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Mucho Gusto too good in Grade 3 Affirmed S.
Sunday, June 16, 2019
Mucho Gusto won his fourth career graded stakes on Sunday at Santa Anita Park with a comfortable 2 1/4-length score over stablemate Roadster in the $100,000 Affirmed S. (G3).

Roadster, who hadn't run since the Kentucky Derby (G1), was the favorite at post time, but Mucho Gusto's recency over the track, including a win last out in the Laz Barrera S. (G3) on May 18, had the Michael Petersen colt in perfect form for Sunday's 1 1/16-mile contest.

Jockey Joe Talamo got the normally-keen Mucho Gusto to sit just off the pace this time, something Baffert has been wanting the 3-year-old colt to do. It wasn't until about three furlongs to run that Mucho Gusto made a three-wide move for the lead, coasting to the front as the field entered the stretch. Roadster made a move from well back, but was no threat to the winner, who got the distance in 1:45.15.

“I told Joe, if we are going to win any bigger purses this horse need to learn to relax instead of going out there fast all the time,” said Baffert. “I think this horse is maturing, he is a late foal and he’s getting better. There’s some derbies around, but I think he’ll probably go to the Haskell (Invitational, Grade I, 1 1/8 miles July 20 at Monmouth Park).  As long as he relaxes, he’ll run that far.” 

Mucho Gusto has won five of seven starts and upped his earnings to $430,800. He gave Baffert a record six wins in the Affirmed.

Baffert 2013