Trainer Mike Machowsky took a chance when he decided to breed the unraced mare Mons Venus, but that leap of faith has already paid big dividends in the form of her graded stakes-winning son Caracortado.
Poised for a start in the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT), Caracortado proved he was up for the task when he worked four furlongs over a fast track in a bullet :46 flat at Santa Anita Park Oct. 30.
“I had his mother at the barn and she never (raced), but she could really run,” said Machowsky of Mons Venus, a daughter of Maria's Mon. “I had her close (to racing) a couple times, but she’d start tying up and her ankles would start bothering her.
“After turning her out three or four times, I took a shot and bred her and (Caracortado) was her second foal. We kind of caught lightning in a bottle I guess you could say.”
Machowsky said he bred Mons Venus to Cat Dreams because his good friend, Bob Feld of Bongo Racing, owned a share of the stallion and offered him a complimentary season.
Caracortado, the resulting foal, couldn’t have provided a better scenario for Machowsky, who trains the gelding for Blahut Racing and Hi Lo Racing.
Undefeated in four starts at 2, he captured the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. IIT) and placed in two other graded stakes races during his sophomore season. This year, Caracortado scored in the Sunshine Millions Turf Stakes and Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT). The 4-year-old chestnut gelding enters the Turf Sprint with a career record of 8-2-3 from 17 starts, and earnings of $774,105.
“He’s not a real big horse, but he’s a handful to be around and is pretty aggressive,” said Machowsky. “He’s a ham in the barn, but on the racetrack, if the rider’s not paying attention to him, he’ll drop him. He’s dropped a few riders just playing around; he’s real light on his feet.”
As Caracortado looks to improve from his last start at Churchill Downs, where he finished sixth in the May 6 Alysheba (gr. III) on the dirt, all Machowsky can do is remain confident in the way the gelding is training and hope for the best.
“You never know where a good horse is going to come from, and we’ve been blessed with him,” he said.