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Mucho Macho Man Wins $5M Breeders Cup

Added on: Jan. 21, 2014

Mucho Macho Man fended of second place Will Take Charge in Saturday’s Grade 1 $5M Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita Park. For the first time in his lengthy career, jockey Gary Stevens won this Breeders' Cup Classic for trainer Kathy Ritvo in North America’s richest race.

This year’s Grade 1 $5M Breeders Cup, which started out rather gloomy on Saturday after the death of a horse in the first race, ended up going to a photo finish. Stevens, who was 0-for-14 in the Classic, said “I didn't know the photo was as close as it was.” The 50-year-old jockey has made an emphatic comeback this year by managing to win by a nose length, making Ritvo the fifth ever female to win the Breeder’s Cup Race.

Just 12 months ago in this same race, Macho Macho Man came in close second behind winner Fort Larned. “Thrilling,” said Ritvo, who then added, “I was just hoping he got it. When I saw Gary shake his stick, I was confident. He ran a fantastic race.” Second place Fort Larned is trained by the renowned 78-year-old Wayne Lucas.

The favourite for this year was a horse called Game on Dude at 8:5 but this horse only managed to finish in ninth. This horse is trained by Bob Baffert and it is co-owned by retired Yankees and Dodgers manager, Joe Torre.

“When I saw him going real fast on the backstretch, I knew I was in trouble,” said Baffert. "Then when Mike (Smith) asked him, there was nothing there. You always feel bad when you get beat, but I feel worse for the horse.” This is the second time is consecutive years that Game on Dude has finished in second after going in to the race as the favourite.

Game on Dude would quite possibly have been up for consideration for Horse of the Year honours had it won, but this title may now go to Macho Macho Man, whose trainer underwent a life-saving heart transplant operation back in 2008. The current Horse of the Year is Wise Dan.

The 44-year-old mother-of-two’s horse was a runner in all three Triple Crown races in 2012 and also managed to place third in the Kentucky Derby. Finn Green, the racing manager for Macho Macho Man's owners Dean and Patti Reeves, said “Kathy Ritvo is one of the most underrated trainers in the thoroughbred industry.” The comments and image contained within this article came directly from ESPN horse racing.