Mucho Macho Man
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Mucho Macho Man Picks Up Pace for 2014 Debut

Breeders' Cup Classic winner breezes five panels in 1:00 flat Dec. 22 at Gulfstream.

Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Mucho Macho Man  stepped up his preparation for his 2014 debut, breezing five furlongs in 1:00.03 the morning of Dec. 22 at Gulfstream Park.

The work was the second swiftest of 31 at the distance. The 5-year-old son of Macho Uno  galloped out six furlongs in 1:14 under regular exercise rider Nick Petro Jr.

"He was just feeling so good, we let him do a little more today," trainer Kathy Ritvo said. "He did great."

Ritvo said she, stable manager Finn Green, and owners Dean and Patti Reeves were still weighing their options for Mucho Macho Man's next start. The $400,000 Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 18 and the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I)Feb. 8 are two of those options at Gulfstream Park.

Mucho Macho Man's connections announced Dec. 4 that their strapping handicap star would return for a fifth racing season. He has put in three breezes over the Gulfstream main track since then at progressively longer distances.

"No one could have been happier than I was to get another year of great training from him," Ritvo said. "I know he got off to a slow start but he finished up the year great. He's just showing all the right signs. He's a pleasure. He's very happy. He's been doing very well since the Breeders' Cup and has been training well since he got here. His coat looks great and his weight is great."

Ritvo is hopeful Mucho Macho Man will campaign this year as an Eclipse champion. Mucho Macho Man raced five times in 2013, missing five months after being eased in the Sunshine Millions Classic and later coming down with a virus. He concluded the year with victories in the Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I) and Breeders' Cup Classic, both at Santa Anita Park.      

"He got a little slow start, but he beat all the best horses when it counted," Ritvo said. "I wouldn't trade horses with anybody."

Mucho Macho Man heads into the new season with an 8-5-6 mark in 23 starts with earnings of more than $5.3 million.