Mucho Macho Man

Mucho Macho Man

Coglianese Photos/Courtney Stafford

Mucho Macho Man Out of Gulfstream Handicap

Last year's winner will miss the March 9 event because of a mild virus.

Defending Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) winner Mucho Macho Man  will miss the March 9 race because of a mild virus, owner Dean Reeves confirmed Feb. 28.

The Reeves Thoroughbred Racing runner had been working steadily to the one-mile Gulfstream Park Handicap, which was expected to be a rematch with Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Fort Larned . He was coming off a dismal effort in the Jan. 19 Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes, also at Gulfstream Park, his first start of 2013. In that race he was eased as the 2-5 favorite by jockey Mike Smith in the early stretch on a sloppy track behind runaway winner Ron the Greek. 

"He has a virus (but) hopefully he will not be sidelined very long," Reeves said.
 
Last year the strapping son of Macho Uno  took the Gulfstream Park Handicap for trainer Kathy Ritvo by two lengths over Tackleberry off a 2012 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic score.
 
Fort Larned is still on track to make his 2013 debut for trainer Ian Wilkes in the Gulfstream Park Handicap after beating Mucho Macho Man by a half-length in the Nov. 3 Breeders' Cup Classic. Others nominated for the race include Discreet Dancer, Fort Loudon, and Pants on Fire