11/11/2015 6:06PM

Tommy Macho heads one-two finish for Pletcher in Discovery

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Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photos
Tommy Macho rolls in the slop to a 4 1/4-length victory under Javier Castellano in the Discovery Handicap.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Todd Pletcher has kept Tommy Macho in graded stakes company since he won a first-level allowance race in June. On Wednesday, Tommy Macho broke through, pulling away impressively over the sloppy footing of the Aqueduct stretch to win the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap by 4 1/4 lengths.

Madefromlucky finished second in the $150,000 Discovery, completing a Pletcher exacta. This was Pletcher's sixth win in the Discovery since 1998. He won the 1 1/8-mile race in the slop last year with Protonico.

"He's trained well and he runs well fresh," Pletcher said of Tommy Macho, who last raced in the Sept. 19 Pennsylvania Derby. "We've been targeting this race with him for quite some time. We didn't mind the track either. He has a big wet-track pedigree."

Tommy Macho, a son of Macho Uno and the Awesome Again mare Starstream, moved up soon after the start to press the pace outside Ocean Knight, who had appeared to hold a pace advantage in the Discovery. Tommy Macho took over from Ocean Knight entering the stretch and drew off.

Pletcher said he didn't want Ocean Knight to get an easy lead, and spoke with jockey Javier Castellano about keeping the pressure on.

"I told Javier that we can't let Ocean Knight steal this," Pletcher said.

When the horses broke from the gate, the lead strap of Tommy Macho's assistant starter got caught in Castellano's boot and he rode the entire race with the strap dangling beneath him.

Madefromlucky saved ground along the inside in the three-horse flight of runners just off Ocean Knight and Tommy Macho. He finished willingly for second.

Pletcher said both Tommy Macho and Madefromlucky would likely be sent to Florida for the winter.

Tommy Macho paid $9.30 as the third betting choice in the seven-horse field. He was timed in 1:51.67 following splits of 24.25 seconds, 49.45, 1:14.63, and 1:39.05. Speed fared well over the sloppy Aqueduct track during the Wednesday card.

Ocean Knight finished third, a length behind Madefromlucky. It was two lengths farther back to Smart Transition, who raced three wide in the second flight to the stretch.

Pletcher's third horse in the race, First Spark, finished fifth. Made in Detroit, who raced between horses in the second flight early, was sixth.

Tommy Macho is now 3 for 7 with earnings of $363,050. Since his June allowance win, he had finished fourth in the Grade 3 Dwyer to Speightster; seventh in the West Virginia Derby while racing over the deeper inside part of the track; and third in the Pennsylvania Derby to Frosted and Iron Fist.

Tommy Macho races for Paul Pompa Jr. and All American Horses LLC.