No decision has been made on where Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Mucho Macho Man will make his next start, but he left no doubt the morning of Feb. 8 that he is ready to run again.
Hitting the main track at Gulfstream Park
shortly before sunrise, the 6-year-old Florida-bred fan favorite blazed a half-mile in :46.91 and galloped out five furlongs in :59.50 under regular exercise rider Nick Petro.
It was the first work for the son of Macho Uno
since he opened his campaign with a dominant 14-length victory in the $400,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 18—his third straight win following the Awesome Again (gr. I) Sept. 28 and Breeders' Cup Classic Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park
. To date, Mucho Macho Man has won nine of 24 lifetime starts and $5,580,410 in purse earnings.
"He looked great," said Kathy Ritvo, who trains Mucho Macho Man for owners Dean and Patti Reeves. "It's hard to say too much else. He worked very good today. He's very happy and doing really well."
Among possible races for Mucho Macho Man are the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 8, and the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29 at Meydan.
"We chose today to start working him to be able to have both races as options and let him tell us basically what race is going to be best," said Reeves Thoroughbred Racing manager Finn Green. "We can use this work for either race; we haven't decided yet. We're in a very good place. He's provided us with a very good place."
Green mentioned the Dubai World Cup as a very viable option, but only if Mucho Macho Man is thriving. Last year, he missed several months of the season after becoming ill in January.
"Kathy and I have always done what we believe is right for him at the time," Green said. "We wouldn't be considering going to Dubai if the horse was not on an upswing, putting on weight and doing really well. Plus, he's a great shipper. We know he ships West really well; we might find out if he ships East."