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Mucho Macho Man to race in 2014

Mucho Macho Man will stay in training hoping for a title defense of the BC Classic in 2014 (Jim Tyrrell/Horsephotos.com)

The connections of Mucho Macho Man announced Wednesday that their 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic winner will stay in training for the 2014 racing season. A title defense in the Classic at Santa Anita next November is the primary goal for the Kathy Ritvo-trained five-year-old son of Macho Uno.

"We just decided for sure (Tuesday) that we're going to target the Breeders' Cup again at Santa Anita," said Finn Green, stable manager of Dean and Patti Reeves' Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, which campaigns the winner of $5.3 million. "The front end of the season right now is wide open. Kathy and I are going to do some evaluating over the next few months and make some decisions about how Kathy is going to start him off."

Stabled at Gulfstream Park, Mucho Macho Man recovered for an early-season virus and a quarter crack to finish his 2013 campaign with likely the two best performances of his career at Santa Anita in the Awesome Again and the Classic.

"He's shown us all the right signs and shown us he wants to be on the track," said Ritvo, the first woman to saddle the winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic. "He's looks great. He just loves his job."

Mucho Macho Man's connections will explore all options, including the $400,000 Sunshine Millions Classic on January 18 and the Donn Handicap on February 8, for their long-striding horse's first start. Turf may also be an option.

"The horse is potentially extremely versatile," Green said. "We plan on working the horse on the turf towards the end of the month and Kathy and I will make a decision after that work about turf for him this year."

Mucho Macho Man is one of Thoroughbred racing's most enduring stars.

"We've all put him first -- the racing manager, the assistant trainer, the groom, everyone," Ritvo said. "We've gone out of our way to help him become a good horse."

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