Capturing the hearts of racing fans and anyone tuned into the Kentucky Derby (GI), Mucho Macho Man was easily the Cinderella story of the 2011 Run for the Roses. The tall, lanky bay colt captivated fans with not only his story of being born seemingly dead before suddenly getting up and running, but with the story of his trainer, Kathy Ritvo, overcoming a degenerative heart disease that led her to have a heart transplant in 2008. He was easily the fan favorite and though he didn’t win, he ran a very respectable third behind Animal Kingdom in the Derby prior to becoming one of just three horses to compete in each Triple Crown race of 2011.
|Mucho Macho Man|
Photo by Julie June Stewart
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team Racing Stable’s Mucho Macho Man did not return to the work tab until two months after the Belmont Stakes (GI), making his first start after the grueling Triple Crown in an allowance optional claiming, which he won by nearly six lengths. He began 2012 with an easy win in the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes and has since garnered two more wins from three additional starts, including a recent spectacular victory in the Suburban Handicap (GII) at Belmont Park. But these four races of 2012 are only stepping stones for the rest of the season for Dean and Patti Reeves’ Mucho Macho Man.
“Going forward, we expect him to run at least one race at Saratoga (not sure which one yet), and then hopefully the Breeders’ Cup,” Patti said. “We have found that the best way to know when he’s ready is for Kathy to let him tell her when he’s ready . . . and he does! We are looking forward to the second half of 2012 being as good as or better than the first. He just seems to be getting better all the time.”
Mucho Macho Man has proven to be a blessing for Dean and Patti Reeves, taking them along on an unforgettable journey. In sixteen starts, Mucho Macho Man has contested in eleven graded stakes races – three of which have been classics and three of which have resulted in victories.
“Dean says that the people who are in this business are not there for the money – they do it for the love of the horses,” Patti said. “Truly, it must be . . . they work long, hard hours, and it’s rare that you get a chance to be in the classic races the way that Macho has.”
Mucho Macho Man has proven to be among the very best horses currently racing in the United States. Throughout 2012, he has established himself as quite the athlete and is considered by many to be one of the top older males in the country. As for Mucho Macho Man, he is exactly that – an athlete.
“As far as being around him, he’s a very serious horse,” Patti said. “He really doesn’t like too many strangers around his stall at the barn. He knows what his job is, and he is a true athlete. He is all business.”
Dean and Patti are aware of the rises and falls of fortune in horse racing industry, but like the devoted owners they are, they embark on the journey anyways. It is clear that the horses come first for them and that is certainly part of the reason it is so easy for fans to fall in love with Mucho Macho Man and his team.
“Every time we race, we pray over the horses beforehand . . . not for them to win, but just for them to all be safe and for them to ‘run with endurance the race marked out for them.’” Patti said. “There are so many ups and downs in this business . . . the thrill of the win; the disappointment of a defeat . . . but it all starts over again the next day when the horses go out to the track again at 5 a.m.”
Mucho Macho Man continuously garners fans as a result of his captivating story and classy connections. With over 5,000 Facebook “likes” and more than 800 Twitter followers, Mucho Macho Man is among the most popular American racehorses currently competing.
“I think the best thing about having Mucho Macho Man has been the friendships that this one horse has created,” Patti said. “So many of his fans have become our friends over time, and they all take such an interest in him and truly love him like their own. We feel really blessed to have been able to own a horse like this. My husband says all the time that this is God’s horse, because he never could have picked out a horse like that on his own.”