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Mucho Unusual Makes Stunning Late Run to Capture San Clemente S. (G2)

07.21.2019 -

George Krikorian's homebred filly Mucho Unusual showed off her tremendous turn of foot July 20, rallying from last in the field of 10 to claim the $201,755 San Clemente Stakes (G2) over one mile at Del Mar. 

The 3-year-old filly is the latest Stakes winner for her sire, 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Mucho Mucho Man, who was also represented by Haskell Inv. (G1) runner-up Mucho Gusto on the third Saturday in July.

Sent out as the 5-2 co-favorite with Keeper Ofthe Stars, Mucho Unusual broke slowly under Joel Rosario and went to the rear of the field, running well back and off the pace. 

Harmless and Devils Dance each vied for command from the break, with Harmless getting the upper hand as they reached the six-furlong point in 1:10.84. But the lead was short-lived as fast-moving grade 3 winner Apache Princess, under Kent Desormeaux, swung out leaving the backstretch and made a four-wide bid for control. 

With seven lengths to make up to catch the leader, Mucho Unusual was angled out even farther to the outside by Rosario and dug in. Drifting back in toward the middle of the field as they approached the finish, Mucho Unusual kicked home under left-handed urging in a massive final effort to pass Apache Princess. The 3-year-old bay managed to eke out the win by a neck in 1:34.66 on firm turf.

"She just didn't show me a lot (of speed) early, so I let her do her thing away from there," said Rosario. "On the backside, she wanted to go, so we went after them. Turning for home, I thought about going down inside, but she was making up ground and I didn't want to chance it. She had that nice acceleration through the stretch, and we got it. I love it here at Del Mar." 

"I left (race tactics) up to Joel, but I was just as surprised as everybody else that she was as far back as she was," said the filly's trainer, Tim Yakteen. "She was doing really well, and I conveyed that to Joel in the paddock. We're really pleased with her effort. Things have been going according to plan, and this is one industry where that doesn't often happen. The prep race at Santa Anita set her up well for this, and this should set her up well for the (Aug. 17 Del Mar) Oaks (G1)." 

It was the third consecutive victory—and first in a graded stakes—for the daughter of Adena Springs rising stallion Mucho Macho Man. She earned black-type honors Feb. 18 in the California Cup Oaks at Santa Anita Park before scoring again four months later in a June 16 allowance optional claiming race at the Southern California track. 

Bred in California, Mucho Unusual is the fifth foal out of the Unusual Heat mare Not Unusual. It was the only time Not Unusual has been mated to a sire other than California-based Mr. Big . Not Unusual has produced stakes-placed Unusually Big and grade 3 victor Big Score. The mare has a yearling colt named Big Talker and a filly born April 13. 

- edited from www.bloodhorse.com 
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