Depending on your point of view it may have been gone far too long, or maybe not nearly long enough, but either way you slice it, Disco was back, alive, and well yesterday at Aqueduct. Like the reawakening of a slumbering giant, Mucho Macho Man, disco steed that he is, returned to the races with a stylish win in front of an appreciative crowd at the Big A.
The Risen Star Stakes winner and Kentucky Derby third place finisher, hit the dance floor running, cruised to the early lead, and looked as positively fancy as John Travolta in his white suite wearing days. Leaving a solid field of $55,000 optional claimers left to do little but stand on the side and watch the show, Mucho Macho Man showed not an inkling of rust as he danced his way to a rousing 5 ¾ length victory under jockey Ramon Dominguez.
Trainer Kathy Ritvo hadn’t dressed up her grand colt for a day out on the town since a disappointing and eventful run in the sloppy Belmont Stakes back in June. With yesterday’s performance, she has to be licking her chops in anticipation on how to fill Mucho Macho Man’s dance card.
Despite being one of the few horses to run in all three legs of this year’s Triple Crown, the son of Macho Uno was a bit of a forgotten hero after a 6th place finish in the Preakness, and a 7th in the Belmont. Those last two performances may soon be forgotten though for the Patti Reeves and Dream Team One Racing Stable charge, if his return race is any indication.
Sent off as a slim 7-5 second choice behind Southern Ridge, Mucho Macho Man was soon joined by the favorite after the first quarter mile. Now if you think that this was a no competition kind of race, keep in mind that Southern Ridge had finished a solid second in Monmouth’s Grade 3 Iselin Handicap in his most recent start. Setting strong fractions of :23.63, :46.32, the Village People’s favorite horse just toyed with his older rival and began widening his lead on the far turn. Switching leads on cue, the Macho Man effortlessly pulled clear down the lane, and stopped the timer in 1:34.72.
Already a physical specimen at a young age - he’s younger than most anyone in his foal crop – Mucho Macho Man appears to be filling out his long, lean frame with muscle. I’m sure the Village People would tell you every horse ought to be a Mucho Macho Man. I would say that maybe as much as any horse in America, he appears primed for a big 2012. Get ready world, Mucho Macho Man is back, and that means Disco can’t be far behind.