01/20/2013 2:27PM

Gulfstream Park: Mucho Macho Man appears fine after being eased in Sunshine Millions Classic

Tom Keyser
Jockey Mike Smith eases Mucho Macho Man, the odds-on favorite in the Sunshine Millions Classic. Trainer Kathy Ritvo says she suspects the horse simply did not like the sloppy track.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.- Trainer Kathy Ritvo said Mucho Macho Man seemed none the worse for wear on Sunday morning after being eased by jockey Mike Smith the previous afternoon as the odd- on favorite in the Sunshine Millions Classic.

Smith said immediately after the race that Mucho Macho Man kept putting his head higher and higher while racing around the second turn and guaranteed something was wrong inside. But Ritvo and stable manager Finn Green said they could find nothing wrong with Mucho Macho Man once going over their horse back at the barn after the race.

“The horse is doing really well this morning,” said Ritvo. “There are no physical issues whatsoever. The horse just didn’t like the track. We think the surface just bothered him. We cannot find any other reason for what happened.”  

Both Ritvo and Green said the horse vetted out perfectly after the race.

“We’re not even going to do a fine tooth comb on him,” said Green. “He’s doing fine.”

Ritvo said Mucho Macho Man would likely go back to the track to train on Monday and a decision would be made later this week as to when and where he might run next.

Mucho Macho Man raced in blinkers for the first time in nearly a year in the Classic but both Ritvo and Green agreed that had nothing to do with his performance on Saturday.

“Mike said he thought the horse might have had a breathing problem and we’re fine with the choice he made to ease the horse like he did,” said Ritvo. “I could see he was jogging okay when he came back and the good news is everything seems to be okay and we’ll just move on from here. It’s a long year.”

Ron the Greek rallied  from off a fast pace to an easy and very impressive 11 ¼-length victory, avenging his second-place finish at the hands of Mucho Macho Man in the 2012 Sunshine Classic. Ron the Greek received a career-best 115 Beyer Speed Figure for his performance and will now likely head back to California for a defense of his title in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap later this winter.

Steve Reed More than 1 year ago
The Horse threw a bad race on a off track, which Mucho seldom does. I can give him a pass, any of you ever had a Bad Day ?
hialeah More than 1 year ago
2 cents time: What I saw from all the days races was several small ponds on the rack track in the 1 to 3 path. The biggest was in front of the 3/16 pole. The point being that the track was a mess and it doesn't surprise me that some horses might not have relished the going. My question would be: Why was the track such a mess when there really wasn't all that much rain? My other observation was that Ron the Greek was really on his toes in the post parade. His run was No Surprise. What to take from the day? Not much other than Ron the Greek ran great and the track was a mess. And try to be nicer.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
You're right. I think the track was sealed allowing water to lay on top of it and making it a bit slippery to some horses like Macho Man.
Allen Joyner More than 1 year ago
That certainly was not the real MMM.
Jim Fields More than 1 year ago
Some of you self proclaimed authorities don't have a clue, you think just because the rider is holding the reins, he's stiffing the horse, or that the trainer is a moron, etc etc. Try getting up at 4 am and diagnosing 30 animals that can't talk, on a daily basis. When a hall of fame rider says there was something wrong with the horse, there was something wrong with the horse, could be something as unspectacular as a displaced pallet, or something in the horses eye, ever tried concentrating when a bug flys in you eye???
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
I understand what you're saying, sure, I'll buy most of it, but sometimes even a hall of fame jock can be wrong. There was nothing wrong with the horse. Not saying he shouldn't have eased him though when he put his head up and stopped trying, But there was nothing wrong with him. He didn't like the footing. A big long striding horse sometimes won't extend themselves on a wet track when their feet slip out from under them. That's all it was.
Dave More than 1 year ago
Mike Smith has a propensity of pulling up horses when he senses something just isn't right. I remember in the Donn Hdcp of 1995 when he pulled up Holy Bull. It was so unforgettable because it was the end of Holy Bull's racing career and the beginning of Cigar's unbelievable winning streak tying Citation.
robert More than 1 year ago
And who is Mucho Macho Man's grandsire? None other than Holy Bull, who was 1:5 in the '95 Donn in a nine-horse field. Quite a coincidence of events!
MoneyMarcus More than 1 year ago
The breeders cup classic was a distorted race. Fort Larned would not win the race today. Closers are winning at Santa Anita this season. Brian Hernandez junior rode the bias and is just a below average jock at best. Look at his disgraceful ride on Self Control on Saturday. Mucho Macho was overplayed.
Guy More than 1 year ago
Until someone steps forward as the real Dr Doolittle and can actually speak to horses...I must admit, the opinions, rants, raves, etc. are quite entertaining. ONLY the horse knows why it did not run well. Everything else is a guess at best, regardless of who is making that guess.
MoneyMarcus More than 1 year ago
Monique St.Germain More than 1 year ago
blinkers are usually used to fix a problem maybe she thought there was a problem after 2nd at BC
robert More than 1 year ago
Maybe "Macho" was catching a whiff of a filly?
ctgreyhound More than 1 year ago
Always keep those olfactory glands on high alert !