Talented four-year-old Mucho Gusto, who, like Sandown Stud’s resident stallion Ashaawes, is descended from the mare Self Control, picked up the biggest win of his career when he stormed home to land the G1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
Trained by Bob Baffert, the Mucho Macho Man colt romped home, under jockey Jose Ortiz, to a four and a half length win in Saturday’s contest.
In the process, Mucho Gusto took his tally of wins to six and his earnings to $2 441 800 with his breakthrough G1 victory.
The colt has five graded stakes triumphs to his name, and has won graded races at two, three and four, with Mucho Gusto having previously finished second in both the G1 Haskell Invitational and G1 Los Alamitos Futurity.
Winning trainer Bob Baffert (also successful in the Pegasus with Arrogate), said after the win, ““You know what, the horse shipped really well and I wasn’t really planning on taking him there, but he worked really well the other day.I was going to run in the San Pasqual (G2) next week but after he worked so well I thought, ‘You know what, I’m just going to take a shot at the mile-and-an-eighth and maybe that will get him ready.’ He didn’t get an invite to the Saudi Cup, so I thought maybe if he runs well enough he’ll get an invitation. Who would know that the race fell apart there, unfortunately. But he looked great in the warm-up; Irad Ortiz did a pretty masterful job. He had me a little bit worried the way he was down inside like that, but he knew what he was doing. When he tilted out at the quarter pole, all I could say was ‘Damn, I wish I would have flown down there!’ But it was pretty exciting.”
Mucho Gusto and Ashaawes are both descended from the very influential Better Self mare Self Control, whose lengthy list of notable descendants include such G1 winners as Early Pioneer, Excellent Meeting, Forever Together, Hooray, Open Mind, and Peaks And Valleys, as well as the successful stallions Doneraile Court and Broken Vow.
Another notable member of this family is Higher Power –winner of the 2019 G1 TVG Pacific Classic Stakes.
Ashaawes, who shares his sire Kingmambo with the inform Ideal World, has a single lot on offer at the 2020 Cape Yearling Sale.