Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopeful Mucho Macho Man dazzled during a morning workout at Gulfstream Park April 9, breezing five furlongs in :58 1/5 seconds under exercise rider Mike Herra. The clocking was the fastest of 14 recorded at the distance.
“I just wanted him to do it on his own and finish up. He was a little speedy this morning. He’s feeling good. It’s been two weeks since he ran,” said trainer Kathy Ritvo, whose stable star galloped out six furlongs in 1:11 and change. “He’s been going two miles three or four mornings in a row and (Friday) he went a mile and a half and went to the gate and school. He was really good. Today he was full of energy.”
The son of Macho Uno showed no ill effects of a minor foot injury incurred while pulling a shoe at the start of the recent Louisiana Derby (gr. II), in which he finished third as the favorite. Ritvo said the incident likely impacted her colt’s performance, in which he was beaten by less than a length by winner Pants on Fire.
“I definitely do, because he’s a little immature and I think it threw him off a little,” said Ritvo, who trains the Florida-bred colt for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team One Racing.
Mucho Macho Man, who completed a promising 2-year-old season with runner-up finishes in the Nashua (gr. II) and Remsen (gr. II) stakes at Aqueduct, captured the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds on Feb. 19 prior to finishing third in the Louisiana Derby on March 26.
“We’ll see how he comes back from the work. He surprised me a little today. We’ll adjust his work next week and then we should be off to Kentucky,” said Ritvo, who expects to ship to Churchill Downs a few days after next Saturday’s scheduled workout.