Classic: Stevens Says Santa Anita ‘Home Now’ to Mucho Macho Man

by | 10.17.2013 | 11:19pm
Mucho Macho Man wins the Awesome Again

Mucho Macho Man has been in California so long it wouldn't be surprising if he had a skate board and a cell phone. … OK, so he's been here shorter than a Brett Favre retirement and may not be a bona fide California Boy yet, but he has been at Barn 126 at Santa Anita since Sept. 9.

The 5-year-old Mucho Uno horse fulfilled his first major objective at The Great Race Place, winning the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes on Sept. 28 to earn a fees-paid berth in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

He had his first workout since the Awesome Again on Oct. 12, going a half-mile in 47.40 for Kathy Ritvo, who trains the 17-hand bay for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. Mucho Macho Man thrives at Santa Anita, where he finished second by a half-length in last year's Classic to Fort Larned. His trainer loves it here, too, especially the weather.

Gary Stevens, who rode Mucho Macho Man in the Awesome Again and will be aboard again in the Classic, sees a benefit in having the winner of more than $2.5 million in his comfort zone.

“It's a huge advantage,” said Stevens, who is looking forward to the 30th edition of the Breeders' Cup World Championships on Nov. 1 and 2. “The horse is here and he's settled in. This is home now and he likes this track. He ran well on it last year and had a great performance in the Awesome Again.

“Last weekend was kind of disappointing for me, but it was all relative after I got a text from a number I didn't recognize.

“It said, ‘Gary, this is Kathy. Here's Mucho's work this morning. It was a half-mile.' She sent me a video of it. I got to watch it and it just put a smile on my face.

“I know she's excited. That gave me a boost and made me put the weekend in perspective. I realized I've got a lot to look forward to.”

In addition to Mucho Macho Man, agent Craig O'Bryan has booked Stevens on the following Breeders' Cup mounts: Beholder (Distaff), She's a Tiger (Juvenile Fillies), Ever Rider (Marathon), Indy Point (Turf), Starship Truffles (Filly & Mare Sprint), Caracortado (Turf Sprint) and Got Shades (Juvenile Turf).

  • HappyHarriet

    Mucho Macho Man – I love him! I’ll never forget last year’s Classic. What a champ!

    This article reflects California to a “T”. Shallow, superficial, out of touch – like the horse industry in CA and the numbskulls who are running it into the dust – uh – fake dirt.

    I’ll give Santa Anita this – at least they cleaned the place up and washed the windows. And their remodeling is lovely. Last year was a horror story – it looked like the set for a Stephen King novel called “Carcass”.

    Unless the people who run SA, BC and the CHRB change dramatically from this year to next, to me the BC is a big yawn. Even the folks on the backside told me they hated it last year. People who have worked at SA for 30 years aren’t allowed anywhere near the events or within a good eye shot of what’s happening. These are the people who MAKE YOUR INDUSTRY. WAKE UP, BC, and get your heads screwed on straight!

  • Knowitall

    Coach should have used him on Strong Mandate, too.

    • Knowitall

      And if out of commission Gomez rode New Year’s Day last out…who’d you rather have – a Hall of Famer or a Garcia?

  • MyBigRed

    This does not surprise me, since Mucho Macho Man came from Florida where the weather is almost identical. I adore this horse, & I have watched him since he was preparing for the Kentucky Derby in 2011. GO Mucho Macho Man :) Congratulations to his connections & hopefully we will have Horse Racing in Georgia, some day :)

  • MyBigRed

    I almost missed the last paragraph….Caracortado, another one of my Favorites :) YAHOO, I can’t wait for the Breeder’s Cup Races !!

    • Rockbarton

      Yeah, I’ve followed Caracortado since he and Paul Atkinson got on a great
      roll a few years ago.

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