Dean Reeves on Mucho Macho Man, Mac Daddy Mac and Georgia Racing
Dean Reeves on Mucho Macho Man, Mac Daddy Mac and Georgia Racing: Named after a popular horse in recent times, the one-mile $100,000 Mucho Macho Man Stakes will run at Gulfstream Park this Saturday. For newer fans, here is a short history of the namesake’s record.
Mucho Macho Man raced at a top level from 2010 to 2014, competing in almost all the top American dirt races. He placed third in the 2011 Kentucky Derby (GI), a difficult, grueling race for any horse. Next year, Mucho Macho Man ran second in 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI), before winning the 2013 edition as his greatest accomplishment.
He also began his road to the Kentucky Derby at Gulfstream Park by finishing fourth in the Holy Bull Stakes (GIII), which the Mucho Macho Man is a prep race for. Dean Reeves campaigned Mucho Macho Man with his wife Patti, but unfortunately they will not be present during the race this weekend due to a previous commitment.
Regardless, in a detailed phone conversation, Reeves gave a few thoughts on the Mucho Macho Man Stakes and more.
“Awesome Speed has the right speed and class, and Fellowship has a chance as well,” Reeves said.
Most handicappers believe a major speed bias exists on Gulfstream’s dirt surface, and the conversation provided a chance to ask a real horseman on whether the accepted logic is correct. Reeves disagreed.
“It did (favor speed) several years ago, but they leveled out the track,” he pointed out. “It is different now.”
The conversation then trailed off into the Kentucky Derby. The Reeves are hopeful their colt Mac Daddy Mac can emerge as one of the main contenders on the Derby path. First, Reeves wants to start slow.
“We’ve got a couple of races we’re looking at,” Reeves said. “ … a good allowance race, at seven furlongs to a mile, might be a good place to start. I don’t think we’ll run in the Holy Bull, but we’ll look at the prep races after that.”
Despite losing the Bob Hope (GIII) at Del Mar last time to Toews On Ice, Reeves felt pleased with Mac Daddy Mac’s effort.
“To go from maiden race to a top three in a graded stakes race is great,” Reeves explained. “Toews On Ice is going to be one of the top three-year-old horses next year.”
Reeves and his friends also placed future book wagers on Mac Daddy Mac. They did the same with Mucho Macho Man in 2012. If their current Derby hope fizzles out, like any other owner, Reeves plans to try again.
“I’m not sure if it’s 2016, but we’ll get there,” Reeves said. “For us, we’ll get a bit of a late start. If Mac Daddy Mac does not make the Derby, he still has a lot good things in front of him.”
“His dam side is the one that helps him. His sister Marathon Lady competed well in 1 1/8 mile races.”
Horses also require certain other traits to help them through the process leading up to the Derby. In Mucho Macho Man’s case, he possessed the right qualities on the mental side as well as physical.
“He seemed to cherish those times,” Reeves noted about Mucho Macho Man on big race days. “He got fired up.”
Interestingly, one of Reeves’ favorite wins by Mucho Macho Man came in an optional claiming race, months after his run in the Triple Crown series. He felt relieved to know his horse continued to progress.
“We didn’t know what we had, and he crushed them,” the long-time Georgia resident recalled.
On a final note, Reeves maintains high hopes for horse racing in Georgia. The Senate plans to vote on the matter in late January. If it eventually happens, the racetrack will be a 21st-century facility. Opposition to the idea remains a challenge.
“They just don’t understand how horse racing is today,” Reeves said. “They remember what they saw in the movies where everyone is a gangster.”
In the end, Reeves hopes to show how spending the day at the racetrack can be a high-class social event.
“The ones who voted against it will be the first ones to attend.”
Mucho Macho Man Stakes 2016 Post Positions & Odds
Race 10 4:35 PM ET
1 Bullet Gone Astray 12-1 Panici/Collazo
2 Picadilly Roadster 15-1 Cruz/Vitali
3 Awesome Speed 9-5 Rosario/Goldberg
4 Aggressive Driver 6-1 Velazquez/Delgado
5 Fellowship 5-2 Caraballo/Gold
6 Golden Ray 8-1 Vasquez/Rodriguez
7 El Charro 5-1 Saez/Rodriguez