Macaabra with Pravien Prat up getting last minute instructions from Gary Mandella
Trained by Gary Mandella, Macaabra (MAC), an Irish Bay Filly by Exceed and Excel (Austrailia) out of Al Cobra (Ireland) by Sadler Wells (Ireland) foaled March 25, 2010, won the feature race at Santa Anita on Friday, January 24, 2014. Going to the gate as a 21:1 long shot, MAC didn’t disappoint her small band of supporters.
Competing in an Allowance Race for fillies 4-yo and up, with a purse of $58,000, on the 6.5 furlong, down hill turf course at Santa Anita, Macaabra chased outside, maintaining contact with the field through the first half mile. Running about 4 lengths off the leaders, MAC came out wide in the stretch, rallied strongly from 6th, and in a perfectly timed ride by Flavien Prat, took the lead a few jumps before the wire for a ½ length win. Prat, on a U.S. sojourn, is a contract rider for the Wertheimer and Frere racing partnership in France. This was his first win at the current meet.
Macaabra was purchased by HnR Nothhaft Horseracing LLC after compiling a 3 win record in 7 starts in the U.K. The plan behind her purchase was conceived by Hank Nothhaft, Carl McEntee, now of Darby Dan, and Gary Mandella. The basic premise behind the plan was to acquire a proven 3-yo filly with racing upside and a broodmare prospect pedigree to replenish HnR’s racing stable depleted by some early retirements. A secondary objective was to buy a filly that would qualify for the Delmar ship in bonus.
After surveying the market it was decided that prices in the U.K. were far more attractive than the current U.S. market. Taking advantage of McEntee’s strong base of contacts in Europe, several prospects were identified that met the criteria outlined in the plan. After evaluating the available fillies, the team quickly zeroed in on Macaabra as the filly to buy. After agreeing to terms and conditions of the purchase and vetting MAC, McEntee flew to the U.K. for final inspection and to close the transaction.
Macaabra flew directly to LAX from Scotland via IRT. After clearing quarantine, she commenced training at Hollywood Park and then shipped to Delmar. She encountered some minor adjustment issues, but ran well in her allowance debut August 25, 2013, at Delmar finishing a close second by ¾ or a length to Include the Aussie and qualifying for a Delmar Ship In Bonus.
She did not repeat her form in her next two starts including one on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita. It was determined post race that she had a mild lung infection during her last race and went a long way to explaining her lack of a strong closing finish.
She was given plenty of time off to mend and worked well with Pratt before going into to the first level Allowance on the down hill turf course at Santa Anita on the 24th. MAC’s record now stands at 11 starts, 4 wins, 1 place and 1 show. Given her strong pedigree, Macaabra is well positioned to move forward in her next start.