Mucho Macho Man, winner of the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) and third in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), worked a sharp seven furlongs in 1:23 3/5 at Gulfstream Park April 16, as he continues his preparation for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The 3-year-old son of Macho Uno , who was ridden by exercise rider Mike Herra, was timed in fractions of :46 1/5, :58 and 1:10 4/5, and then galloped out a mile in 1:38 3/5.
“I wanted him to get him a little tired. He’s not that tired. Look at him, he’s just bopping around,” said trainer Kathy Ritvo as Mucho Macho Man returned after the work.
Ritvo realizes that the colt will have to go into the Derby off a six-week layoff, something that hasn’t proved successful since Needles in 1956.
“I was looking for a good work because we need to get on the road,” said Ritvo.
Ritvo, whose morning activities were being filmed by NBC for their Kentucky Derby telecast on May 7, said Mucho Macho Man will have two works at Churchill Downs and will be housed in the same stall that was occupied by Horse of the Year Zenyatta for last fall’s Breeders’ Cup.
“I’m very excited. I’m ready to go,” said Ritvo, who will be making her first trip to Churchill Downs. “We’re one work closer than we were last week.”
Mucho Macho Man’s conqueror in the Louisiana Derby, Pants on Fire, hadn’t been on the work tab since that race. He showed up April 15, breezing a bullet five furlongs in :58 3/5 at Palm Meadows in company with stablemate Ruler on Ice.
The son of Jump Start has been open-galloping for a week, according to trainer Kelly Breen.
“He worked well and came out of it well,” Breen said. “I’m quite pleased. He’ll breeze again here next weekend and then we’ll van him to Churchill Downs on the 24th or 25th (of April). He’ll have one breeze there a week out and then we’ll be ready to go.”