12/04/2013 11:20AM

Gulfstream: Mucho Macho Man will race in 2014

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.”