Mucho Macho Man, a leader in the handicap division, broke smartly but settled in second down the backstetch, prompting the early pace of Trickmeister. Mucho Macho Man assumed command at the head of the lane following six furlongs in 1:09.53. Under a strong hand ride from Smith, Mucho Macho Man went on to score by 2 ½ lengths over a fast-closing Hymn Book. The winner covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.58.
“That was fabulous! What a great day! He likes to be here, likes the racetrack here, and we’re really happy to be here,” said winning trainer Kathy Ritvo. “He ran a great race. We’re so excited. We’re going to take it slow and see what happens. We’ll make sure he comes back great and we’ll look again [at what’s next].”
Mucho Macho Man, a son of Macho Uno—Ponche de Leona, by Ponche, impressed his new jockey.
“I’m really impressed, to be honest with you,” Smith said. “I knew he was a nice horse, but he really, really impressed me. From the time I got on him he was so confident. He left the gate in great order – for a big horse, he’s quick! I mean, every step was a winning one. I couldn’t believe how easy he beat [a strong field]. I mean, you put that bunch in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, your favorite is going to come out of this race. He just ran them off their feet. I’m shocked at how impressive he was. I didn’t touch him.”
Bred in Florida by John and Carole Rio, Mucho Macho Man races in the colors of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing.
“It was an awesome job by Mike Smith, Kathy [Ritvo], and everyone involved,” said Dean Reeves. “I’m so happy for my horse. He ran a good race, a solid race. This is really an extraordinary horse. He beat a great field of horses today.”
Mucho Macho Man/NYRA photo