04/24/2011 8:50AM

Clocker Report: Mucho Macho Man, Stay Thirsty stay on schedule

Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs
Mucho Macho Man breezes seven furlongs in 1:29.40 under Rajiv Maragh on Sunday over a sloppy Churchill Downs strip.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -  Neither steady rain, a sloppy track, nor even a little thunder and lightning could keep Kentucky Derby hopefuls Mucho Macho Man and Stay Thirsty from keeping their appointed rounds and working at soggy Churchill Downs on Sunday morning.

Mucho Macho Man was the first of the pair to go immediately after the renovation break, breezing seven furlongs in 1:29.40 with jockey Rajiv Maragh aboard. The move was in sharp contrast to his 1:23 and change seven-furlong work eight days earlier at Gulfstream Park.

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Mucho Macho Man, third as the favorite in the Louisiana Derby in his last start, looked very relaxed and settled into a nice easy pace right from the start, posting splits of 13.59, 26.60, 38.96, 51.58 and 1:03.98 before coming home his final quarter-mile in 25.42 while being asked to finish by Maragh. Mucho Macho Man galloped out with good energy, completing a mile in 1:43.98.

“I thought he worked well,” said trainer Kathy Ritvo. “I didn’t want to put him in company because I didn’t want him to go too fast. I just wanted him to finish and that’s what he did. The rider said he was looking around but he did stay right on the fence, which is something he doesn’t always do in his works coming off the turn.”

Ritvo was even more pleased with the way Mucho Macho Man came back after the work.

“He came back to the barn and wasn’t tired,” said Ritvo. “He never drank any water.”

Ritvo said Mucho Macho Man would work once more prior to the Derby, probably five furlongs on Sunday.

Stay Thirsty had jockey Calvin Borel aboard and went in company along with stablemate Bridgetown. Stay Thirsty was nearest the rail and dropped about a half-length behind his partner around the turn after zipping along on a quick pace, with early splits of 11.56, 23.22 and 35.06 for three furlongs. The pair were on even terms once settling into the stretch, completing five furlongs in 59.92 with Stay Thirsty under some urging to finish and about a neck in front at the wire. Neither galloped out particularly well, Stay Thirsty pulling up six furlongs in 1:15.06.

“It was a good work under the conditions,” said Todd Pletcher who trains Stay Thirsty for owner Mike Repole. “He never really gallops out strong. That was decent for him.”

Although Borel worked Stay Thirsty, Pletcher said he has no rider firmed up yet for the Derby. Borel and Pletcher teamed up to win the 2010 Derby with Super Saver.

“We haven’t done anything yet regarding a rider,” said Pletcher. “I’ll talk to Mike and see what he’s thinking first.”

Pletcher said Stay Thirsty is also likely to have his final Derby prep here on Sunday.

Uncle Mo galloped 1 1/2 miles shortly after the track opened on Sunday morning and Pletcher said he will have his first local work at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Other gallopers after the renovation break on Sunday included Santiva, Decisive Moment and Midnight Interlude.

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