Mucho Macho Man Returns for Big ‘Cap

From Santa Anita Publicity
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 15, 2014) -- Mucho Macho Man returns to the scene of his greatest triumph when he comes to Santa Anita for the Santa Anita Handicap on March 8.

Following Mucho Macho Man’s five furlong workout in a sizzling 58.14 at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning, trainer Kathy Ritvo and Finn Green, Racing Manager for owners Dean and Patti Reeves, announced that the popular 6-year-old son of Macho Uno will run in the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap at a mile and a quarter on March 8.

“I got an early morning text today,” said Santa Anita Vice President Racing/Racing Secretary Rick Hammerle. “Many times when the phone goes off in the morning, it’s not good news. But this was great news. Kathy Ritvo called and told us that her and her team had decided to come back to Santa Anita.

“We’re thrilled that Mucho Macho Man is coming back to his second home here in California. They love it here and we love to have them. A good race just got better. We’re hoping to put together a star-studded field, maybe even a repeat of the Breeders’ Cup Classic.”

In that race at Santa Anita last Nov. 2, Mucho Macho Man, ridden by Gary Stevens, held off the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Will Take Charge by a desperate nose. Prior to that race, Mucho Macho Man won the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita.

Affirming his affinity for the track, he was second in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita to Fort Larned.

In his first start this year, Mucho Macho Man rolled to a 14-length victory in the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream on Jan. 18. The bay Florida-bred was also being considered for the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 29 before today’s announcement that he would run in the Santa Anita Handicap.

“There were some great opportunities for him, but the horse is telling us he’s getting ready now,” Ritvo said. “We thought long and hard about where to go, and we have to do what we feel is best for the horse. I think he’d run well wherever he went. We know about going to Santa Anita now, so it’s nice to go back.”

Mucho Macho Man is scheduled to work again at Gulfstream next Saturday and ship to California on Sunday, Feb. 23.