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Manicero May Join Hutcheson Field

Son of Mass Media would be seeking fifth consecutive victory.

Leo Azpurua Sr.’s 3-year-old Manicero, a winner of four consecutive starts, appears likely to try and run his streak to five this weekend in the $150,000, seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.

“We’re very seriously considering the Hutcheson,” trainer Leo Azpurua Jr. said. “We do plan on stretching him out later on, but for now we think it’s best to keep him sprinting. He worked very well (Saturday at Calder) and Luis Saez will ride him if we go.”

Manicero is a son of freshman sire Mass Media and was purchased privately by the trainer’s father as a 2-year-old. Manicero finished third in his career debut at Calder on Oct. 2 and has been perfect since, breaking his maiden in October by 7 3/4 lengths and romping home an 8 1/4-length winner of the $125,000 Jack Price Juvenile in November.

In two starts since then at Tampa Bay Downs, Manicero won the $75,000 Inaugural Stakes  Dec. 26 and the $75,000 Pasco Stakes last out going seven furlongs Jan. 15.

“He dropped his rider before the start in his first race and then lost his focus the rest of the way,” said the trainer of the colt’s debut third-place finish before being disqualified to fourth.

Other probable/possible starters for the Hutcheson that worked over the weekend were Darley Stable’s Crossbow, a half-mile in 48 3/5 at Palm Meadows for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin; Zayat Stable’s Black N Beauty, five-eighths in 1:00 1/5 at Gulfstream for trainer Dale Romans; and Wesley Ward and Robert Teel’s Madman Diaries, who had the fastest five-furlong workout of :59 3/5 at Gulfstream Park Feb. 19.