He has competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown, been on the board in 17 of 21 career races, won three Grade 2 stakes and nearly $2.5 million in purses, but Mucho Macho Man has yet to earn his first Grade 1 victory.
Trainer Kathy Ritvo would like to see it happen on Saturday, when the 5-year-old son of Macho Uno returns to Saratoga Race Course in the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward.
Owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Mucho Macho Man is winless in three starts this year with two thirds, including the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap on August 3.
"He ran a huge race in the Whitney off his time off and an easy race back. This should be a good race for him," Ritvo said. "I hope he wins. He deserves to win a race like this."
Third in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, Mucho Macho Man has always impressed with his imposing size, standing more than 17 hands tall. He closed his 4-year-old season finishing second by a neck to To Honor and Serve in last year's Woodward, and second by a half-length to Fort Larned in the Breeders' Cup Classic.
"He's definitely matured," Ritvo said. "I think he's stopped growing, finally. He's a big, strong horse. He's huge. He's tall, and now he's filled out. I think he'll run a very good race. He's always consistent. He's doing well, and we're looking forward to running him. It should be a good race."
The absence of Fort Larned and Whitney winner Cross Traffic figure to change the pace dynamic in the Woodward, but Ritvo doesn't think it should affect Mucho Macho Man, who will be ridden for the third straight time by Hall of Famer Edgar Prado.
"I don't think it's going to change my horse's plan. Not that much affects him," Ritvo said. "I think it's still a very tough race. I'm just going to tell Edgar to ride his own race. He's just going to have to see where he breaks, and the horse will pretty much do anything he wants him to do. We're excited."