Multiple Grade 2-placed MUCHO MACHO MAN (Macho Uno), who most recently finished fourth in the January 30 Holy Bull S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park, could go on the road to Fair Grounds in search of graded stakes earnings in the February 19 Risen Star S. (G2).
"The thinking is the Risen Star might come up an easier spot," trainer Kathy Ritvo said Thursday. "We'd love to stay and run at Gulfstream (in the February 26 Fountain of Youth [G2]) but we're looking for graded stakes earnings. Also, it will be good for him to learn how to ship. We haven't officially decided anything, though."
Mucho Macho Man currently has $90,000 in graded stakes earnings, the bulk coming from his runner-up efforts behind To Honor and Serve (Bernardini) in last November's Nashua S. (G2) and Remsen S. (G2).
If Mucho Macho Man were to stay at Gulfstream for the $400,000 Fountain of Youth, he would have to face To Honor and Serve once again, for the Bill Mott colt is expected to make his 2011 debut in that spot.
Should Mucho Macho Man prevail in the $300,000 Risen Star, he would enhance his chances of having enough graded earnings to get into the Kentucky Derby (G1).
"We're really looking forward to getting him back to two turns," Ritvo said. "In his last race (the one-turn mile of the Holy Bull), he just got going a little too fast. I guess he was a little sharp for the race. I didn't think so beforehand, but you never know until they get on the track.
"Going two turns, he can't get going that fast early on because there's a turn coming up and I think that will help him to relax.
"Even though he ran fourth in his last race, we haven't lost any confidence in him. He's been training well and we're excited to get him back around two turns."
Both of the colt's upcoming options are two-turn events -- the Fountain of Youth is held over 1 1/8 miles and the Risen Star is a 1 1/16-mile test.
Ritvo added that she still would like to see Mucho Macho Man run one more time at Gulfstream.
"Oh, we definitely still have the Florida Derby ([G1] on April 3) on our radar," she said.