07/15/2014 1:23PM

Mucho Macho Man, won 2013 BC Classic, retired to stud

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mucho Macho Man (right) holds off Will Take Charge to win the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita last year.

Mucho Macho Man, the reigning Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, has been retired, Adena Springs Farm announced Tuesday. Adena Springs purchased a major interest in Mucho Macho Man from owners Dean and Patti Reeves earlier this year and will stand the horse at stud next season for an undisclosed fee.

Mucho Macho Man, a 6-year-old son of Macho Uno, retires with nine wins in 25 starts and earnings of $6,625,410. Aside from his victory in the 2013 BC Classic, Mucho Macho Man won the Grade 1 Awesome Again last fall at Santa Anita, three Grade 2 stakes, and finished second, beaten a half-length by Fort Larned, in the 2012 BC Classic and third in the 2011 Kentucky Derby.

Mucho Macho Man’s success as well as the story behind his connections made him popular with fans. The Reeves, residents of Georgia, purchased a majority share in the horse shortly after he finished second in his career debut as a 2-year-old at Calder. Mucho Macho Man’s trainer, Kathy Ritvo, survived a heart transplant 4 1/2 years ago to become the first woman to ever train the winner of the BC Classic.

“Mucho Macho Man gave Patti and our team enormous pleasure,” said Dean Reeves. “He has generated so many fans, both in the state of Georgia and nationwide. We are extremely excited about him joining the star-studded roster at Adena Springs and look forward to supporting him as a stallion and racing his progeny.”

Ritvo took over training duties for Mucho Macho Man from her husband, Tim, during the fall of the horse’s 2-year-old campaign, less than a year after undergoing a heart transplant in November 2009. And she credits Mucho Macho Man with helping her through her recovery.

“Mucho Macho Man was so tough and genuine,” Kathy Ritvo said. “He gave his all every time. After five seasons of training and racing, he shows signs of some minor wear and tear. He is still sound and happy, but we have decided that it is in his best interests to retire him. He has nothing more to prove to any of us. It’s so hard to even talk about him, now that he’s left the barn. He’s become like part of the family, and obviously training a horse like him was the greatest experience of my racetrack life. He also played a huge part in helping me cope and get through some hard times following my heart transplant. We’ll definitely miss him around here, but in the end, as always, we based our decision on what is best for the horse.”

Frank Stronach owns Adena Springs, which also stands Macho Uno and four other BC Classic winners, including Fort Larned. He said: “The Breeders’ Cup Classic is a true championship race and a forecaster of the industry’s future top sires. Mucho Macho Man campaigned against the best every year, ages 2 through 6, and consistently excelled around two turns on the dirt. He will be an important addition to our roster.”