03/02/2014 7:24PM

Santa Anita: Mucho Macho Man is 124-pound highweight in Big Cap

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Benoit & Associates
Mucho Macho Man works a half-mile in 48.80 seconds at Santa Anita on Sunday ahead of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Mucho Macho Man is alone at the top of the weights for Saturday’s $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap with an assignment of 124 pounds for the meeting’s top race for older horses.

On Sunday afternoon, Mucho Macho Man had the Santa Anita racetrack to himself for a few minutes, working five furlongs in 1:01.53. The workout was the last for Mucho Macho Man before the Big Cap, where he is expected to go favored in his first start in California since a win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic last November.

In Sunday’s workout, Mucho Macho Man was exercised alone under exercise rider Nick Petro. Mucho Macho Man started at the half-mile pole, going the first quarter-mile in 24.30 seconds. Racing well off the rail, Mucho Macho Man was not urged through the workout. He went a half-mile in 48.80 seconds and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.60.

Trainer Kathy Ritvo had hoped to work Mucho Macho Man on Sunday morning but decided to wait for a drier track in the afternoon. Rain began falling Thursday and ended early Sunday. Despite the conditions, the track was labeled “fast” Sunday and produced quick racing times.
Mucho Macho Man worked between the fourth and fifth races.

“We got in a work,” Ritvo said. “We tried to keep him on a schedule of working on the Saturday or Sunday before a race. He stayed off the rail to find the best part of the track. He looked very comfortable.”

Owned by Dean and Patti Reeves and Adena Springs Farm, Mucho Macho Man has started once this year, winning the Sunshine Millions Classic for Florida-breds over 1 1/8 miles by 14 lengths at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 18. The Sunshine Millions Classic was Mucho Macho Man’s first start since the BC Classic. A 6-year-old horse, Mucho Macho Man won the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes here last September.

Mucho Macho Man will spot his rivals from one to 10 pounds in the Big Cap. Other probable starters include Will Take Charge (123 pounds), Game On Dude (122), Blingo (117), and American Blend, Appealing Tale, Imperative, Majestic Harbor, and Rousing Sermon (all 114).

Will Take Charge was beaten a nose by Mucho Macho Man in the BC Classic. Will Take Charge, the champion 3-year-old male of 2013, was second to Lea In the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 9 in his first start of 2014.

Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge will dominate the betting in the Big Cap, overshadowing Game On Dude, who won the race in 2011 and 2013. Game On Dude, 7, was fifth in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes on Feb. 8, finishing 5 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Blingo after racing in a speed duel.

Game On Dude worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 on Monday, a busy day of works following weekend rain. American Blend worked the same distance in 1:00.20, while Blingo was timed in 1:00.80. Rousing Sermon was clocked in 1:14 for six furlongs.

Joe Taylor More than 1 year ago
Hard to see any horse beating MMM right now, even the great WTC. Look in another direction maybe.
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
I do believe if Game On Dude was ready to retire he would be retired, he still enjoys the game and is sound. I look for a big race from him and he will have everyone jumping back on the band wagon and putting aside this foolish talk about retirement, he still has some unfinished business to take care of on the race track. Have faith people........
Gary Camejo More than 1 year ago
I hope to god we don't have another tragic seen like Caixa Elec happen to Game on Dude come on you connections give the horse his much deserved retirement.
Rick Baldwin More than 1 year ago
G.O.D. could go on the road picking up healthy purses all over the USA & bringing fans to follow him,maybe a good long winning streak.
Joe Taylor More than 1 year ago
Look for another horse, no money on the favorites. Game on Dude might be the pick at 5/1 or better.
Rick Baldwin More than 1 year ago
He'll be in my Exacta.
Paul Aswad More than 1 year ago
ITS SAD TO SEE GAME ON DUDE LOSING HIS GREATNESS. IF HE THROWS IN A COUPLE OF BAD ONES I HOPE THEY RETIRE HIM . HE DESERVES THAT. HE WAS AN AWESOME HORSE. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE HIM WIN THIS BIG CAP
redboy More than 1 year ago
Game On isn't done completely but against top tier G 1 types at this distance it appears to be a bit too much to ask at this stage of his career. These type of horses wouldn't even consider invading the West Coast for a date with the best horse in the West when he was in his prime ,but unfortunately father time takes its toll . Would love to him see at years end in The BC Dirt mile checking out with a G1 win . Good luck Saturday ol'man
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Against top tier G 1 types was always too much to ask. You say, "These type of horses wouldn't even consider invading the West Coast for a date with the best horse in the West when he was in his prime ," Apparently you missed the last two Breeders Cup Classics where he was in his prime and the favorite both times, and he was up the track both times.
Ann More than 1 year ago
Ron the Greek was up the track for the Dude's Big 'Cap last year. Big purses and big races are run in SoCal on a regular basis - Hollywood Gold Cup, Pacific Classic, etc. - and east coast horses used to regularly fly out for them. Dr. Fager came out for the Californian; so did Spectacular Bid. Dullahan and Came Home came out to SoCal to win the Pacific Classic, both as 3yos. The BC Classic is not the whole season.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The remark about him never being a Top tier G1 remark what little u know about horse racing. In the 2011 Classic he ran a lights out front running second only to be caught inside the1/16th pole.He then solidified than performance with a outstanding 2012 campaign. T Get your facts str8 horse nickel
Craig Gilbert More than 1 year ago
The Dude is done
John More than 1 year ago
This is the type of race the "Dude" will jump up with a monster effort, can he win ? Is he the same horse as last year ?...........5-1 on the "dude " and Ill take a shot, stranger things have happened !
J.L. Boey More than 1 year ago
Except you won't get 5-1. MMM opens at even money, closes 8/5 favorite. WTC opens 4-1, closes 5/2 second choice. GOD opens at 8-1, value hunters jump in until 3-1. Blingo and Appealing Tale around 10-1, balloons for the rest. Blingo doesn't appear to be fast enough although he's lightly raced. Those who bet the speed Appealing Tale will get a thrill for a minute and change but I think he will tire badly. If GOD runs in this race I believe he will fire a big one. MMM has won 3 races in a row for the first time ever: two perfect trips against overmatched foes and another perfect but wide trip in the big one. Has the horse who was content to run side by side just behind Fort Larned, Cross Traffic, To Honor and Serve, Nehro and Pants on Fire really become an unbeatable winner? My money is on WTC. If nothing else I'm willing to pay to discover that classic very good 3yo coming back as a monster at 4. I don't have to have another 4yo Skip Away, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid or Alysheba. I'd be satisfied with another 4yo Blame or Victory Gallop. Hell, even Lemon Drop Kid. Just for good measure a 3 trifecta box seems like a reasonable play especially if MMM comes in third.
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
WTC is due for a clunker
J.L. Boey More than 1 year ago
except he's not training like it and past performances since blinkers off do not suggest it, so it's not a good bet against. The only issue you could point at is him not having a work over the track this time, but this time he won't have to go 6-wide turning for home - took a while for Saez to straighten the big colt for the stretch drive after a rather sudden wide swing.
jaybern1 More than 1 year ago
Watch out for Black Onyx.