Mucho Macho Man working at Gulfstream Park
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Mucho Macho Man working at Gulfstream Park
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Mucho Macho Man Breezes Half at Gulfstream

Breeders' Cup Classic winner likely to make his return in Sunshine Millions or Donn.

Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Mucho Macho Man  continued to work toward his still undetermined next start, breezing four furlongs in :49.94 the morning of Dec. 15 at Gulfstream Park.

Going out just after the renovation break under exercise rider Nick Petro Jr., the 5-year-old Florida-bred son of Macho Uno  galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.77 on a main track listed as good.

It was the second work for Mucho Macho Man since returning to South Florida after winning the $5 million BC Classic at Santa Anita Park Nov. 2. The local fan favorite returned with a three-furlong breeze in :37.65 Dec. 7.

“He went good today,” said Kathy Ritvo, who trains Mucho Macho Man for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. “He worked a half-mile and pretty much worked on his own. We worked him off the fence, and it was just very good."

No decision has been made on where the multiple grade I winner will make his 2014 debut, but Ritvo and stable manager Finn Green have indicated the Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 18 or the Donn Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 8 at Gulfstream are likely options.

“We keep meeting and we will make a schedule, but he’s just doing good with what he’s doing now,” Ritvo said. “We let him work a half-mile today, and he went really well. He’s feeling good and came back great. His weight is amazing, he’s happy, and he’s doing really well. I just can’t ask him to be any better.”

Ritvo has been impressed with the way Mucho Macho Man has kept his form since the summer, when he was stabled at Saratoga Race Course. He was third in the Whitney Invitational Handicap (gr. I) there and was scratched from the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) when the track came up sloppy.

“Going into the Woodward, when we got rained out that day, he was doing fantastic working up to the race,” Ritvo said. “When we had to scratch that day and left for California soon after, he was doing good the whole time. He’s still doing just as good. His weight looks great, and he’s got a great attitude.”

Mucho Macho Man used the Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I) to prepare for the Breeders' Cup, winning impressively by 4 1/4 lengths over Paynter . In the Classic, he held off Will Take Charge  and Declaration of War  for a nose victory.

Bred by John and Carole Rio out of the Ponche mare Ponche de Leona, the big bay horse heads into the new campaign with eight lifetime wins from 23 starts and earnings of $5,340,410.