GSW and Millionaire COAL FRONT 3rd in the G3 Monmouth Cup S.

A winner of the Godolphin Mile G2 at Meydan earlier this spring, Coal Front had to settle for third in the Monmouth Cup G3.  The 5-year-old Stay Thirsty ridgling,  also won  Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park in his first start of the year. He closed an abbreviated 2018 campaign with a win in the Dec. 22 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park. As a 3-year-old, he won the Gallant Bob Stakes (G3) at Parx Racing and the Amsterdam Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course.

Bred in Kentucky by Michael Edward Connelly out of the Mineshaft  mare Miner’s Secret and owned by Robert LaPenta and Sol Kumin’s Head of Plains Partners, Coal Front now has earning of $1,725,280.

Consigned by Kirkwood Stables to the 2016 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, Coal Front went to LaPenta for $575,000.

MUCHO GUSTO a very gutsy 2nd in the Haskell G1

A $625,000 two year old purchase at Timonium consigned by Kirkwood, Mucho Gusto has competed in six straight graded stakes races since breaking his maiden at 2 on Sept. 18 and has yet to miss the board. This will be his second try in G1 company. He raced wide and right on the pace throughout most of the race and then engaged in a furious duel with Maximum Security through the stretch. He finished Mucho Gusto was a clear second, eight lengths ahead of Robert P. Donaldson’s Spun to Run. He has now earned $630,800 for owner Michael Lund Petersen  and trainer Bob Baffert.

Mucho Gusto Another Sale Find for Owner Petersen

Courtesy of the BloodHorse

Mucho Gusto wins the Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita Park
Mucho Gusto wins the Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Benoit Photo

Owner bought Mucho Gusto out of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale.

Michael Lund Petersen is game when it comes to buying horses at

Mucho Gusto Another Sale Find for Owner Petersen
Owner bought Mucho Gusto out of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale.
By Ron Mitchell Yesterday, 2:44 PM
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Michael Lund Petersen is game when it comes to buying horses at public auction, as evidenced by the record $1.8 million he paid for an Into Mischief filly at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

At that same sale a year ago, Petersen stepped up to acquire a colt from the first crop of Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Mucho Macho Man for $625,000, a move that looks most fortuitous now that the colt, named Mucho Gusto, is the 2-1 morning-line second choice for the July 20 Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1).

Kentucky Downs
Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Mucho Gusto has won or placed in all seven starts for earnings of $430,800. The colt’s five wins include four grade 3 stakes, and he comes into Monmouth Park’s premier race off back-to-back victories in the Lazaro Barrera Stakes (G3) and Affirmed Stakes (G3), both at Santa Anita Park.

“Michael Lund is a player,” said Kentucky-based agent Donato Lanni, who selects sale horses, including Mucho Gusto, on behalf of Baffert and his owners, as well as other clients. “He loves the game, he loves horses, and he is an old-school player. He takes his lumps and moves on.”

Among the additional graded winners raced by Petersen was Baffert-trained Mor Spirit , a multiple grade 1 winner earner of nearly $1.7 million selected by Lanni and purchased by Petersen and Bernard Schiappa for $650,000 as a 2-year-old.

Mucho Gusto was consigned to the Midlantic sale by Kip Elser’s Kirkwood Stables, which also offered the colt at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales March 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, where he was bought back on a final bid of $55,000.

At Midlantic, the colt worked the fastest quarter-mile time in :21 1/5 over the dirt track at the Maryland State Fairgrounds near Timonium, where the sale is conducted. Prior to the OBS sale, the colt’s eighth-mile breeze in :10 on the Safetrack artificial surface was co-second-fastest during the under tack show.

Elser said the colt matured between the sales but was surprised he did not attract more buyer attention at OBS.

Safe Bet
“They didn’t even look at him at the first sale,” Elser said. “I was mystified when they didn’t buy him the first time. I can’t tell you he would have brought all that money the first time, but I certainly thought he would bring more than we bought him back for. I was a little puzzled the first time (RNA) and pleasantly surprised the second ($625,000).”

Lanni said there were considerable differences in Mucho Gusto’s two sale workouts.

“I went back and looked at his OBS workout video, and he moved so differently on dirt than he did on synthetic,” Lanni said, adding it is not a negative reflection on synthetic surfaces but merely his observation of how Mucho Gusto handled the two surfaces. “I think it probably had a lot to do with the way he looked.”

Lanni said he observed Mucho Gusto some 10 times—a typical number of looks for prospective athletes he is interested in at 2-year-old sales—and was impressed with the colt’s demeanor.

“He was a horse that was obvious, which is why he brought what he did,” Lanni said. “He worked well, came back well, cooled out well, and vetted well. He kept his weight and kept his mind. He just did everything right. He got better and better. I knew he was going to be that kind of horse if he just stayed healthy.”

The fact the colt was from the first crop of Mucho Macho Man did not play into the decision on whether to buy Mucho Gusto because the focus was on the colt’s mental and physical attributes, the agent said.

Haskell Invitational
“Mucho Macho Man was the unknown factor,” Lanni said. “We try to focus on the individual and his performance. We base it more on performance than anything else because you get to see them move on the track, and that is more of a key indicator than other factors. He was just a horse that did everything right. He jumped through every hoop.”

Lanni said Mucho Gusto has lived up to expectations so far, and he believes he has the talent to be competitive in the Haskell.

