Profiling the Sunshine Millions: Mucho Macho Man

Mucho Macho Man recently returned to the track after taking a hiatus following the Belmont Stakes. The son of Macho Uno was one of only three colts to run all three legs of last year’s Triple Crown. Although he was not injured, trainer Kathy Ritvo decided to give her charge a break, especially since he was technically younger than most other foals in his crop based on a June 15 foal date. The five month break did the colt a world of good, giving Mucho Macho Man the chance to fill out and grow into his a frame a little more.  In his return race back in November, the big bay colt wired an allowance optional claiming field cruising home 5 ¾ lengths ahead of his nearest competitor.
With that allowance race under his belt, Mucho Macho Man looks to find his way back into the winner’s circle with a score in the Sunshine Millions Classic. The race closed with 19 nominations, but only 14 colts enter the starting gate. Among the other nominees are tough competitors Adios Charlie, Comma to the Top, Decisive Moment, Duke of Mischief, Flat Out, I’m Steppin’ It Up, and Toby’s Corner. Between the seven of them are three Grade 1 wins, three Grade 2 wins, and four Grade 3 wins. Adios Charlie has never finished worse than second, and Toby’s Corner has never finished worse than third. Under the conditions of the race, should all 19 horses be entered in the race, then Mucho Macho Man, Adios Charlie, Comma to the Top, Duke of Mischief, Flat Out, Toby’s Corner, Atoned, Birdrun, and Ron the Greek would all be guaranteed a spot in the starting gate. That makes for quite a tough field for a horse making only his second start after a five month layoff. But this is Mucho Macho Man we are talking about, and he has proved that his name is fitting. Also nominated are Chiseled Light, Decaf Again, Dream Maestro, Imperial Czar, Racing Aptitude, Thunder Ball, Turbo Compressor, and Victory Pete.
Mucho Macho Man likes to run on or near the lead but has not won at a distance greater than one mile and a sixteenth. In order to win the SM Classic, he will need to be able to stretch out his speed to a mile and an eighth against horses that have already proven an affinity for distance. Both Macho Uno and Ponche de Leona, Mucho Macho Man’s sire and dam, were winners at a mile and an eighth, but the colt’s damsire Ponche was a sprinter. Mucho also gets distance from his sire’s sire, the legendary Holy Bull. He also has Mr. Prospector on top and bottom; as well as Nasrullah on top and Northern Dancer, Native Dancer, and Nijinsky on the bottom. Should Mucho Macho Man be able to stretch his speed out in a route, then he will have inherited the best of both worlds.
After a good freshening and a sparkling return race, Mucho Macho Man looks to be on top of his game and ready to roll. As shown by videos posted by Dream Team One Racing Stable, the colt is a bit of a clown in the bar. Do not be fooled, though, because once the colt steps out onto the track, he is all business. Look for a bigger, more mature version of Mucho Macho Man to step out onto Gulfstream’s main track next weekend and be ready for a show of talent from this hard knocking colt and the rest of the field.


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Older Comments about Profiling the Sunshine Millions: Mucho Macho Man...

Wow! Deep talent in the field for the Sunshine Millions! Very exciting. I am cheering for Mucho Macho Man... just because I like him and Comma To the Top since Peter Miller has done such a fabulous job with him!
good luck to mucho macho man & duke of mischief-who won in charles town recently!!!
Thank you for writing about him, Ashley. I love this colt and his story. I know he will be a great one to watch in 2012, with this race only serving as the appetizer
Ann Maree, you were right about the Risen Star; I made a mistake there, and I thank you for pointing that out so that I can amend it. You're also right that he ran very well in the Triple Crown. I was not trying to knock him; I was just pointing out that he still has some work to do. I love this colt, and I think the distance should not be a problem. I should have been clearer about what I meant.
Have been partial to MMM, wanted him to win the Derby, & think there's so much talent and heart waiting to show itself. Thx for the piece.
Nice piece, Ashley. Just a couple of points: Saying that Mucho Macho Man has not won at a distance greater than a mile 70 yards (isn't Risen Star a tad longer, I could be wrong?) and therefore is a question mark at 1 1/8 really doesn't tell the whole story. He ran a very respectable third in the Derby, just barely missing being second in that race, and he did not disgrace himself with a 6 in the Preakness, and 7 in the Belmont, especially considering the colt was still actually only a 2 yr old basically running against older horses . I think he can get the distance just fine. Probably in the Belmont, you could say the distance was a little outside his ability, but, the miracle was he didn't finish last...@ 7th, he stayed to finish ahead of a few horses. I believe MMM's experience in those races, though, will stand him in good stead, and, as you suggest, his success in his recent allowance race should boost his confidence. He should be a force to reckon with in 2012, and I'm looking forward to watching him, and all of the grads from the Class of 2011 give us some great racing this year. Besides, the story of the Lazarus horse and the Lazarus trainer resonates with the fans, and racing can always use some "good news".
excited to see How toby's corner does with his come back!
excited about return just wish he had had another prep race before this one
Thanks Mary Z, The Sunshine Millions are tough races to handicap every year. I think the lay-offs make these harder to decipher.
With that huge of a possible field, need to start working on this race early. Thanks for the info.

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