Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: Mucho Gusto

February 4th, 2019

The Bob Baffert-trained Mucho Gusto earned 10 points on The Road to the Kentucky Derby with his stylish tally in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) on Saturday. He upped his mark to three-for-four after his Santa Anita triumph over a sloppy, sealed oval under Joe Talamo.

Mucho Gusto was bred in Kentucky by Teneri Farm, Inc. and Bernardo Alvarez Calderon. He passed through the auction ring on four separate occasions. The chestnut brought $14,000 as a yearling at the 2017 Keeneland January Sale, only to be turned into a $95,000 at Keeneland September later that same season.

The colt was offered at the 2018 OBS March Two-Year-Olds inTraining Sale, but didn’t meet his reserve and went as an RNA ($55,000). Showing up as Hip No. 278 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May Sale, Mucho Gusto brought a hefty final bid of $625,000 to his current owner, Michael Lund Pedersen.

Mucho Gusto is by second-crop sire Mucho Macho Man, who banked more than $5 million on the racetrack and earned his biggest coup in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita. The Adena Springs stallion finished ninth on the 2018 First-Crop Sire List and looks to have a promising future at stud. To date, his progeny have been versatile in winning on multiple surfaces.

Itsagiantcauseway is the first dam of Mucho Gusto. The 12-year-old Giant’s Causeway mare is also responsible for an unnamed yearling colt by Jack Milton.

Giant’s Causeway has been both a top sire and broodmare sire with a global impact on racing. His daughters have produced at least 106 stakes winners to date and two of this weekend’s Derby prep winners are out of mares by the ‘Iron Horse’ – Mucho Gusto and Withers (G3) hero Tax. The 2017 Horse of the Year and $15,988,500 earner Gun Runner was also produced from a daughter of Giant’s Causeway.

The winning Seeking the Gold mare Countervail is his second dam. She counts herself as a half-sister to a pair of stakes winners, including Canadian Horse of the Year Peaks and Valleys, as well as multiple stakes heroine Alternate. There is a fine amount of stamina and class throughout this female line.

Mucho Gusto is an interesting Triple Crown prospect going forward. He made two moves like a seasoned veteran in the Lewis when dominating his foes. The Baffert trainee is in the right hands and appears to be developing in smart fashion.

The pedigree of the sophomore is strong from a stamina perspective through the female line, though the jury is still out about Mucho Macho Man as a sire and how far his progeny will want to travel. How Mucho Gusto handles his future nine-furlong prep race will tell us a lot more.

Mucho Gusto photo (c) Benoit