Race of the Week 2017

Mucho Macho Man Works for Sunshine Millions

Mucho Macho Man wins the Breeders' Cup Classic
Photo: Don August
Mucho Macho Man breezed sharply Saturday morning for his scheduled 2014 debut in next Saturday’s $400,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park.           

The 6-year-old Florida-bred worked a half-mile in 47 4/5 seconds before galloping out five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 under regular exercise rider Nick Petro Jr.  Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s star worked well off the inside rail and finished strongly through the stretch in preparation for his first start since capturing the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

“He worked great. It was nice to see him off the fence. It was a little deeper there,” said  trainer Kathy Ritvo, noting that the four-path work was by design. “He’s a smart horse. He knows what he’s doing. My job is easy.”

Following the workout, Dean and Patti Reeves’ stable manager Finn Green said the 1 1/8-mile Classic, which will anchor the six-race $1.3 million Sunshine Millions card, is the perfect start-off point for Mucho Macho Man’s 2014 campaign.           

“It gives us a lot of options. There are multiple options off that race for us,” Green said. “With the weather down here and the rain, we wanted to take the first short at a dry track that we could get. If it comes up wet we can go somewhere after that, but it launches us into February and March after that.           

“If we get rained out of this race, we probably wouldn’t stay here and take a chance to get rained out of the Donn. We’d probably go to California and run in the race out there that is a prep for the Santa Anita Handicap (March 8),” added Green, referring to the San Antonio (G2) at Santa Anita on Feb. 8.           

Mucho Macho Man, who has earned $5.3 million during his four-years of racing, captured the 2012 Sunshine Millions, but was pulled up in last year’s edition due to his dislike for sloppy going. If the sun shines on Saturday, the Classic will be the first step toward his camp’s ultimate goal of returning to Santa Anita at year’s end for a Breeders’ Cup Classic defense.           

“This race also sets us up to go to several other places, even not in this country. The Dubai World Cup (March 29) is an option,” Green said. “We have three different paths we can go. One is the conventional route on dirt and the other two are on other surfaces. He’s definitely a mile-and-a-quarter horse, so this race sets us up for a couple of races out in front of us, one is in California and the other is somewhere else.”           

Mucho Macho Man trained over the Tapeta synthetic surface at Fair Hill last spring and summer.           

“They have Tapeta over there (in Dubai). He ran very well on Tapeta. We’ve worked him over it a couple times, and he had great action, great extension,” Green said. “But there are 100 and some-odd things that can go wrong between here and there and only one thing that can go right to go over there.”                 


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