Mucho Macho Man was so far ahead in the Sunshine Millions Classic under Gary Stevens, he might as well have been in a different area code. (Photo courtesy of Gulfstream Park/Bob Coglianese photos)
But the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner took it upon himself to dazzle the fans in attendance. Mucho Macho Man seized command from pacesetter Bernie the Maestro on the final turn in the 1 1/8-mile race and simply ran away from five challengers. He coasted across the finish line 14 lengths clear of runner-up Joshua’s Comprise to win the $400,000 race for fun.
“The thing they told me - Kathy and [Reeves Thoroughbred Racing manager] Finn [Green] - is, ‘We don't need to put on a show today. Don't show him off.’ ” Stevens said. “And he kind of did anyway, on his own. But there was no intention of trying to embarrass anybody. It was nice to have people show up to run against him today. It was a huge effort from him — an easy effort, but huge at the same time.”
Mucho Macho Man improved to nine wins in 24 starts and the $240,000 winner’s share boosted his career earnings to $5,580,410. A finalist for the Eclipse Award as champion older male as well as U.S. racing’s top prize – Horse of the Year – Mucho Macho Man could target either the Santa Anita Handicap on March 8 or the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 29.
“They are two of the options. One of them is a little more conventional for us – Santa Anita for the Big ’Cap. We’d have seven weeks to Santa Anita and 10 weeks to Dubai,” Green said. “We’d probably run in a race five weeks from now, if we were going to go to Dubai.”
MUCHO MACHO MAN COASTS TO VICTORY ON SATURDAY
Gulfstream Park/Bob Coglianese photos
Mucho Macho Man also won the Sunshine Millions Classic in 2012. Last year, he was pulled up and did not finish in this race.
His winning time of 1:48.76 was a little more than a second off the track record of 1:47.49 set by Quality Road in 2010. Not bad for his first start in two months and a race that, for all intents and purposes, turned into a glorified workout for Mucho Macho Man.
"That was strong, very impressive,” said Dean Reeves, who owns the now 6-year-old horse along with his wife, Patti. “It was great to see him do that today and Kathy had him ready to go. I think he continues to surprise me because he goes on to bigger heights.”
For an Equibase chart, click here.
MUCHO MACHO MAN: TALE OF REDEMPTION