Reeves Thoroughbred Racing's Mucho Macho Man breezed a half mile at Gulfstream Park Dec. 29 on a busy morning that also included the arrival of Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) winner Groupie Doll and a move from promising Dale Romans trainee Gulfport.
Exercise rider Nick Petro Jr. was aboard for Mucho Macho Man's breeze, timed in :46 1/5 with splits of :11 2/5, :22 2/5 and :34 3/5 and a gallop out in 1:00 flat. The soon-to-be 5-year-old son of Macho Uno is preparing for a start in the $500,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 19.
"He went really good," said trainer Kathy Ritvo, who equipped Mucho Macho Man with blinkers for the workout. "He likes to train. He's a horse that's happiest when he trains."
Mucho Macho Man, who defeated Ron the Greek to capture the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic last year, concluded a productive 2012 campaign with a close second-place finish behind Fort Larned in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Nov. 3.
Also on the worktab in South Florida was Dale Romans trainee Gulfport, who turned in a five-furlong breeze in preparation for his 2013 debut Jan. 5.
The son of Unbridled's Song, who is scheduled to make his first stakes start in the $200,000 Jerome (gr. II) at Aqueduct, was timed in :58 2/5 seconds before galloping out six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 under jockey Corey Lanerie. He is owned by Mike Rutherford, Michael Lauffer, and Kinsman Stable and won his two final starts of the 2012 season at Churchill Downs.
"He continues to improve," Romans remarked. "He's a very classy horse with a class pedigree. He has the looks and the natural talent, and he's just gotten better. Today's work is about as good as it gets."
In other activity on a busy morning at Gulfstream, Groupie Doll arrived by van to begin preparations for her 2013 debut in the March 17 Inside Information Stakes (gr. II).
The 4-year-old daughter of Bowman's Band had been turned out for the past month at trainer Buff Bradley's Indian Ridge Farm near Frankfort, Ky., where she shared a paddock with retired grade I-winning gelding Brass Hat.
"She's been out every day. I don't think she's lost a lot (of conditioning). Brass Hat keeps her going," said Bradley. "She'll probably gallop the month of January and start breezing in February."
Groupie Doll, the odds-on favorite to be named champion female sprinter at the Eclipse Awards ceremony at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 19, won three grade I stakes in 2012 and had a five-race winning streak snapped in her final start of the year. Stay Thirsty just got up to nose her out in the Nov. 24 Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
"It was another great race. I don't regret taking her up there," Bradley said. "She showed everyone then that she's one of the greatest."
Groupie Doll's 4 1/2-length victory in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint under jockey Rajiv Maragh looked easy, but it was achieved on a track that favored speed, which presented a challenge for the late-running filly.
"You could see early on in the Breeders' Cup that she struggled a little bit because we knew we had to use her a little bit to have her stay up close and not let them get too far away," Bradley said. "Rajiv and I talked about it. I don't like to take a horse out of their running style, but we knew we were going to have to encourage her a little more, earlier in the race."
Groupie Doll was bred by Bradley and his 81-year-old father, Fred, who is currently dealing with physical issues.
"I went home for four days for Christmas and had to put him in the hospital with congestive heart failure. They're draining the fluid; they're giving him Lasix actually to drain the fluid," Bradley said. "He should be doing better. It was tough to leave, but I had Groupie Doll coming in today."