Mucho is the favorite as the half-way winner of Oaklawn’s eighth race on December 18, a sprint for the senior allowance, led by Reylu Gutierrez. The win time for six feathers on a muddy track is 1:09.90. Mucho is owned by Arkansans William Simon and Brent and Sharilyn Gasaway, who also lobbied Hollis with Ortiz. Hollis set a record of 5 1/2 lengths in 1:02.17 with a 4 1/2 length optional allowance claiming victory on December 10 in Oaklawn.
“They might have to go head to head,” Ortiz said about half an hour after Mucho’s win on Saturday. “Who knows, right? They both love this track, so they’ll definitely come back here. Right now, we’re looking at that timeline. Obviously we’ve got King.” Cotton. With Mucho, I still don’t think we’ve unlocked his abilities. We’ll see what we can come up with.”
Mucho finished sixth in King Cotton in 2021, but competed in the graded stake events after that. 5 year old son of Blame was finishing runner-up, got hit on the head by Necker Island , during the Bet on Sunshine Stakes on November 6 at Churchill Downs. Mucho started his racing career with Hall of Fame coach Bill Mott and finished second as most favorite in the 2018 Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Racecourse Saratoga.
On behalf of Simon’s WSS Racing and the Gasaways’ 4 G Racing, Ortiz asked Mucho for $80,000 in November 2020 at Churchill Downs. Mucho then won two allowance races at Oaklawn and Challedon Stakes on July 31 at Pimlico racetrack for his latest connections. He made $335,900 in 10 starts this year.
Hollis has asked for $50,000 for Ortiz, WSS Racing and 4 G Racing in May 2020 at Churchill Downs. 6 year old Street Sense gelding won Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes 2020 at Pimlico, Stonerside Sprint Stakes 2021 at Sam Houston Racing Park (in the deadly heat), and two races for the right to optional allowances at Oaklawn for the trio.
Millionaire and many 2nd place winners Missile CZ were the 5-2 favorites for Saturday’s eighth race, but was scratched for deviating from the track, co-owner Tom Kagele said in a text message to Oaklawn media on Thursday night. Seven. Kagele said CZ Rocket will be assigned to an allowance race early next month in Oaklawn as a bridge to the six-hair King Cotton.
CZ Rocket is Oaklawn’s top older male sprinter at the 2021 meeting after winning the Hot Springs Stakes and Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3). Following King Cotton, Oaklawn’s streak of stakes for former sprinters continues with $200,000 Whitmore Stakes (formerly Hot Springs) on March 19 and $500,000 in Water Team sprints withdraw April 16.