11/16/2012 2:49PM

Mucho Macho Man comfortable in familiar Gulfstream Park surroundings

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mucho Macho Man, shown finishing second to Fort Larned in the Breeders' Cup Classic, will spend the winter at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Mucho Macho Man is back home. And he’s loving it.

Mucho Macho Man was back in his old stall at his winter base at Gulfstream Park less than 72 hours after finishing a game and hard-luck second behind Fort Larned in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He has also returned to his regular training routine, jogging and galloping on a daily basis, while his connections begin mapping out plans for his 2013 campaign.

“He loves it here at Gulfstream,” trainer Kathy Ritvo said on Thursday. “He stood out on a track for a while this morning just sunning himself and was so relaxed I thought he was going to fall asleep. Even though he ran a hard race, he came out of the Classic really well and because we spaced his races the way we did this season, in my mind I think I have a really fresh horse going into the new year.

Mucho Macho Man ran just six times in 2012. He registered his most important victory in Belmont’s Grade 2 Suburban and captured the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap in the beginning of March. Aside from his near-miss in the Classic, Mucho Macho Man also finished second, a neck behind To Honor and Serve, in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Woodward. Overall, Mucho Macho Man banked $1.7 million in 2012 on top of the $533,000 he earned during his 3-year-old campaign.

“Right now we have nothing definite planned for him this winter,” said Ritvo. who acknowledged the Sunshine Millions Classic, which Mucho Macho Man won earlier this year, or the Grade 1 Donn Handicap would probably be the most likely options for his 2013 debut.

“Naturally we’d love to get a Grade 1 win with him this season,” said Ritvo. “He probably should have won his Grade 1 at Saratoga in the Woodward but he ended up in some trouble and just missed. Our number one priority, as always, is to do what’s best for the horse.”

Should Mucho Macho Man opt to open his season in the Donn, it could set up what would be a much anticipated early season rematch with Fort Larned, who will also be stabled locally at the Palm Meadows training center with Ian Wilkes, over the winter.

Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
I've read Questing will be headed their way to recover. Hope she will be racing with MMM at Gulfstream soon. These are two of my favorites. Does anyone know what happened to her in the BC Ladies Classic?
Greg Rouch More than 1 year ago
If the track at S A hadn't been even more speed-favoring than usual for the B C, MMM probably would have won! As for Donn Handicap, I like to see a horse have an easier prep before going into a Gr I, but maybe that's just me. I have seen a number of horses start out the year in the Donn or another major race, and if they have to run too hard coming off the bench, they are not the same the rest of the year. If MMM lines up with Fort Larned after a layoff and they go at it again the way they did this month, when would we see them again after that? Their gooses might be cooked and they would bounce next out. Not that anybody asked, but I would say to ease him into it.
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for his return to beautiful sunny Calif. for the B.C. Classic again next year at Santa Anita and hopefully this time he can be the one having his picture taken for a much talented and gifted horse. Let's get that elusive G1 win this year and several other G1 wins before retirement to a possible HOTY canidate for 2013. May MMM have a healthy and succesful year in 2013
Mark Palmer More than 1 year ago
I'm a great fam of MMM, and like your training/race ethics. Horseman Mark
KissmeCatexoxo More than 1 year ago
Good Luck to MMM and connections. Very nice people w/ a super horse ! Enjoy your winter in the sun !!
Shirley Cook More than 1 year ago
Kathy, Since he did so well in the Kentucky Derby, any plans to let him run at Churchill next year? Would love to see that beauful big boy and in person.
Eric More than 1 year ago
I had the chance to meet her son at a Gulfstream Breakfast last year on Oaks Day. He was minding a Pony for the kids to pet. What a well manered young man. This Family is exactly what this Sport needs. Congrats on a great campaign and good luck in 2013.
Jade Sword More than 1 year ago
Love this horse. Big fan. Many more racing years to MMM!
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
I'm looking forward to seeing this big guy in my neck of the woods. Congrats to MMM and Ms Ritvo for a great season!
kjoe More than 1 year ago
MMM ran so big in the BC....glad to see his career continues,,,,racing needs him......great job Kathy