06/11/2013 5:42PM

Belmont Park: Mucho Macho Man returns to races Friday

Adam Coglianese
Mucho Macho Man, with trainer Kathy Ritvo, has not raced since being eased in the Sunshine Millions Classic.

Mucho Macho Man, a close second to Fort Larned in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, makes his first start since January in Friday's third race at Belmont Park, a $90,000 overnight stakes at 1 1/16 miles over the main track.

The 5-year-old son of Macho Uno has been off since being pulled up in the stretch of the Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 19 at Gulfstream Park. Mucho Macho Man, the heavy 2-5 favorite, was sitting right off the pace to the far turn of the nine-furlong race when he suddenly began to back up over the sloppy track. Rider Mike Smith eased  his mount to the wire. Trainer Kathy Ritvo said Mucho Macho Man vetted out fine after the race, but decided to give him a break through the winter.

Mucho Macho Man has been breezing steadily since early April at the Fair Hill training center in Maryland and comes into Friday's race off two bullet works. He will face a short field of four in his return but will not be lacking for competition. He will face Hymn Book, a Shug McGaughey-trained 7-year-old, who was recently third to Take Charge Indy in the Alysheba at Churchill Downs, and San Pablo a Grade 3 winner from the Todd Pletcher barn.