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Trainer Michael Machowsky hopes Caracortado is just getting warmed up at Santa Anita

The 4-year-old gelding, who runs Saturday at Santa Anita, has exceeded expectations with six wins in 10 starts. But Machowsky, who's also a co-owner, says, 'He's still a young horse. . . . There's still a lot of improving.'

January 29, 2011|By Eric Sondheimer

Caracortado, a 4-year-old gelding whose sire, Cat Dreams, once had a $1,500 stud fee, has already exceeded expectations, with six wins in 10 starts and $326,520 in earnings for trainer and co-owner Michael Machowsky.

"It's been a sweet run," Machowsky said. "Everything clicked. It proves a good horse can come from anywhere."

And Caracortado's run might be a long way from ending. In his only turf start last November, Caracortado was an impressive winner in a sprint at Hollywood Park, and he'll get the opportunity to show if racing on grass will be a big part of his future Saturday, racing in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita.

"He's still a young horse," Machowsky said. "He's four and was a May foal. There's still a lot of improving."

The Sunshine Millions Turf is part of a bicoastal event featuring horses bred in California and Florida competing for purses of $1.8 million in six races. Santa Anita is also staging the $200,000 Sprint and the $300,000 Distaff. Gulfstream Park will be the site for the $500,000 Classic, the $300,000 Filly & Mare Turf and the $200,000 Filly & Sprint. Adding to the day's activities in Arcadia will be a fleet of 20 gourmet food trucks and two rock bands.

Caracortado will face stiff competition from Grade I winner The Usual Q.T.; the improving Jeranimo, a Grade II winner; and Presious Passion, an 8-year-old gelding who has $2,679,099 in earnings.

If Caracortado performs well, it will give Machowsky even more options for where to run the versatile horse. He has nominated Caracortado for races in Dubai late next month.

"He's been one of those blessings," Machowsky said. "You don't expect as much as he's given us. He's gone above and beyond."

But Machowsky expects to have a lot more fun with Caracortado.

"I want him running until he's 10," Machowsky said. "You never know. That's my dream."

In the Sprint, the 8-year-old Cost Of Freedom will be seeking his fourth consecutive victory. In the 1 1/16th-mile Distaff, Grade I winner Evening Jewel will try to regain her form from last year when she was one of the top 3-year-old fillies.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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