Macho Uno Gears Ups for Washington Park

(From track report)
Stronach Stables Inc.'s Macho Uno, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) two years ago and a possible starter in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Oct. 26 at Arlington Park, galloped twice around the Arlington oval Thursday morning in advance of Sunday's Washington Park Handicap (gr. II).

Trainer Joe Orseno is using Sunday's Washington Park 'Cap here to give Macho Uno a prep race over the local surface in advance of the Classic. That 1 1/4-mile affair, the richest Thoroughbred race contested in North America, comes to Arlington Park for the first time in its 19-year history as part of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

"This close to Sunday's race, there's not much to do," said Orseno's assistant Russell Dederian Thursday at Arlington. "He had his final work here Monday, so in the next couple of days we'll just 'hobby horse' him around the track a couple of times. Joe will fly back here Saturday night to saddle him."

Macho Uno will be the starting highweight at 119 pounds in Sunday's 1 3/16-mile event. The Eclipse Award champion in 2000 has been compromised by injuries since then but has shown flashes of his brilliance each of the last two seasons.

In 2001, the colt by 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull was forced to miss a Triple Crown campaign but rebounded later in the year to win the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III) last September.

On June 1 at Suffolk Downs, Macho Uno showed his natural talent once again when he tallied by 1 3/4 lengths in the Massachusetts Handicap (gr. II). He finished a strong third in the Suburban (gr. II) at Belmont Park July 6.

Following a fourth-place finish in Saratoga's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 24, Macho Uno was sent to Stronach's Adena Springs Farm in Canada for a brief vacation.

Probable starters against Macho Uno in Sunday's Washington Park 'Cap include Joseph V. Vitello's Tenpins, slated to carry 116 pounds Sunday. Tenpins was the winner of the William D. Schaefer Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico May 18 and was most recently third in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs June 15.

Also likely Sunday is William L. Clifton Jr.'s Pleasant Breeze, second in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. I) last year. The 7-year-old is assigned 115 pounds. In his last trip to the post Aug. 30 in a conditioned allowance race at Saratoga, Pleasant Breeze drew off for an impressive 3 1/2-length tally.

Another probable is Glen Hill Farm's Bonus Pack, assigned 115 pounds based on a five and three-quarter-length tally in the Dominion Day Handicap (gr. III) at Woodbine July 1.

Possible Washington Park contestants include Rick Lindsay's Saquache, who could be scratched out of Friday's featured $42,000 Play Fellow Handicap in favor of his lighter 114-pound impost Sunday, and Willmott Stable's Deferred Comp, assigned a feathery 111 Sunday.

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