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Mucho Macho Man triumphs in Sunshine Millions Classic

 
After the debacle in last year’s Sunshine Millions Classic, newly minted Grade 1 and Classic winner Mucho Macho Man returned to Gulfstream Park this year seeking redemption. The bitter taste left in the mouth of the strapping son of Macho Uno took a while to dissipate, especially after his success in that very spot in 2012. After overcoming a couple of illnesses early in the year, the sting of defeat eventually gave way to the sweet taste of victory as the big guy rounded into form during the latter part of the year. His return to form came just in time to capture two consecutive Grade 1 events, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita. As has been the case since he became eligible for the series, Mucho Macho Man is using the Sunshine Millions Classic as his seasonal debut.
 
 
The field got off to a clean start, and with Gary Stevens in the irons, Mucho Macho Man zipped out of the gate and went right to front with Bernie the Maestro going with him. As Bernie the Maestro moved up on their outside, Stevens took Mucho Macho Man back just a bit to let their rival by so that they could move to the outside. The Ramsey owned gelding struck the front and pulled off to lead by two, setting fractions of 23:08 and 46:25. Rule Number Six stalked the pace from third with Decaf Again, Joshua’s Comprise, and Gourmet Dinner well out of contention early.
 
 
As Bernie the Maestro and Mucho Macho Man entered the turn, Stevens gave his mount the cue. From that point on, the only question was by how far Mucho Macho Man would win as he opened up by daylight over his overmatched competitors. While the Horse of the Year and Older Male finalist galloped comfortably along with pricked ears on the lead, Bernie the Maestro gave way completely in the stretch and longshots Joshua’s Comprise and Decaf Again moved up to take second and third respectively.
 
 
While well within himself, Mucho Macho Man stopped the clock in 1.48:76, less than a second off the track record for 1 1/8 mile, and was clear by a whopping 14 lengths. As the clear 1-9 favorite, Mucho Macho Man returned $2.20/$2.10/$2.10 for a $2 wager. Second place finisher Joshua’s Comprise paid $13.60/$6.00, and Decaf Again paid $6.20 for finishing third. The order of finish was completed by Bernie the Maestro, Gourmet Dinner, and Rule Number Six.
 
 
The $240,000 winner’s share of the Classic’s $400,000 purse pushed Mucho Macho Man’s career earnings over the $5.5 million mark. His facile victory improved his overall record to 24: 9-5-6. With a defense of his Breeders’ Cup Classic title being the year-end goal, fans will likely next see the big guy in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap on February 9 or the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 8. Based on the usual time table for Mucho Macho Man, the latter is more likely than the former unless trainer Kathy Ritvo and owners Patti and Dean Reaves opt to ship west and take a shot at the G1 Santa Anita Handicap, or overseas for the Dubai World Cup. 

 

What the Nation is saying about Mucho Macho Man triumphs in Sunshine Millions Classic...

I'll be selfish and say no to Dubai because I want to see MMM running in the States and not have to miss all that time that goes a trip to Dubai!
I hope he doesn't go to Dubai. I'd rather he stayed here and had a complete year long campaign against the deep division we have assembled this year. That way when this time next year rolls around, there will be no questions about his resume.
WoW Nice Public Work LOL
I know Dubai is a target, but man I hope he goes for the Big Cap. Another race vs Will and the dude would be perfect leading up to the major Derby preps.
Geldedridgling,you can't blame them if they do.Who can pass up a $12 million dollar purse when you have this Monster in your barn. Forget about anything this horse has done or has not done in the past. He is in obscenely great form. If you can't step outside the box and go for it now,they never will.
gary's already cleaned up and at the Eclipse Awards!
I hope he doesn't go to Dubai. His ability on turf in unknown at this point, and only turf horses do well in Dubai.

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis
 

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.

 

Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Since joining Horse Racing Nation as a contributing blogger, Ashley writes as frequently as possible as the Florida Filly. Though she mainly covers racing in South Florida, Ashley also blogs about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offers her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. Most recently, Ashley was selected to participate in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.

 

An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley lives in Central Georgia with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. When she is not covering the races, Ashley works with insurance claims, a job she is able to do from home in order to spend as much time as possible with her family. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is passionate about football, reading, and history and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.