‘I’ll Take A Barnful Like Her’: Mucho Unusual Does It All For Team Yakteen

If Mucho Unusual were human, she’d be considered an ideal employee. She’s industrious, productive, honest and earns her keep.

Not much more one could ask for from an equine or a human.

A 5-year-old California-bred mare owned and bred by George Krikorian, Mucho Unusual lives up to her name as she has won sprinting on dirt and routing on grass, running her last 13 races in stakes competition, 12 in open company, including her most noteworthy triumph in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes last September.

Next up: Saturday’s Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes at a mile on turf at Santa Anita Park, a race in which she was second last February. Victory would be worth $120,000, drawing her closer to millionaire status at $942,715.

“She’s doing great,” said Tim Yakteen, who trains the bay for longtime client Krikorian. “She’s in good form so we’re good to go.”

Joel Rosario, who has ridden Mucho Unusual six times previously, winning three, pilots Knicks Go against Charlatan in the $20 million Saudi Cup Saturday, so Abel Cedillo rides her for the first time in the Buena Vista.

“It’s been great working with an operation like George’s,” said Yakteen, 56, the son of a German mother and a Lebanese-born father who joined the U.S. Army which earned him an assignment in Nuremberg, where Tim was born.

Krikorian built a career in real estate and commercial development before founding Kirkorian Premiere Theaters in 1984, but never lost sight of horses. His father, George Sr., trained horses in the 1960s and ’70s.

Once asked what his father taught him, Krikorian quipped, “Well, he tried to teach me not to buy any horses, but I didn’t listen.”

His steadfastness has paid off.

“George always puts the horse first and it’s great working with someone like that,” observed Yakteen, who was assistant to Bob Baffert from 1988 through 1991 before working with another Hall of Fame trainer, the late Charlie Whittingham, for six years. Yakteen rejoined Baffert in 1997 and remained through 2004 before going on his own.

He is married to Millie Ball, a horsewoman in her native England and thus a knowledgeable TV commentator with XBTV.

“George raises fantastic horses,” Yakteen noted. “A number of them have been sold at auction and done exceptionally well. Honor A.P.is one. (The Honor Code colt sold for $850,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton July sale and would go to win last year’s Runhappy Santa Anita Derby). They are horses you want to get up for in the morning.”

Mucho Unusual is in that category, worth waking before sunrise.

“I’ll take a barnful like her,” Yakteen said.

The Buena Vista, race seven of nine with a 12:30 p.m. first post time: Bohemian Bourbon, Jose Valdivia Jr., 20-1; Mucho Unusual, Abel Cedillo, 7-2; Warren’s Showtime, Juan Hernandez, 5-1; Nasty, Ricardo Gonzalez, 6-1; Red Lark, Drayden Van Dyke, 8-1; Sedamar, Ruben Fuentes, 8-1; Going to Vegas, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Charmaine’s Mia, Flavien Prat, 3-1; Sloane Garden, Tiago Pereira, 12-1; and Heathers Grey, Jessica Pyfer, 20-1.

The post ‘I’ll Take A Barnful Like Her’: Mucho Unusual Does It All For Team Yakteen appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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