12/04/2013 12:20PM

Gulfstream: Mucho Macho Man will race in 2014

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mucho Macho Man is likely to make his 2014 debut at Gulfstream Park in either the Sunshine Millions Classic or the Donn Handicap.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. –    Mucho Macho Man’s legion of fans had reason to rejoice on Wednesday after trainer Kathy Ritvo and stable manager Finn Green confirmed the decision to race the defending Breeders’ Cup Classic champion again in 2014.

“We’re excited to say he’s going to campaign again next year,” said Green, who manages all stable operations for Mucho Macho Man’s principal owners, Dean and Patti Reeves. “And we’re looking forward to and hopeful for a campaign that will end up again at Santa Anita.”

Mucho Macho Man has been galloping on a regular basis  at Gulfstream Park since returning from his nose victory over Will Take Charge in the Classic and could breeze here for the first time this fall as early as Saturday, weather permitting, Ritvo confirmed.

Green said nothing definite has been picked out for Mucho Macho Man’s 2014 debut although he indicated that in all likelihood it would come over his regular winter base at Gulfstream.

“Kathy and I only agreed on Tuesday for sure that we’d race Mucho Macho Man again in 2014,” said Green. “And until we were really comfortable with that, we didn’t want to get into too many details regarding his itinerary on the front end of the campaign.”

The most likely options for Mucho Macho Man’s return would be the Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 18 or the Grade 1 Donn Handicap on Feb. 8. Mucho Macho Man’s only poor effort this season came in his 2013 debut when he was eased to the wire over a sloppy racetrack as the 2-5 favorite in the Sunshine Classic. Green and Ritvo also did not rule out a return to Southern California  for the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap on March 8.   

“The Sunshine Millions and Donn are the two most logical spots for him to open the year although we have several other options which we will explore over the next month,” said Ritvo. “One thing we are definitely planning on doing later this month is to work him on the turf, which is something we’ve always wanted to try with him.”

