Belmont Stakes Notes - June 5, 2011
BELMONT, N.Y. – Mucho Macho Man turned in his final serious work for Saturday’s 143rd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes this morning under new jockey Ramon Dominguez, covering the five furlongs in a brisk 59.57, the fastest of 15 at the distance.
The leggy bay colt, third in the Kentucky Derby and then sixth in the Preakness after losing a shoe, came onto the main track shortly after the renovation break at 8:45 a.m. Jogging past the “Breakfast at Belmont” fans in front of the grandstand, Mucho Macho Man stood quietly at the finish line for a few moments before Dominguez turned him around and cantered around the clubhouse turn. On the backstretch, Dominguez allowed the colt to quicken his pace at the 5 ½-furlong pole, turning in splits of 12.08, 23.93 and 35.22, and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.18.
“He went very good today, I think Ramon fit him really well,” said trainer Kathy Ritvo. “He was comfortable on him, he let him do it on his own, and he went great. Finished up well, galloped out good, good energy. I’m happy that he’s doing really well.”
Mucho Macho Man will be one of a trio of horses in the Belmont to have competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown. Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who had a 1 ½ mile gallop over the main track after his 7:30 a.m. arrival from Fair Hill, Md., and Preakness winner Shackleford, who was confirmed for the Belmont following Saturday’s work, are the others.
Ritvo said she was looking forward to the opportunity to take on the Derby and Preakness winners again.
“I think he’s going to run well on this racetrack,” said Ritvo, who trains Mucho Macho Man for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team Racing Stable. “It’s a great place to train a horse. It’s a great place to run. And I think the distance is going to suit him well. He’s the kind of horse who wants to keep going.”
Although Mucho Macho Man is technically three years old, as all thoroughbreds share a common January 1 birthday, his actual foal date was June 15, 2008.
“He’s been super, I’ve never had anything like this before,” said Ritvo. “He eats well, eats three or four times a day. He never leaves an oat. He loves to train; you put the tack on him, he’s a professional. I have to keep reminding myself he’s a June 15 foal.”
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