Updated on 07/15/2013 9:23AM

Saratoga: Mucho Macho Man works towards Whitney

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mucho Macho Man. shown training last winter at Gulfstream Park, will be pointed to the Aug. 3 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga.

Mucho Macho Man worked a mile in 1:44.83 over the main track at Saratoga on Friday morning, and trainer Kathy Ritvo confirmed his next start would come in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap on Aug. 3.

With regular exercise rider Nick Petro Jr. aboard, Mucho Macho Man broke off at the mile pole on the clubhouse turn, went a very leisurely opening quarter-mile in 28.45 seconds and half-mile in 54.95, and then picked up the pace under some mild encouragement through the stretch, completing his final half-mile in 49.88 before galloping out 1 1/8 miles in 1:58.21.

“I thought it was a great work, just what we were looking for. We wanted him to go easy early, finish up, and gallop out well, which he did,” said Ritvo. “The plan now is to go to the Whitney. He’ll have two more works before the race.”

Mucho Macho Man ran at Saratoga once last summer, finishing a hard-luck second, beaten a neck by To Honor and Serve in the Grade 1 Woodward. He came back off that race to suffer another frustrating setback when defeated a half-length by Fort Larned nine weeks later in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Mucho Macho Man has started just twice this season. He was pulled up over a sloppy track at Gulfstream Park in the Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 17, then he was given several months off, with the majority of that time spent at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland. He finally returned to action on June 14 at Belmont Park, where he finished a tiring third in an overnight stakes.

“He got a little tired in his last start after having been off for a while but the timing of the race was perfect to use as a prep for the Whitney,” said Ritvo.

Edgar Prado, who rode Mucho Macho Man for the first time at Belmont, will again be aboard in the Whitney.