In the land of Hollywood endings, the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic triumph of Mucho Macho Man would seem too far-fetched for the silver screen. Start with trainer Kathy Ritvo, who came back from a near-death experience thanks to a heart transplant, then add in 50-year-old jockey Gary Stevens, who returned to the saddle in 2013 after a seven-year retirement.
Representing the only Breeders’ Cup starter for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Mucho Macho Man had finished second in the 2012 Classic at Santa Anita, beaten a half-length by Fort Larned. In the 2013 running, Mucho Macho Man got the best of Fort Larned by surging past him at the quarter pole and then opening a clear lead at midstretch.
Mucho Macho Man first fended off Declaration of War and then hung on to finish a nose in front of Will Take Charge to give Ritvo her first Breeders’ Cup victory and provide Stevens with his 10th triumph in the Championships and first in the Classic. Stevens, who won the Distaff a day earlier on Beholder, became only the second jockey in the 30-year history of the Breeders’ Cup to win the Distaff and Classic in the same year, joining Mike Smith in 1997 at Hollywood Park.