Mucho Macho Man gets serious about training

The Sports NetworkDecember 22, 2013 

Hallandale Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Horse of the Year contender Mucho Macho Man put in another serious training effort Sunday at Gulfstream Park. The Breeders' Cup Classic winner is training for a return to the races as a 6- year-old in 2014.

With regular exercise rider Nick Petro Jr. in the saddle, Mucho Macho Man covered five furlongs in 1:00.

"He was just feeling so good, we let him do a little more today," trainer Kathy Ritvo said. "He did great.

"No one could have been happier than I was to get another year of great training from him. I know he got off to a slow start but he finished up the year great. He's just showing all the right signs. He's a pleasure. He's very happy. He's been doing very well since the Breeders' Cup and has been training well since he got here. His coat looks great and his weight is great."

No decision on the horse's first start of the year has been made. Ritvo, along with owners Dean and Patti Reeves, and stable manager Finn Green will come together to make that decision.

Mucho Macho Man and Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens won the $5 million Classic by a nose over Will Take Charge on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Santa Anita. Last year he was second to Fort Larned in the 1 1/4-mile Classic.

He came into the Breeders' Cup Classic off a decisive victory in the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita. However, his early races were less than superb. He failed to finish the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic in January and posted third-place results in his next two starts.

After skipping the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, he came back strong to close 2013 with his only two wins of the year.

"He got a little slow start, but he beat all the best horses when it counted," Ritvo said. "I wouldn't trade horses with anybody."

The 5-year-old has earned $5,340,410 with eight wins in 23 career starts.

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