02/23/2013 2:47PM

Gulfstream Park: Mucho Macho Man works without blinkers for Gulfstream Handicap

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mucho Macho Man, shown working out earlier this month, breezed again on Saturday, going five furlongs in 1:02.08.

Mucho Macho Man moved one step closer to a possible rematch with Fort Larned in the Grade  2 Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 9 by working a very easy five furlongs in 1:02.08 under jockey Edgar Prado after the renovation break on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Mucho Macho Man, with Prado keeping him under a tight rein all the way, posted splits of 12.82, 25.02, and 36.96 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.96.

The work was the third for Mucho Macho Man this month with Prado aboard for each of those breezes.

Mucho Macho Man was beaten a half-length by Fort Larned following a thrilling stretch duel at Santa Anita in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Trainer Ian Wilkes has pointed Fort Larned for the one-mile Gulfstream Park Handicap since their arrival in south Florida earlier this winter. Mucho Macho Man, the winner of the 2012 Gulfstream Park Handicap, has continued to train well since being eased to the finish line as the 2-5 favorite in the Sunshine Millions Classic over a sloppy track on Jan.  19. Mucho Macho Man wore blinkers in the Sunshine Millions for the first time since early in his 3-year-old campaign. He was not equipped with blinkers during Saturday’s work.

“I thought he worked great today,” said trainer Kathy Ritvo. “We’ve nominated him for the Gulfstream Park Handicap and at the moment that’s our next goal if everything continues to go well.

Ritvo said in all likelihood, Mucho Macho Man will not wear blinkers in his next start.