grass I told the owner we got to stay on the grass and the further the better.”

Collazo said he would point Mucho Mas Macho to the 11-furlong, Grade 3 Mac Diarmida  on Feb. 16, hopefully as a stepping-stone to the Grade 2, 1 1/2-mile Pan American the following month.