“You hope when you buy one that they are the real deal and they perform well and stay sound,” Lanni said. “He’s a very quiet and unassuming horse. He just tries. I think Bob has managed him so well. He’s learned to put it all together and figure out what he’s doing. He has a lot of speed and is very tactical.”

Produced from the winning Giant’s Causeway mare Itsagiantcauseway, the colt is from the extended female family of Canadian Horse of the Year and sire Peaks and Valleys and multiple grade 2 winner Alternation . He was bred in Kentucky by Teneri Farm and Bernardo Alvarez Calderon.

The Midlantic sale marked the fourth time Mucho Gusto has gone through a sale ring.

As a “short yearling” consigned by Shawhan Place to the 2017 Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale, the colt was purchased by Kelly Lively for $14,000. Sent to the Keeneland September Yearling Sale as part of the Select Sales consignment, he was sold to S.R. Schwartz for $95,000.

In Quest For Ninth Haskell, Baffert Swinging At Fences With Mucho Gusto

Courtesy of the Paulick Report
by e | 07.11.2019 |

Trainer Bob Baffert celebrates his eighth Haskell Invitational win in 2015 with American Pharoah



When Bob Baffert looks to extend his record for victories in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational to nine on July 20, the Hall of Fame trainer will likely do so in an unfamiliar position.

Six of his previous eight Haskell winners have gone off as the favorite in Monmouth Park’s signature race (Bayern in 2014 and Coil in 2011 won for Baffert as the second choice).

That probably won’t be the case when Mucho Gusto goes postward in the $1 million race despite the colt’s nearly-flawless record of five wins, a second and a third in seven career starts.

But would it be a surprise if the son of Mucho Macho Man out of Itsagiantscauseway, by Giant’s Causeway, pulled off a minor upset?

Yes and no, said Baffert.



“It would probably be a lot of fun to win it with this one. When you don’t expect to win those are the ones that are a lot of fun,” he said. “But honestly, we’re surprised when we lose. We’re not surprised when we win.

“If I didn’t think we had a chance to win I wouldn’t send him. I think he’s got a chance. If everybody shows up and runs the way they’re capable of it should be a heck of a race.”

For now, Maximum Security and the Todd Pletcher-trained King for a Day are the headliners in the 52nd running of the Haskell Invitational. Joevia and Mucho Gusto, despite back-to-back G3 wins at Santa Anita, would be nipping at the heels of the top two. Chilly in Charge, Everfast and Spun to Run are the other probable starters at this point.

“If Maximum Security runs his race I think he will be tough,” Baffert said. “I thought he just got tired last time (a one-length loss to King for a Day in the Pegasus Stakes on June 16).”

Starting with his first Haskell victory with Point Given in 2001, Baffert has won the race eight times and has been second on two other occasions. Point Given’s victory was followed by wins by War Emblem (2002), Roman Ruler (2005), Lookin at Lucky (2010), Coil (2011), Paynter (2012), Bayern (2014) and American Pharoah (2015).

He was second with American Freedom in 2016 and in 2013 with Power Broker.

“Mucho Gusto is a little like Power Broker. He’s that kind of horse,” Baffert said.

A $625,000 yearling purchase, Mucho Gusto has competed in six straight graded stakes races since breaking his maiden at 2 on Sept. 18 and has yet to miss the board. This will be his second try in G1 company.

“He’s a horse who I think is getting better. He’s very consistent,” Baffert said. “But he’s going to have to step up in order to compete with these horses.

“I like to take a swing at the fences. Sometimes you have to do that. If he wins it’s great. Even second would be fine. I’m not going in with the favorite like I usually do but I think he deserves a chance so we’ll take a shot at it.”

Baffert said Mucho Gusto, owned by Michael Lund Petersen, will breeze Friday at Santa Anita and ship to New Jersey on Wednesday, July 17. Joe Talamo, the colt’s regular rider, will make the trip East to ride in the Haskell.

“This is a horse that is slowly getting there,” Baffert said. “He’s been pretty solid to this point but I think he is still getting better. This would be a big accomplishment for him if he were to win.”

Among other Haskell Invitational contenders, Maximum Security galloped on Thursday and will have his final work before the race either Monday or Tuesday, trainer Jason Servis said. Joevia, third in the Belmont Stakes, will work five-eighths on Sunday in his final prep, according to trainer Gregg Sacco.

Trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero said he has enlisted Paco Lopez to ride Spun to Run in the Haskell.

RAVENEL graduates at Laurel

Off the favorite due to her 2 third-place finishes, RAVENEL (Verrazano) stalked the pace and then came around horses to get up for the graduate by a length. She raced 1 1/16 on the turf at Laurel. The 3 year old filly is owned by Carolyn K Friedberg and trained by  Thomas F Proctor. RAVENEL was a $95,000 Kirkwood grad at OBS March 2018.

MR. GREY (Fr) wins his second in a row

Racing 1 3/16 over the all weather surface at Presque Isle Downs, MR. GREY (Fr)(Mr. Sidney) circled late and mowed down the field to win his second race in a row. As a 2 year old, he was consigned by Kirkwood to the OBS April sale and RNA’s for $50,000. He is now owned by Andy Kohler and is trained by Claude Brownfield.  The 5 year old gelding has earned over $167,000. MR. GREY was bred in France by EARL Haras Du Quesnay.