West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again notched his first win since taking the Jim Dandy (gr. II) (VIDEO) last summer, as he came roaring from off the pace to capture the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) in the slop at Fair Grounds March 14. The victory made Macho Again a millionaire.
Sent off at odds of 10-1, Macho Again was in no hurry down the backstretch under Robby Albarado, content to race next-to-last in the field of 11. The 4-year-old Macho Uno colt was still ninth after three-quarters, but began his winning move on the final turn while being taken six-wide. Once he straightened away, Macho Again set his sights on longtime leader Secret Getaway and the gray/roan colt kept charging until streaking past him in deep stretch, eventually crossing the wire a length in front. It was Albarado’s fourth victory of the afternoon.
The final time for 1 1/8 miles in the slop was 1:50.21. Secret Getaway was runner-up, 2 1/4 lengths in front of It's a Bird. Dry Martini was fourth.
Macho Again, bred in Florida by Milan Kosanovich, was making his second start of the season. He finished seventh in the Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park. The Dallas Stewart trainee had been winless since winning the Jim Dandy by a half-length at Saratoga last July. During his sophomore campaign, Macho Again was runner-up to Big Brown in the Preakness (gr. I) and fifth in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Macho Again, out of the Wild Again mare Go Donna Go, is now 5-4-0 from 16 starts with earnings of $1,076,619.
The winner paid $23.60, $10 and $7. The exacta (11-3) returned $238,20 with the trifecta (11-3-1) netting $2,046.80.
Under Kent Desormeaux’s handling, Secret Getaway took the field through fractions of :23.10, :46.16 and 1:11.30. It’s a Bird and Julien Leparoux pressed the pace the whole way.