Macho Uno took the lead with a furlong to go and went on to a 1 1/2 -length victory over Unbridled Elaine in the $500,000 Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park on Monday.
Making his second start since returning from an ankle injury, the 3-year-old colt beat a field of five, covering 1 1-8 miles in 1:49.66. Unbridled Elaine, the only filly in the race, finished a half-length in front of Touch Tone.
Gary Stevens, who rode Point Given to wins in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, flew in to take the ride on Macho Uno for trainer Joe Orseno and Canadian owner Frank Stronach.
After kicking the paddock fence twice and having to be loaded into the gate by three assistant starters, Macho Uno, the favorite at 9-10, was in complete control throughout.
He stayed tucked in behind the pacesetting Touch Stone, before Stevens picked up the pace going around the far turn. After swinging four-wide around the turn, Macho Uno took the lead at the eighth pole and coasted to the win.
Macho Uno returned $3.80m $2.60 and $2.10. Unbridled Elaine, seeking to become the first filly to win the race, paid $3.60 and $2.10, while Touch Tone was $2.10 to show.
The Pennsylvania Derby was the second start for Macho Uno since he emerged victorious in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Plagued by ankle problems, Macho Uno finished second in allowance company at Saratoga in his only previous start this year.
Macho Uno's next race will be the $300,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown later this month, Orseno said. That will be the colt's last race before the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont Park in October.