Updated on 10/01/2013 9:05AM

Awesome Again Stakes: Mucho Macho Man wins impressively

Benoit & Associates
Mucho Macho Man and jockey Gary Stevens win the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes by 4 1/4 lengths Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Mucho Macho Man might not be based in California, but he sure likes it here.

Second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, Mucho Macho Man served notice that he will be formidable in that race again this year with an emphatic, 4 1/4-length victory Saturday in the Grade 1, $250,000 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita.

The Awesome Again offers a fees-paid berth to the $5 million BC Classic here Nov. 2 through the Win and You’re In program.

Mucho Macho Man ($5.20) was favored in the 10-horse field and ran like he should have been odds-on. Kept wide and in the clear by jockey Gary Stevens after breaking from the outside post, the long-striding horse made a powerful, four-wide move on the far turn and kicked clear turning into the lane, putting daylight between himself and his rivals.

Paynter, fanned at least six paths wide into the lane, courageously rallied for second, 2 1/4 lengths in front of the former claimer Soi Phet. Golden Ticket was fourth.

Mucho Macho Man completed 1 1/8 miles on the fast main track in 1:48.30. He has won seven times in 22 starts.

Kathy Ritvo, who trains Mucho Macho Man for Dean Reeves’s Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, said Mucho Macho Man would remain here for the next five weeks to prepare for the Classic.

“He seems to thrive here,” Ritvo said.

The win was the first for Mucho Macho Man in four starts this year and his first since the Suburban in July 2012 at Belmont Park. Significantly, though, this was his first Grade 1 after several near misses, including last year’s BC Classic and Woodward.

Mucho Macho Man most recently was third in the Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 3. A start in the Woodward four weeks later was scrapped because of an off track that day. Rather than remaining in New York for the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the horse was shipped west during the second week of September.

“We wanted a dry track, and there was a better chance of getting a dry track here,” Ritvo said.

John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Have to throw out this race for Paynter. He was practically in the grandstand, and still had enough for a fast closing second. At 15-1 in the classic he is one of my top picks.
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
M.M.M. has lost a step this year and he really didn't beat anybody in the Awesome Again and most likely won't win the B.C.Classic and will get overbet. Impressive win in A.A. but he won't win the Classic.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
The horse that everybody loves that never won a grade one. Has his fans rubbing peanut butter all over them self. Finnaly MMM you didn't blow it.horse cost me more money then orb on Win bets. will probably get to we lead posed for his fans and blow the race.I will ggive my own self a negative check hopefully this time I break the record.unfortunately I have to pick them on my pick four ticket.
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
Never been a fan of this horse but I loved that performance. Should be a legit contenter in the Classic.
Mark Deckert More than 1 year ago
Wow....they call this a G1 race....as well as most of the other "G1" run yesterday, save the Zenyatta...
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
It was obvious that Mucho hated the slop on the east coast and he hated the deep, tiring track at Churchill Downs. He relished the fast, hard going at Santa Anita and he'll be a force in the Classic if he stays healthy and the rains stay away...
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
since Paynter had to go almost into the grandstand on the last turn, I would have to say his days of winning the big races are far from over! A+ for effort Paynter!
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Totally agreeTEDK215. I think most fans have overlooked that part of the equation. Paynter ran a great race. He had to lose at least two to three lengths on that wide turn. Look for him to be right there in the classic.
Scott More than 1 year ago
I love MMM's style for Santa Anita and the BCC this year. He's a horse that will sit 3 to 5 lengths off a good pace and then pounce on the tiring pacesetters. From a handicappers' standpoint, I would have preferred a less impressive win, but I still think a lot of people will throw their money away on Game On Dude and whatever the Euro-sacrifice that's sent over is (remember, Euro's CAN'T win on the dirt) to win, so maybe we'll see 4 to 1.
Kevin Tucker More than 1 year ago
4-1 would be nice. Dude aint winning.
Rob Tolliver More than 1 year ago
He'll be more than 4/1 unless there's a plane crash and all the horses on the east coast die.
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Totally agree Scott. MMM, is a long striding horse,that loves SA., and should run a big race. My four horse trifecta box" MMM,GOD,Ron the Greek, and Flat Out.
Greg More than 1 year ago
Bonde get a real jockey dude, call garret , shes a tiger should never have lost.
Bradley Bonar More than 1 year ago
" The Dude " beats the same horses over and over again. The Charles Town Classic was a good win, but the track favored his running style, as it mostly does favor horses that go to the front. MMM is a very good horse. I remember last year he just missed twice in Grade 1's and the one back north. To Honor and Serve came out on him down the stretch. The reason why East Coast older males DOMINATE West Coast older males, is very simple. They run tougher races against bigger fields. There is NO WAY " The Dude " wins the BCC. None. Can't happen. You think he can beat these types of horses on DIRT? A HUGE FIELD? Really? There are no former claimers going into the BCC. If " The Dude " ( can't stand that nickname ) gets crushed again.. Just like last year.. On his home circuit... He won't/can't win HOY.
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Mr. Bonar I think you forgot to take your Viagra because your Bonar is limp like a gun that has fallen and lost its bullets. Respect the G.O.D. AKA : THE DUDE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too funny.