Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Mucho Macho Man was honored as 2013 Florida-bred Horse of the Year at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association awards dinner March 9 in Ocala.
The 17-hand-plus Mucho Macho Man swept to a pair of grade I victories in 2013, capturing the Breeders' Cup Classic and Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park, on his way to banking $2,984,000.
Mucho Macho Man's Classic win was the first Breeders' Cup race victory for breeders John and Carole Rio of Ocala, owner Reeves Thoroughbred Racing of Atlanta, and trainer Kathy Ritvo. A 2008 bay horse by Macho Uno out of the Ponche mare Ponche de Leona, Mucho Macho Man, who also was named champion older male, became the third Florida-bred to win the Classic, joining Unbridled (1990) and Skip Away (1997).
Also celebrated at the event for their outstanding accomplishments on the season were all the 2013 Florida-bred champions, as well as their breeders, owners and trainers.
Co-headliner on the year-end honor roll was Gilbert G. Campbell, who was named the 2013 Florida breeder of the year. Campbell also was recognized as the breeder/owner of Scandalous Act, who garnered the 2013 Florida-bred champion 2-year-old filly title.
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing was the 2013 leading owner by Florida-bred earnings. Ponche de Leona, the dam of Mucho Macho Man, was chosen as the 2013 Florida broodmare of the year.
Wildcat Heir, who stands at Brent and Crystal Fernung's Journeyman Stud in Ocala, was the 2013 Florida stallion of the year. With Distinction, who stands at Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, was the 2013 leading Florida juvenile sire. Two Step Salsa , who stands at Get Away Farm, was the 2013 leading Florida freshman sire.
Other awards included:
—Leading trainer of Florida-breds by earnings, wins, and tied for stakes wins: Kathleen O'Connell
—Leading Florida trainer of Florida-breds by stakes wins (tie): Martin Wolfson
—Needles Award (small operation breeder of the year): Juvenal Diaz
—Joe O'Farrell Memorial Award (original consignor of year's best Florida-bred racehorse offered at public auction): Ocala Stud
—Older female and female turf horse: Egg Drop; breeder, Centaur Farms Inc.; owner, Little Red Feather Racing; trainer, Mike Mitchell
—3-year-old male: Ruler of Love; breeder, Faye Little; owners, Matthew Rebro Jr., Frank Coniglio, Sidney Ritman, and Richard Rendina; trainer, Joan Scott
—3-year-old filly and female sprinter: Wildcat Lily; breeders, Tara and Paul Helman; owner, Rontos Racing Stable; Manuel Azpurua
—2-year-old male: Dance With Fate; breeder, Best A Luck Farm; owners, Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable, and Ciaglia Racing; trainer Peter Eurton
—Male sprinter: Sahara Sky; breeder, Martin Stables; owners, Jerry Hollendorfer and Sweetwater Stable (Kim Lloyd), trainer, Hollendorfer
—Male turf horse: Jeranimo; breeder, BryLynn Farm; owners, B.J. Wright and Robert LaPenta; trainer, Michael Pender