Mass Media logged his first career multiple stakes winner on Dec. 26 at Tampa Bay Downs when Manicero won the $75,000 Inaugural S. (VIDEO
), the showcase event on the card which featured all 2-year-olds. Manicero previously won the $125,000 Jack Price Juvenile S. at Calder on Nov. 13.
Manicero is one of five stakes horses for Mass Media, who has 13 winners to date and ranks first on Florida's freshman sire list in terms of stakes horses and third in progeny earnings.
In the Inaugural, Mancino raced inside the leaders early, came through on the rail midway on the turn to challenge the leaders, and pulled away from Bart B Don in the stretch, ultimately winning by a length. Manicero covered the six furlongs over a fast racing strip in 1:11.57 to score his third straight win. His only loss came in his debut at Calder on Oct. 2.
Trainer Leo Azpurua, Jr. said of his charge’s win, “I told Luis (jockey Saez) that I wanted him to be able to rate the horse, because I think that makes him a better horse. He was able to save ground and run strongly down the stretch, and I was very happy about that because I plan to stretch him out.”
Azpurua said that he wants the colt’s next start to be in January 15’s Pasco Stakes at seven furlongs, also at Tampa Bay Downs. Azpurua credits his father (owner Leo, Sr.) for seeing the potential in Manicero. “He bought the horse privately from the breeder, and he told me that this was a very special horse. He gets all the credit – he was right. I’m very happy to be training for him, and training this horse.”
Luis Saez said of the Inaugural winner, "This colt has shown real speed in some of his races but he has learned how to relax too. We broke with other horses so I had to settle him early; but getting to the turn, I saw there was going to be an opening down along the rail so I asked him to go there. I had to use him to keep him there but when we got to the stretch I thought we were safe. He is a very nice colt, and yes I do think he can stretch out and win going farther."
Manicero was bred in Florida by Robert Sanson. Manicero's dam, Ritzy Blitz, has six winners to date, including listed stakes horses Delirio and Puerto Plata.
The dark bay or brown colt's record now stands at 4-3-0-0 , with earnings of $144,008. He is the leading money earner for his sire.
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