02/02/2013 3:42PM

Gulfstream Park: Mucho Macho Man will sit out Donn Handicap

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Tom Keyser
Mucho Macho Man, eased as the odds-on favorite in the Sunshine Millions Classic, will not run in Saturday's Grade 1 Donn Handicap.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Mucho Macho Man, the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up, will not run in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap, trainer Kathy Ritvo confirmed on Saturday.

Mucho Macho Man was eased through the stretch by jockey Mike Smith as the odds-on favorite when making his 2013 debut in the Sunshine Millions Classic two weeks ago. Ritvo said Mucho Macho Man came out of the race with no apparent physical issues and he was able to resume normal training 48 hours later, although he has yet to work since then.

“After considering the Donn as an option, we’ve decided to pass,” Ritvo said. “It just does not fit as well into our long-term objectives for Mucho Macho Man.”

The only major dirt race remaining on the 2013 stakes schedule for older horses here this season is the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 9. Mucho Macho Man defeated Tackleberry and Jackson Bend to capture the 2012 Gulfstream Handicap.

Despite Mucho Macho Man’s absence, the Donn is coming up a strong race with a field of at least seven possible, led by Flat Out, Take Charge Indy, and Csaba. Others pointing for the 1 1/8-mile Donn are Pool Play, Bourbon Courage, Ultimate Eagle, and Citrus Kid.

Csaba, winner of the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope on Jan. 13, and Take Charge Indy both turned in their final tune-ups for the Donn on Saturday. Csaba breezed an easy half-mile in 50.60 seconds at Calder, while Take Charge Indy posted a bullet four furlongs in 47.02 at Palm Meadows.