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Submitted by John Conte on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Mucho Macho Man returns home to Gulfstream Park

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Mucho Macho Man returned to his winter home at Gulfstream Park late Wednesday morning, where the scene was a lot quieter than it was several days earlier at Santa Anita following his game victory over Will Take Charge in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Mucho Macho Man was met by trainer Kathy Ritvo, his regular exercise rider Nick Petro Jr., and a handful of well wishers when he stepped off the van after completing the grueling trip from Santa Anita that began in the wee hours of the morning. Mucho Macho Man was accompanied on the journey by Skinny Peter, his regular workmate for much of the year.

Ritvo, who became the first female trainer to win the Classic, said Mucho Macho Man would get a few more days off to recuperate from his travels.

“We’ll let him get settled in, but right now everything looks great and he could go back to the track in a couple of days, especially if he’s acting anything like he was before I left California,” Ritvo said. “It’s great to be back at Gulfstream. This is really his home. It’s our home. We’re both Florida-breds now. He really likes this track, he trains well over this track, and he’s run some great races here, besides the muddy day.”

Ritvo said she and Finn Green, racing manager for principal owner Dean Reaves and his wife, Patti, will get together within the next week to discuss future plans for Mucho Macho Man.

“Going to Dubai for the World Cup is an option,” Ritvo said. “And I think there is definitely a chance he could run here at Gulfstream this winter.”

Ritvo said she still finds it a little hard to believe that she just won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, a distinction that narrowly eluded her a year earlier when Mucho Macho Man finished a close second behind Fort Larned.

“It really hasn’t sunk in totally yet that we won, how about you guys,” Ritvo said to Petro and the rest of her crew. “I’m really happier for the horse than I am for myself. Pretty good record, a first and a second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, don’t you think? You know I was finally able to watch the whole tape of last year’s race again. I’d always watch to the quarter pole and then shut it off every time.”

Ritvo will have no such problems watching the tape of the 2013 Classic.

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