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Mucho Macho Man Eyes Sunshine Millions Repeat

Mucho Macho Man with Mike Smith aboard pull a mild upset in the $350,000 Grade II Suburban Handicap, for 3-year olds & up, at 1 1/8 mile at Belmont Park. Trainer Kathy Ritvo. Owner Reeves Thoroughbred Racing.
Mucho Macho Man, who captured the $500,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic last season, will launch his 2013 season with a title defense in showcase of the six-race $1.3 million event for Florida-bred horses at Gulfstream on Jan. 19.

“We thought it was the ideal place to start,” said trainer Kathy Ritvo, who worked with Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s stable manager, Finn Green, on the decision to target the 1 1/8-race Classic.

The soon-to-be 5-year-old launched a highly successful 2012 campaign with a 1 ½-length triumph over Ron the Greek in 1 1/8-mile Classic. The son of Macho Uno went on to win the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) and Suburban Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park, before finishing a troubled second in the Woodward (G1) at Saratoga. He completed his season with a close second-place finish in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), in which he engaged Fort Larned during a thrilling stretch-long duel, only to fall a half-length short of victory.

"On Saturday morning, he’ll go three-eighths of a mile in preparation for the Sunshine Millions here on the 19th of January,” Green said. “It’s a great race to go back into after the Breeders’ Cup Classic, a fantastic race for him to get back.”

Mucho Macho Man, who picked up $900,000 for his stirring runner-up finish at Santa Anita on Nov. 3, has earned $2.3 million in purses while compiling an impressive resume that includes a third-place finish in the 2011 Kentucky Derby. He’s come painfully close, but he has yet to win a Grade 1 stakes. His connections had the option to bypass the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic in favor of the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 9.

“He’ll catch plenty of Grade 1s this year, but this is best race to go into after that race,” Green said.

The Florida Sunshine Millions will be conducted as a prelude to the 44th annual Eclipse Awards ceremony, which will be held for the first time at a racetrack on the evening of Jan. 19 in Gulfstream Park’s Sport of Kings facility.

Mucho Macho Man will prepare for his first start of the season with his first workout since his brilliant performance from his outside post position in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“He’s done great. He’s come out of the race great,” Ritvo said. “He came out fantastic and he’s shown us all the right signs.”

Mucho Macho Man’s connections said they’ll take his 2013 campaign one race at a time.

“We have a plan, but we’re just going to start with this one,” Ritvo said.

 

 

What the Nation is saying about Mucho Macho Man Eyes Sunshine Millions Repeat...

It will be the same route they went last year. Sunshine Millions, Gulfstream Park Handicap, then the Alysheba. Maybe they might try the Stephen Foster instead, but he should have ran more GR1's last year. They skipped the Stephen Foster, Whitney, Woodward, and JCGC. This is FAR too talented a horse to be running anything but GR1's.
Sorry it is an easy paycheque, and that is all. They are HOPING he wins a GR1 sometime later in the year, but let's not forget the Donn's fields lately have not been to strong. So I don't see how he could not beat Take charge indy, and notch that first GR1.
This is a whole other story than the Havre De Grace situation. Mucho Macho Man is basically ready to run now; was Havre De Grace even back in training this soon after the '11 BCC? Also, there was that whole deal about the weight assignment at Oaklawn, and the Fair Grounds purse being raised, which swayed the decision to run the HOTY in an ungraded stakes. The trainer said it as reported in the blog, this is the race that they think MMM can win. Maybe he had too much pie over at Thanksgiving, but then I've never been good at food analogies. They shouldn't duck the Donn, imo, but then they would want that purse for the surer thing. When is MMM going to become a grade 1 winner? Not in his next race.
It's just the first race of the year. There will be plenty of time during the rest of 2013 to pick up a G1 win. Just remember how Havre de Grace began her 2012 year....
agreed, I like him, but his connections are predicting g1s for him in 2013... yet they run him in a restricted race??
i agree ..mmm has been handled like a pretender his whole career
Skip the DONN, for a restricted race. That was great spot to land his first GR1. For a horse with his record, he should not be running vs State breds .

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