12/31/2011 4:56PM

Gulfstream Park: Mucho Macho Man has work canceled

Barbara D. Livingston
Mucho Macho Man, with Nick Petro Jr. aboard, had his work aborted after two horses broke down on the track.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A rash of training mishaps here Saturday also affected Mucho Macho Man, whose scheduled half-mile workout was aborted an eighth of a mile after it began. Mucho Macho Man had completed an opening furlong in 11.78 seconds and was moving smoothly into the far turn when exercise rider Nick Petro Jr. was forced to rein the horse in and angle him to the middle of the track to avoid a horse who had broken down along the inside rail midway around the bend. To make matters worse, Mucho Macho Man also had to alter course a second time to safely pass a second horse who was down on the track near the seven-furlong marker on the clubhouse turn.

“People started yelling at Nick to pull up as he went into the turn, and luckily he heard them, picked his head up, saw the horse down on the track and was able to steer Macho Man out of trouble,” said Mucho Macho Man’s trainer, Kathy Ritvo . “Then I was mortified when I noticed the other horse lying on the track on the other turn, so I ran down and started yelling at Nick to watch out for him too.”

Ritvo said she will not bring Mucho Macho Man back to work again until at least the middle of the week.

“I might even skip this week altogether,” said Ritvo. “If he gets too tough and I need to do something with him, I’ll breeze him a little either Wednesday or Thursday. Whenever I’m setting a horse up for a race I always allow for an extra week in case of bad weather or something crazy like happened this morning, so we should still be perfect.”Mucho Macho Man, third in the Kentucky Derby last year, is being pointed for the $400,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 28.