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Risen Star winner Mucho Macho Man
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Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr.

Louisiana Derby Field Taking Shape

Thirteen 3-year-olds are considered probable for the March 26 race.

Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and partners’ Mucho Macho Man  breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 for trainer Kathy Ritvo and is the likely favorite in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on March. 26.
The son of Macho Uno  began the season with a fourth-place finish in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream on Jan. 30 and won the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds on Feb. 19 under jockey Rajiv Maragh.
“He went very well and he galloped out great. It was more of a maintenance move than anything. He’s ready to run," Ritvo said. "We should arrive at Fair Grounds shortly after noon on Wednesday. I’m glad things are going so well for me and I’m glad the horse is doing so well.”
Another South Florida-based 3-year-old bound for the Louisiana Derby will be Lori and George Hall’s Nacho Business, according to trainer Kelly Breen, who was at Sunland Park Saturday morning with the Halls’ 3-year-old Nacho Saint, who will run in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (gr. III) on March 26.
Elite Alex will also now run in the Louisiana Derby. The son of Afleet Alex  was scheduled to run in today's Rebel (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park but has scratched.

Thirteen 3-year-olds are expected to enter the 1 1/8-mile Louisiana Derby. Also probable for the race are  WilkinsonMachen, Pants On Fire, Left, Majestic Harbor , Duca, Truman's Commander, Nehro, Mavericking, and Le Mans.

Also working at Gulfstream March 19 was 3-year-old filly Kathmanblu, who fired a bullet five-furlong move with a :59 4/5 clocking for trainer Ken McPeek. The daughter of Bluegrass Cat  made her first start of the season winning the $100,000 Sweetest Chant on turf at Gulfstream on Jan. 22 and shipped to Fair Grounds to win the $150,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III) the same day that Mucho Macho Man won the Risen Star.
Kathmanblu, who is the current favorite for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), will race in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) on Louisiana Derby day.