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Monster Mash

Posted by on 7/29/2014 10:38:05 PM

A total purse of $300,000 was on the line at Del Mar on Sunday in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby at 6 furlongs and online sports betting site players were treated to a monster upset by a reformed claimer.

Big Macher was troubled when off slow in his racing debut at Del Mar just over a year ago when entered for a $20,000 claiming tag. Peter Miller lost him that day to Richard Baltas, who has now turned gelding into a bonafide star.

It took him awhile to figure it out but once the fall came around, so did Big Macher. He graduated, won again, and then earned black type taking a $126,000 state-bred stakes in his 2014 debut.

He showed it was no fluke when beaten a half-length in the San Carlos and then showed his courage when he got up by a nose in his April finale.

Coming to Sunday’s race, he had been freshened since his last all-out win. He has trained fast for the Crosby and the show horse in Big Macher’s last win took a Grade 3 next out and then was nostrilized in the Grade 1 Triple Bend.

The fans kind of fell asleep at the wheel as Big Macher went off at 9-1 with Tyler Baze in the saddle. He paid over $21 and is now has banked just under $500,000 in earnings. Big Macher was timed in 1:08.82 and that time travels well.

Points Offthebench won this race last year in 1:09.04. Amazombie and Euroears won this race in slightly faster time while Smiling Tiger took the Crosby in 2010 in 1:09.21.

To add icing to the cake, the Bing Crosby is a ‘win and you’re in’ race so he gets a free ride into the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

His rider was extremely confident, Baze: “Did I get any special instruction? Oh, no. I gave the instructions. Richard (trainer Baltas) tends to be a little serious. He was all wound up in the paddock. I said ‘Richard I got this don’t worry.’ I have so much confidence in this horse. He’s all racehorse with a huge, huge heart. I get on him in the mornings and I know how good he really is. They’ve found out he does well with time between his races. They gave him some time and for this he came back running.”

The trainer was giddy: Baltas: “This is my first Grade 1, It’s a dream.. my dream. The horse has been nothing but spectacular, getting better and better. He had a little setback (quarter crack) after his last race that really wasn’t much. Tyler had more confidence in the horse that I did. You can’t teach a heart to a horse, he either has it or he doesn’t. You just do the best you can and hope the horse has the will to win. This horse does.”

For Baze, this is just another solid step on his comeback. He was forced out of the game by his demons but seems to have put all the bad things away and that’s to be commended.

What’s next for Big Macher? Well, connections have options. The winner of the Crosby last year waited until October and then won the Santa Anita Sprint Championship.

Amazombie took the same route but lost his next 2 races. One thing is for sure; they will not disrespect Big Macher’s monster heart again.



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