07/08/2012 12:27PM

Belmont Park: Mucho Macho Man sets sights on Saratoga stakes after Suburban victory

Tom Keyser
Mucho Macho Man, with Mike Smith up, wins the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap by 2 1/2 lengths.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Mucho Macho Man came out of his authoritative victory in Saturday’s Grade 2 Suburban Handicap in good order and returned early Sunday morning to his base at Saratoga, where he will make his next start.

It remains to be seen, however, whether that next start will come in the Whitney on Aug. 4 or the Woodward on Sept. 1. Both races are Grade 1, $750,000 events run at 1 1/8 miles.

Though trainer Kathy Ritvo was non-committal Sunday morning, the way she and the Reeves Thoroughbred Racing partnership have managed Mucho Macho Man since last fall indicates the Woodward may be more likely than the Whitney.

Since returning to the races last November after competing in all three Triple Crown races last spring, Mucho Macho Man has had six to 10 weeks between starts. He has certainly thrived under that schedule, winning four of five races, including the Sunshine Millions Classic, the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap, and the Grade 2 Suburban.

“He’s a big horse, and we allow him to recover on his own and he seems to do real good that way,” Ritvo said Sunday. “He only worked three times up to his last race, but he never missed a day of training.”

Ritvo noted that Mucho Macho Man trains two miles every day.

In defeating Hymn Book by 2 1/2 lengths and running 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.58, Mucho Macho Man earned a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 108 for his Suburban score, which would be his career-best figure.

“We always thought that he belonged with the best horses, we just decided to take it easy getting there,” Ritvo said. “One step at a time.”
Mucho Macho Man seemed to take a big step forward in the Suburban. Under Mike Smith, who was riding the horse for the first time, Mucho Macho Man attended a fast pace and still finished well without being touched by the whip.

“He had a really good day,” Ritvo said. “He acted good in the paddock, he was really good in the gate, he broke real well, and finished up great.”

Even if Mucho Macho Man skips the Whitney, that race – which is a Win and You’re In event for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita – is expected to come up extremely strong with the likes of Metropolitan Handicap winner Shackleford, Cornhusker winner Fort Larned, Alysheba winner Successful Dan, and his brother and stablemate Wise Dan – the Ben Ali winner – possibly joining the likes of Suburban second- through fifth-place finishers Hymn Book, Trickmeister, To Honor and Serve, and Stay Thirsty. Flat Out, second in Saturday’s Monmouth Cup and runner-up in last year’s Whitney, is another possibility.

On Sunday, trainer Charles Lopresti said he is “leaning toward” running Wise Dan and Successful Dan in the Whitney, but said that Wise Dan could possibly be re-routed to the turf now that Turallure is on the shelf for 60 days.

In two starts on turf last year, Wise Dan won the Grade 2 Firecracker at Churchill and was beaten less than two lengths by Gio Ponti in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland.

Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
Union Rags is out for the rest of the year. The word is he had a tendon injury. There goes the 3yo chip even tho it was slim chance of getting it. Get well Union Rags.
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
The only horse that got the better of him was Successful Dan who has one of the highest beyers at the distance and who I thought caught Macho on a bounce race. Other than that Macho Man has proven himself against the best in the handicap division. Head west young man, and start making your preparations for the classic
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
Rather skip the whitney run in the Woodward, then ship to SA early to get accustomed to the track and work him up to the race. That might be better since he running well with more spacing btwn races.
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
MMM is for real. Ran against the best as a 3 year old and was still immature. This horse finally understands the game, and his connections were patient. He ran head to head with To honor and serve and ran away from him. Something he has never done before. This Horse had a come from behind style last year and this year he's closer up. Hitting the mile marker in 133 and change. Those are breeders cup fractions. I'd skip the Whitney with this guy run him in the woodward at BEL and run him on the west coast in the Goodwood for his final prep before the Classic. Then let him face the Big Boys on the Big Day.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
nice colt. wonder how ramopn felt watching him go by
Dean More than 1 year ago
did MMM run a good race? yes But it seems to me that not one other horse in the field beside Trick ran there race and he is not in this league. The bumping at start ruined the inside 3 chances and the heat had to affect the race. Run this field back @ Saratoga and different resukt I think. MMM def bet against next out esp 1 1/8 or longer IMO
D More than 1 year ago
After seeing MMM Donn handicap I was thinking he was the best older horse in the country and I may be right but he is going to have to beat Game on Dude on his home track which kinda sucks but that is racing...
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
You might yet get your wish to see Mucho Macho Man whip Game On Dude. If (and that's a big "IF") Game On doesn't take to the poly track at Del Mar, it has been reported that Baffert is open to sending him to Saratoga. The article mentioned the Woodward stakes. I'm thinking MMM skips the Whitney (his trainer seems to think he needs ample spacing between races) and go for the Woodward. It will be a mile and 1/8th which would suit both horses to a "t"!
D More than 1 year ago
Lord how long are players going to be suckered and keep betting THAS?? He is so so OVERRATED!! I love it!!
Alex More than 1 year ago
Hopefully for a long, long time. He's a watch horse of mine because I know if he's running I'll get a good price on another horse. Great stuff.
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
News out of Europe: Black Caviar ended her quarantined today and is departing England (today) heading to her homeland, Australia. She'll arrive in 18 to 20 hours of fligh. Bon Voyage, Black ­­Caviar!!!!!!!­!­!!!!!!! Good bye, and thanks for the memories!
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
He'll have to face one of the Dans--Wise Dan in the Whitney, Successful Dan in the Woodward. Can he turns the tables on Wise Dan in the Whitney or take it out on Wise's little brother, Successful Dan?