01/07/2017 6:56PM

Sonic Mule succeeds going a mile in Mucho Macho Man

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Barbara D. Livingston
Javier Castellano guides Sonic Mule to a neck victory in the Mucho Macho Man for 3-year-olds.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -  Todd Pletcher had hoped to run Sonic Mule on Saturday in the seven-furlong, Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes. But when that race was cancelled due to lack of entries, the meet’s leading trainer went to Plan B and was rewarded after Sonic Mule registered a gutsy neck victory over a hard-luck State of Honor in the one-mile Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park.

Sonic Mule had won each of his last two starts, including the Buffalo Man in his juvenile finale going six furlongs and was winless in two previous tries at a mile. But he showed both his versatility and courage after prompting a swift pace, and then digging down to withstand a stretch long bid by State of Honor to capture his 3-year-old debut in the Mucho Macho Man.                                                            

State of Honor raced well-placed just off and outside the early leaders, joined for command turning into the stretch, but could never get by the winner while easily best of the others. Talk of Logistics, runner-up behind Sonic Mule in the Buffalo Man, rallied mildly to finish third.

Sonic Mule, a son of Distorted Humor, is owned by Calumet Farm and was ridden to victory by Javier Castellano. He covered the distance in 1:37.52 and returned $11.40            

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“We had originally planned to point for the Hutcheson,” Pletcher said. “When the race didn’t fill, we decided the horse was doing so well we’d take a shot we could stretch him out to a mile. He fought hard.”

Pletcher said despite Sonic Mule winning at a mile, he might consider turning him back to seven furlongs for the Grade 2 Swale on Feb. 4.