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Mucho Macho Man
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Dave Harmon

Mucho Macho Man Taking it Easy at Gulfstream

Breeders' Cup Classic winner 'looks good' after Santa Anita Handicap defeat March 8.

Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Mucho Macho Man  has settled back into familiar surroundings at trainer Kathy Ritvo's Gulfstream Park barn following his disappointing fourth in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) as the 6-5 choice.

Mucho Macho Man completed the cross-country trip from California to his winter home on the evening of March 12, four days after being defeated by Game On Dude by 10 1/2 lengths in the Big 'Cap.

Owned by Frank Stronach and Dean and Patti Reeves, the 6-year-old son of Macho Uno  has yet to go back to the track since the race, where he was also beaten by 3-year-old champion Will Take Charge  and caught late for third by Blingo.

"We'll check him out and see how he is and let him tell us when he's ready to go back to the track," Ritvo said. "When he tells us he's ready, we'll send him back to the track to jog."

Winner of the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Jan. 18 in his seasonal debut, Mucho Macho Man was making his first start at Santa Anita Park since winning the Awesome Again (gr. I) Sept. 28 and the Classic Nov. 2, the latter by a nose over Will Take Charge. Game On Dude was a distant ninth as the favorite in the Classic.

"He looks good," Ritvo said. "I'm not big on excuses. He took a lot of dirt, and I think the track was a little different than it was before, but that's OK. We had a lot of rain out there, too, so we missed some training days. I don't like excuses. It was just a lot of little things."

Ritvo said they are waiting to come up with a plan for Mucho Macho Man, who was eased on a sloppy track in the 2013 Sunshine Millions and didn't return to the races until mid-June. He spent some time last season at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland following a lung infection.

"Everything is good. We're in a better position this year than we were last year," Ritvo said.