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