Four months after his victory in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), Reeves Thoroughbred Racing's Mucho Macho Man will be returning to Santa Anita Park for his next start.
Mucho Macho Man's connections had been contemplating a run in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29 at Meydan. However, following a blazing five-furlong work at Gulfstream Park Feb. 15, trainer Kathy Ritvo and Finn Green, who is racing manager for owners Dean and Patti Reeves, said the 6-year-old son of Macho Uno will run in the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 8 at the site of his greatest victory.
He was timed in :58.14 for the breeze, fastest of 70 at the distance on the morning.
"There were some great opportunities for him, but the horse is telling us he's getting ready now," Ritvo said. "We thought long and hard about where to go, and we have to do what we feel is best for the horse. I think he'd run well wherever he went. We know about going to Santa Anita now, so it's nice to go back."
Mucho Macho Man holds a 9-5-6 record from 24 starts, with earnings of $5,580,410. He won the Awesome Again (gr. I) at Santa Anita for his first grade I prior to the Breeders' Cup.
"The people in Dubai have been very kind and professional," Green said. "We examined our options over a long period of time, and feel it's the best thing for the horse to stay here and go to Santa Anita."