December 10, 2019

KATHY RITVO, TRAINER, MUCHO MACHO MAN: “He was looking around a lot today (during the work.)

“He’s not even tired.

“He loves taking a bath. He’ll take one for an hour if he could. He’s a good boy. He doesn’t have the shank over his nose, it goes underneath. I mean as big as he is, that’s amazing.”

“I was looking for quiet confidence with him today, where he’s really settled. Just like this, where he’s quiet and happy, he knows he’s doing really well.

“He’s changed quite a bit from the time he was a three-year-old. He’s matured a lot, he’s put on a lot of muscle, put on weight and he’s gotten taller. He’s just stronger and smarter.

“We might school him (in the paddock later this week) but we’ll see how the weather is.

“We’re going to let him tell us what he needs to do, from here on out.

“Hopefully, we’ll get some dry days on the track.

“You could have washed him up and dried him off already today. He’s not even tired. He’s already cooled out (when he went to the wash rack.)

“He’s very kind for a (fully intact) horse. He wants his space but he’s not out to hurt anybody. On Saturday afternoons though, he’ll start to throw everybody around! But he has so much class; as soon as we get everything on him and start walking over he just relaxes, he knows it’s game time then.

“I’ve worked a horse in the afternoon before; usually, for different reasons though. Sometimes it’s because you want to gear ‘em up or to show them a different track. But, most of the time it’s to set them up so that they understand in the afternoon it’s time to get ready. I would have rather have worked him in the morning, but this was good.”

FINN GREEN, RACING MANAGER, MUCHO MACHO MAN: “I thought the work was really good; exactly what we wanted. He was several off the rail and he went easy, he was playing around actually. He was very, very happy.

“We decided to work him during the races today, but we were considering it as an option yesterday and the day before. The people here at Santa Anita have been so kind to us and Rick Hammerle and Dennis Moore have helped us a bunch with this. Dennis is unbelievable with what he’s been doing with the track, or more so what he hasn’t done with the track has been more important. That’s what really has helped it.

“Working him like this is almost good because at this stage he knows his routine and getting him (or any athlete) out of their comfort zone can keep them on their toes and will help them progress even more so. Just like a soccer coach, he coaches for a college, North Carolina, or maybe Virginia I think . He has his players in their position all season, then when it’s time for playoffs, he switches them up completely and it elevates everyone’s game. It makes you think and keeps you on your toes if it’s something new.

“I think Nick (Petro, the exercise rider) had a hold of him on the turn but he was also looking around a lot, just playing a bit.”

NICK PETRO, EXERCISE RIDER FOR MUCHO MACHO MAN: “He galloped out really well today. We did the half in forty-eight and a minute and one and change for the five-eighths, I think. He went really good today, I’m very happy with it. He loves this track and he loves the weather too. It was fast and the track was in great condition.”

5 Furlongs (Main Track) in 1:01.40

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