Mucho Macho Man motors five furlongs in :58 3/5
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing's multiple Grade 2 hero Mucho Macho Man worked a bullet five furlongs in :58 3/5 Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park with regular exercise rider Nick Petro Jr.
Working for the second consecutive time in blinkers, Mucho Macho Man posted by far the fastest of 35 works at the distance on the fast main track. The Kathy Ritvo charge continues looking sharp for his highly-anticipated 2013 season debut in the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic to be run January 19.
"He went very well," Ritvo said. "He worked in blinkers again, but we haven't decided whether to use them for the race. He'll have one more work. We'll look at the weather to decide what day."
Mucho Macho Man will be making his first start since his game runner-up effort behind Fort Larned in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita. The son of Macho Uno won the nine-furlong Sunshine Millions Classic here last year with Ron the Greek second to launch his 2012 campaign.
In other Gulfstream news, Lori and George Hall's Grade 2 veteran Pants On Fire is a "possible" starter for the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Stakes on January 13, according to trainer Kelly Breen.
"We just haven't decided yet," Breen said of the son of Jump Start, who finished sixth of seven as the 3-5 favorite last out in the Delta Mile at Delta Downs November 17. "He acted up in the gate and wasn't ready for the start. He just galloped around behind the field from there."
Winner of the 2011 Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, Pants On Fire finished ninth of 19 behind Animal Kingdom in the Kentucky Derby in his next start. In his only previous race at Gulfstream he returned from a seven-month layoff to post a very impressive allowance score last March 3, winning by 4 1/2 lengths over Hunters Bay while timed the mile in 1:35 4/5.
Jim Bakke and Gerry Isbister's Cool Blue Red Hot, who finished a strong third in the 2012 Hal's Hope and was beaten 1 1/4 lengths for it all by Jackson Bend, is nearing his first start since then for trainer Angel Penna Jr.
A son of Harlan's Holiday, Cool Blue Red Hot breezed five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 Friday morning at Palm Meadows. He had won a 1 1/16-mile allowance test at Belmont Park in mid-October of 2011 prior to his good try in the Hal's Hope.
"He's doing very well and breezed (Friday) morning," Penna said. "I haven't ruled it out (Hal's Hope), but I'm not sure he's ready to come back off the layoff in such a tough spot.
"He pulled muscles in the race last year and it took a long time to heal, but we're looking forward to him coming back this year."
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