Scott 11 months ago
I couldn't be happier about this. I think next year's older division is going to be pretty compelling, especially, if MMM can actually stay healthy and happy all year. Let's see him and Will Take Charge meet on the track a few times!
Shawn Britton 11 months ago
Kathy don't second guess! Go for it! If MMM is doing well, send him to dubai! Take the brass ring!
ctgreyhound 11 months ago
Yippee, this news just made my day. The fans are the winners this time around. With all the personal stories with the connections & the horse, do I smell a movie deal around the corner?
Terri Zeitz 11 months ago
Steve Haskin has been asked to help write the movie. I don't know about any plans in the works.
Ann Maree 11 months ago
There is a price to pay by all of the connections to keep a horse like MMM happy and sound and racing. Pressure must be immense, every day you have to be "on your toes", can't let your guard down, every waking minute is devoted to and built around what this horse requires 24-7. The sheer exhaustion all must feel after every race, win or lose. And yet, they are willing to pay the price, because it's not the money that brings them back, it is the thrill of seeing something you put your heart and mind and every ounce of energy into come across the finish line in front. If those who spend their lives in training and owning horses ever forget that it's the racing that is the lifeblood of the sport, then they really can "turn out the lights, the party's over." This is why so much is being made of the connections' decision to bring him back another year....it is rare in this day of "grab every dollar you can in the breeding shed" mentality. Bravo to Team MMM!
Nick Petro 11 months ago
I don't get why every one is talking about money. Never has it been about that. Macho is a champion and champions live to compete. As long as he wants to why stop? Let him be happy he deserves it! Trust me he loves his career. Way more than stud so let's reward him instead of all this garbage money talk
Terri Zeitz 11 months ago
Nick, I couldn't be happier that he is going to race for another year. Macho has a great team and I am thrilled for the horse and the team. The Reeves, Finn Green, and your aunt Kathy Ritvo are the best. God bless you all; this is what racing is all about. Horses who want to run and who enjoy their job should run. Don't listen to trackside "experts" who never even sat on the back of a horse. What a wonderful win in the Classic. And wishing you and your family and Team Macho all the best and a Merry Christmas.
Jimmy Watson 11 months ago
If not for Gary Stevens MMM would have been beaten by a nose
chad mc rory 11 months ago
I believe Gary will keep the mount!
Steve Wilson 11 months ago
If not for Gary Stevens moving much too soon, MMM wins easily.
Hail No 11 months ago
Not really, Gary moved at the right time, if you had assessed the track, (which Stevens and others do) at SA that day he knew it would take a hell of a horse to come a running and catch him. It was a testament to WTC to finish as he did, to just miss..
rahman Williams 11 months ago
Here we go with another 200 LB Jockeys
Scott 11 months ago
Gary did the job to win, but I think the statement is rather unfair. My guess is that there are more than a handful of jockeys who could have done the job that day. My credit goes to Kathy Ritvo and the actual horse himself. The trainer had the good sense to get him his final prep over the Santa Anita surface and clearly had him primed for his best run. Good thing too, because he needed every bit to hold off game efforts from Will Take Charge and the best dirt running Euro I've seen in years: Declaration of War.
Darcy Bentley 11 months ago
he is 6 years old and the owners should retire him and Make him a stallion and not risk the injury or something happening if they keep racing him is it all about money when he could be making more and producing babies to keep his name for the future a another classic win or winnning more races is not worth the risk when he can be an amazing stallion
Jaime Dubyna 11 months ago
That doesn't make any sense. If the horse is happy and sound, why retire him? Too many good horses retire early, he's turned into a good handicap horse, what's the point in retiring him? They breed horses like him to run. If you don't like it, follow a different sport.
Ann Maree 11 months ago
Darcy, you show your rank beginner status with your comments! The many early retirements of classic horses should tell you the money is in the breeding shed, not on the track! Horses in the breeding shed cover 100+ mares a year....you do the math! It is absolutely a huge sporting gesture that these connections are willing to continue to campaign a perfectly sound and exciting horse to watch. The Reeves love racing, which is rare these days for owners to put racing above breeding. So many who have top horses can't wait to get to stud and really make some big money, so before you show any more of your ignorance, you might do a little investigating!
Ann Maree 11 months ago
BTW, horses are injured at all levels of the sport, even in their paddocks or breeding shed, so retiring a horse to stud is no guarantee he won't encounter some calamity. Have to let the people who know him best -- and who pay the bills, by the way -- make the best decisions for the horse. These connections are all about keeping MMM healthy and happy. Every time he steps on the track, he brings his game....his ITM percentage is not shabby at all.
B 11 months ago
Oh please. If they want to make "big" money, they would retire him as that is where the moolah is in this business. It's also one of racing's downfalls. If there were more money to be won on the track than there is to made at stud, we would not have so very many retirements. Retiring our best three year olds is commonplace and is ruining racing leaving us with a meager amount of quality older horses. Most 3 year year olds spend much of that age just learning and we never get to see what they are truly capable of.
not impressed 11 months ago
Darcy he's only FIVE years old. He competed in the 2011 TC which makes if *5*. He'll be six in 2014. And give me a break, everyone whines when a horse retires at 3, one finally stays around and you STILL complain. Gez, pick one will yah?!
Meydan Rocks 11 months ago
Unless the owner is really hurting for cash, Dubai simply isn't worth it for this 6 year old horse. BCC double will do the trick.
Nick Petro 11 months ago
Keep in mind he is 5 1/2, being a June foal
rahman Williams 11 months ago
How you not going to support your name sake
Randy Atkins 11 months ago
Big mistake Shawn...most of the time it ruins those horses when they do all that traveling and then get beat over there...I say keep him here ...
Shawn Britton 11 months ago
I respect your opinion in not sending him to Dubai. But I believe MMM has finally matured mentally. He is imposing and has moved fwd. I think he has a huge shot and Stevens knows how to ride him. Twice he has shipped and run big! I saw animal kingdom do it. Why not MUCHO!
Scott 11 months ago
Animal Kingdom was a turf horse who was able to win on dirt in the Derby, whereas, we've never seen if MMM can handle the turf. It's rare and it's worth pointing out that even Animal Kingdom only has one win over the dirt. I'm not saying it's impossible, but the odds seem stacked against him winning in Dubai.
B 11 months ago
Good news. This sport needs all the name horses it can get these days. They should keep him in California though if they want a year with more than 2 victories. Clearly, that is where this horse excels.