Not originally on his schedule, the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) is, at least, a possible next start for Mucho Macho Man.
The 5-year-old Florida-bred son of Macho Uno is on the list of 17 names nominated for the 57th running of the 1 1/8-mile handicap on Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park.
“We nominated him so we could have the option to consider it,” said Finn Green, stable manager for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, whose multiple-stakes winner has earned $2.3 million. “We won’t make that call until next Wednesday.”
The Kathy Ritvo-trained Mucho Macho Man, who closed out a successful 2012 campaign with a close second-place finish behind Fort Larned in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), turned in an uncharacteristic off-the-board finish in the $400,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 19.
After stalking the early pace over the sealed sloppy track, Mucho Macho Man stopped extending himself on the turn into the homestretch and was taken in hand by jockey Mike Smith.
“Between him and the racetrack the chemistry wasn’t good enough for a concert,” Green said.
Mucho Macho Man, whose only other poor performance in his 19-race career came over a sloppy track in a seventh-place finish in the 2011 Belmont Stakes (G1), came out of his 2013 debut in good order.
“It’s probably somewhere between a six and seven-furlong work,” said Green, estimating the exertion-output in Mucho Macho Man’s performance in the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic. “That’s what we’ve considered it to be. It did not deplete him at all.”
Mucho Macho Man/NYRA photo