05/11/2013 1:44PM

Presque Isle: Mac the Man ready for the Tom Ridge Stakes


Mac the Man has been deemed healthy and ready to run by trainer Jeff Greenhill and will get his chance in the $100,000 Tom Ridge at Presque Isle Downs on Monday. The Tom Ridge is for 3-year-olds going six furlongs over Presque Isle’s Tapeta surface.

Mac the Man reeled off three impressive wins over Polytrack at Turfway Park this past winter. On Dec. 8, he won the Turfway Park Prevue prep by more than eight lengths. In his next out Jan. 5, he won the $50,000 Turfway Park Preview by four lengths. His third win came Feb. 2 in the $ 50,000 96 Rocks by two lengths.

After those daylight victories, Greenhill felt he owed it to his horse to let him run against the big boys in the Grade 3 Spiral on March 23. Mac the Man led for the first half-mile but was not acting right going down the backstretch, according to jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr.

“Norberto said when he tried to get Mac to change leads on the backstretch he wouldn’t do it. When he finally did entering the turn he pulled up,” Greenhill said. “We scoped him and he hadn’t bled, but we did find his foot was hot. We treated it and the heat dissipated. He is doing great again.”

There is an abundance of speed in the 10-horse field and Greenhill sees that as an advantage.

“When he sprints, he always breaks well and then pulls himself back to mid-pack,” he said. “He really starts picking it up on the turn and he will be running at them late.

“I do wish it was 6 1/2 furlongs instead of six,” he added.

Greenhill said he would like to try Mac the Man on dirt.

“He has yet to run on it and his pedigree suggests he should like it,” he said. “We will just have to see what comes up best for him.”

Erick Rodriquez will ride.

Dan the Tin Man won his only start this year for trainer Ricky Griffith. He scored in wire-to-wire fashion April 21 in the $154,000 Woodstock at Woodbine. He signaled his readiness for the Tom Ridge with a best off 33 work on Mondayin 59.60 seconds at Woodbine.

Patrick Husbands will be in to ride.

Divine Ambition is the 7-2 morning-line favorite in this evenly matched field. Trained by Darrin Miller, Divine Ambition won a first-level optional $75,000 claiming race at Gulfstream Park in February. In his next out on March 23, he finished second in the Rushaway at Turfway Park. Most recently he led early in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby before giving way after six furlongs and finishing seventh.

Willie Martinez will ride.