Da Big Hoss at Santa Anita prior to the 2016 Breeders' Cup

Da Big Hoss at Santa Anita prior to the 2016 Breeders' Cup

Anne M. Eberhardt

Da Big Hoss Could Debut in Pan American

Millionaire former claimer worked six furlongs at Gulfstream Park March 17

Millionaire Da Big Hoss, a winner of four graded stakes during his 2016 campaign, took a step closer to his seasonal debut by working six furlongs on the dirt in 1:14.42 at Gulfstream Park March 17.

The 6-year-old, a former claimer who was plucked out of a mile turf race for $50,000 in June of 2015 by trainer Mike Maker, is under consideration for the $200,000 Pan American (G2T), a 1 1/2-mile turf race which will be run on April 1.

"Possibly he will run in the Pan American, but I would like to get another work into him next week before deciding," Maker said. "He's doing super and galloped out a mile today, strongly, in about a 1:45. He's definitely close to running."

Da Big Hoss hasn't raced since finishing 11th in the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T) at Santa Anita Park last Nov. 5.

Since claiming the Kentucky-bred for Skychai Racing, Maker has developed the son of Lemon Drop Kid  into a dependable marathoner. Da Big Hoss won four graded stakes at four different tracks in 2016: Sam Houston's John B. Connally Turf Cup (G3T); Keeneland's Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes (G2T); Arlington International Racecourse's American St. Leger (G3T); and Kentucky Downs' Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes (G3T). He also won Belmont Park's Belmont Gold Cup Invitational last June.

While the horse has been a dream on the track, he can be cantankerous around the barn.

"He's been very reliable for us. As he has gotten older, he's still his same grouchy self around the barn," Maker said. "It's really funny—if he likes you, he likes you, but if he doesn't, he really doesn't. Thankfully, he likes me." 

Bred by Gary and Mary West, Da Big Hoss has won 12 of 22 career starts with $1,551,696 in earnings.