Mucho Macho Man vs. Game On Dude vs. Will Take Charge… this epic face-off is going down tomorrow. Heather Benson has the scoop.
In a racing era where many of our biggest stars retire to the breeding shed while still technically “colts” at age 3, it is refreshing to see the contingent that will be facing off in Saturday’s Santa Anita Handicap. The race, scheduled for 7 p.m. EST or 4 p.m. PST and shown on FOX Sports, features last year’s Champion 3-Year-Old Colt, Will Take Charge; 2013 Horse of the Year finalist and Breeder’s Cup Classic victor, 6-year-old Mucho Macho Man; and Southern California veteran and two-time winner of the Santa Anita Handicap, 7-year-old Game On Dude. You could not ask for a better display of Thoroughbred durability and determination than having these three face off together in a grade I race.
Let’s take a look back at the races that made them household names:
Game On Dude’s First Santa Anita Handicap-a rip-roaring stretch battle with the other ‘Dude, First Dude.
Mucho Macho Man’s heartbreaking near miss in the 2012 Breeder’s Cup Classic. No worries, he would vindicate himself the following year.
Will Take Charge’s gutsy nose win in the “Midsummer Derby,” last year’s Travers Stakes at Saratoga:
Game On Dude’s flashy win in the 2012 Santa Anita Handicap:
Mucho Macho Man’s first Grade I wince-last year’s Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita:
Will Take Charge takes on Game on Dude and other older horse in last year’s Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs:
All three of the contenders meet in last year’s Breeder’s Cup Classic, also held at Santa Anita. Mucho Macho Man just bests the younger Will Take Charge. Let’s hope for a spirited rematch!