Field of Seven to Compete in Woodward Stakes at Saratoga

The annual Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga has a field of seven running the distance of 1 1/8 miles, with Mucho Macho Man favored to win what will be his Grade 1 début race…

With a purse of $750,000 competition will be stiff, and trainer Todd Pletcher has high hopes of Stay Thirsty making a grand come-back at the race. Other contenders in the race include To Honor and Serve, Trickmeister, Rule, Gourmet Dinner, and Cease. The race takes place at Saratoga on September 1 at 17:45.

The Woodward Stakes, named for racehorse owner George Nicholas Woodward, is one of the highlights of the horseracing calendar for older thoroughbred horses in the United States. Fillies Rachel Alexander (2009) and Havre de Grace (2011) made history with Woodward Stakes victories, and while this year there are no fillies in the race, there is a good chance that Mucho Macho Man will make history by winning his début Grade 1 race. Sired by Macho Uno out of Ponche De Leona, Machu Macho Man was foaled in Florida in 2008. Trained by Katherine Ritvo, in 2011 the thoroughbred competed in all three of the Triple Crown races, claiming third place in the Kentucky Derby. As a two-year old, Mucho Macho Man came in second behind To Honor and Serve in both the Nashua Stakes and the Remsen Stakes, taking fourth place in the Holy Bull Stakes. His three-year-old season included first place in the Risen Star Stakes and third place in both the Kentucky Derby and Louisiana Derby. As a four-year-old, in 2012 he won the Sunshine Millions Classic, Gulfstream Park Handicap and Suburban Handicap.

Sired by Bernardini out of Marozia, Stay Thirsty was foaled in March 2008 in Kentucky. His first win was as a three-year-old in the Grade 4 Gotham Stakes in 2011, coming in second to Ruler on Ice in the Belmont Stakes, and winning both the Grade II Jim Dandy Stakes and Grade I Travers Stakes that same year. He took third place in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes, but finished second last at eleventh place in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Classic. As a four-year-old, Stay Thirsty finished second to Trickmeister in the Vanlandingham Stakes at Belmont Park, but having exited the starting gate poorly, finished fifth in a field of seven in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap. Fans will no doubt be keen to see Stay Thirsty redeem himself in the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday.

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