Racing News

Mucho Macho Man turns in final Florida work

  • Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography

An NBC film crew was on hand to film MUCHO MACHO MAN's (Macho Uno) final work at Gulfstream Park Saturday before trainer Kathy Ritvo ships her Kentucky Derby (G1) hopeful to Churchill Downs on Sunday.

Ridden by exercise rider Mike Herra, Mucho Macho Man was timed in 1:23 3/5, handily, for seven furlongs in a light rain shower over the fast main track at Gulfstream Park. Mucho Macho Man, who turned in fractions of :46 1/5, :58 and 1:10 4/5 on his way to his seven-furlong clocking, galloped out a mile in 1:38 3/5.

"I wanted him to get him a little tired. He's not that tired. Look at him, he's just bopping around," said Ritvo, as her star three-year-old walked past the grandstand on his way back to Barn 4 on the backstretch.

Ritvo designed the strong seven-furlong workout and gallop-out, keeping in mind that there will be six weeks between her colt's last start and the Kentucky Derby. Mucho Macho Man, who captured the Risen Star S. (G2) at Fair Grounds on February 19, finished third in the Louisiana Derby (G2) at the New Orleans track on March 26 after pulling a shoe out of the gate.

"I was looking for a good work because we need to get on the road," said Ritvo, satisfied that her colt received the benefit of a good, tiring workout.

The Florida-bred colt stamped himself as a Kentucky Derby candidate last fall when he finished second in the Nashua S. (G2) and Remsen S. (G2) at Aqueduct to close out his two-year-old campaign.

Ritvo, whose morning activities were being filmed for the Kentucky Derby broadcast on May 7, expects to work Mucho Macho Man twice at Churchill Downs in preparation for a start in the first jewel of the Triple Crown. Mucho Macho Man will be housed in the same stall that was occupied by Horse of the Year Zenyatta for last fall's Breeders' Cup.

"I'm very excited. I'm ready to go," said Ritvo, who will be making her first trip to Churchill Downs. "We're one work closer than we were last week."