Mucho Macho Man to Run in Santa Anita Handicap
By Phil Janack
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Four months after his victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Florida-bred fan favorite Mucho Macho Man will be returning to Santa Anita for his next start.
Following Mucho Macho Man’s blazing five-furlong work Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park, trainer Kathy Ritvo and Finn Green, racing manager for owners Dean and Patti Reeves, said the 6-year-old son of Macho Uno will run in the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) on March 8.
“There were some great opportunities for him, but the horse is telling us he’s getting ready now,” Ritvo said. “We thought long and hard about where to go, and we have to do what we feel is best for the horse. I think he’d run well wherever he went. We know about going to Santa Anita now, so it’s nice to go back.”
In addition to the Santa Anita Handicap, Mucho Macho Man was also being considered for the $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse on March 29. He won the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita in his start prior to the Breeders’ Cup.
“The people in Dubai have been very kind and professional,” Green said. “We examined our options over a long period of time, and feel it’s the best thing for the horse to stay here and go to Santa Anita.
“It came down to what it’s always been with Kathy and I and what we feel was best for the horse. With a horse like him, you have to look at all of your options. At this stage in his career, there’s business considerations that you have to examine. The business considerations came out that it’s best to keep the horse here.”
Under regular exercise rider Nick Petro, Mucho Macho Man was clocked in 58.16 seconds for five furlongs, galloping out six-eighths in 1:10.77 over a fast main track. It was his second work since a dominant 14-length victory in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream on Jan. 18 to kick off his 2014 campaign.
“He did it nice and easy, too,” Ritvo said. “The track was fast, but he just did it easy. He’s a happy horse. He’s just doing really, really well right now.”