Photo: Benoit Photo
Breeders’ Cup Classic victor Mucho Macho Man
returned to his
Florida roots Wednesday, arriving at Gulfstream Park just before noon
following a cross-country flight from Southern California.
Upon arriving at Palm Beach International airport on a flight that
originated in Los Angeles, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Breeders’ Cup
hero was vanned to Gulfstream, where he was greeted by trainer Kathy
“He looks great,” said Ritvo, who became the first woman in the 30-year
history of the Breeders’ Cup to saddle a Classic winner.
Mucho Macho Man received a long bath before returning to his familiar
stall in Barn 4 on the Gulfstream backstretch. The Florida-bred champion
scored local victories in the Sunshine Millions Classic and Gulfstream
Park Handicap (G2) in 2012.
The 5-year-old son of Macho Uno made a sweeping move to the lead on the
final turn, took command in the homestretch and held on gamely to nose
out late-charging Will Take Charge at the finish of the 1 ¼-mile finale
of the 30th Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.
Mucho Macho Man provided Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens his first
success in the Classic. The victory was worth $2,750,000 to swell his
career bankroll to $5,340.410.
The Classic winner will make an appearance at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
On a program that will celebrate Florida-breds with the eight-race $1
million Florida Sunshine Millions Preview, Mucho Macho Man will be
brought to the saddling enclosure and walking ring with the horses
entered in the $150,000 Classic Preview race at approximately 2:30 p.m.
Fans will be able to take pictures of the Horse of the Year candidate
while he circles the walking ring.
The first 2,000 fans who purchase a Gulfstream Park program will receive a free Mucho Macho Man t-shirt while supplies last.
A decision about whether Mucho Macho Man will race again next year or be retired to stud has not been made.
“We’re going to let him get settled in this week then start talking,” Ritvo said.
Should he return to action in 2014, Ritvo said that a start at
Gulfstream was very possible while the $10 million Dubai World Cup would
be an option.
While all options for Mucho Macho Man are being weighed, he could return to the track this week.
“He might go back in a couple days, as long as he’s not too tired,” Ritvo said.
Mucho Macho Man gave all the right signals to his trainer after arriving at Gulfstream Wednesday.
“He’s the man,” said Ritvo while watching her stable star get his bath.
“I think he knows he won, just the way he walked back after the race.
He’s a smart horse.”