Mucho Macho Man at Belmont Park on June 5, 2011.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Mucho Macho Man at Belmont Park on June 5, 2011.
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Rick Samuels

MMM, Stay Thirsty Post Strong Belmont Moves

Jockeys Ramon Dominguez, Javier Castellano work out their Belmont Stakes contenders.

Mucho Macho Man  posted a bullet five-furlong work in :59.57 June 5 over the main track at Belmont Park with jockey Ramon Dominguez aboard.

“He went very good,” said trainer Kathy Ritvo of the 3-year-old son of Macho Uno , who was clocked the fastest of 15 horses at that distance. Ritvo conditions Mucho Macho Man for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team Racing Stable.

“I think Ramon fit him really well, he looked comfortable on him, let him do it on his own. He finished up well, galloped out good. Good energy. He was really feeling good coming into the work; I'm just happy that he's doing really well.”

On the backstretch, Dominguez allowed the colt to quicken his pace at the 5 ½-furlong pole, turning in splits of :12.08, :23.93 and :35.22, and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.18.

The leggy bay colt was third in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and then sixth in the Preakness (gr. I) after losing a shoe.

Winner of this year’s Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), Mucho Macho Man will enter the Belmont with a career record of 2-3-3 from 10 starts and earnings of $610,643. Dominguez is to ride the bay colt for the first time in the Belmont.

Mucho Macho Man will be one of a trio of horses in the Belmont to have competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown. Ritvo said she was looking forward to the opportunity to take on the Derby and Preakness winners again.

“I think he’s going to run well on this racetrack,” said Ritvo. "It’s a great place to run. And I think the distance is going to suit him well. He’s the kind of horse who wants to keep going.”

Stay Thirsty  also breezed at Belmont the morning of June 5. His 1:00.45 clocking for five furlongs under jockey Javier Castellano was the third-fastest of the 15 horses working that distance.

“I thought he worked really well,” said trainer Todd Pletcher of the son of Bernardini , who scored his big win in this year’s Gotham (gr. III). “It was a good solid five-eighths, a minute and two-fifths with a strong gallop out. We were happy with it. Javier will ride him in the race."

In his only try aboard the dark bay/brown colt, Castellano guided Stay Thirsty to a fifth-place finish in last fall's Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Castellano is currently atop the Belmont jockey standings.

Stay Thirsty went an eighth of a mile in :12.22, a quarter in :24.36, three eighths in :36.55, and galloped out in 1:13.40, finishing two lengths ahead of workmate Joe Vann.

Owned by Mike Repole’s Repole Stable, Stay Thirsty holds an overall record of 2-2-0 from seven starts with earnings of $300,000. He was 12th in the Kentucky Derby.

“He’s as good as he can be coming into the race,” Pletcher said. “We’re hopeful that he can handle the mile-and-a-half distance. We won't know until we try it but his pedigree suggests he could handle it. We’re under the radar a bit. There’s no pressure so we can just come into it and have fun.”