Mucho Macho Man wins Breeders’ Cup Classic

Gr1 $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic

Gary Steven and Mucho Man celebrate a big win

Gary Steven and Mucho Man celebrate a big win

Ever-youthful Gary Stevens put an exclamation point on his remarkable comeback this season when riding Mucho Macho Man to a thrilling nose victory in the Gr1 $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park on Saturday.

Mucho Macho Man, after opening a clear advantage past mid-stretch, dug in for the final strides and prevailed over a fast-closing Will Take Charge and Declaration of War to barely prevail in the rich event that culminated two days of tremendous racing at Santa Anita.

Coupled with his win aboard Beholder in the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff a day earlier, the 50-year-old Hall of Fame rider captured both featured events of this year’s World Championships.

A son of Macho Uno  , owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and trained by Kathy Ritvo, Mucho Macho Man made a strong case for post-season Eclipse Award honors with his clutch victory, completing the 1 1/4-mile Classic distance in 2:00.72 over a fast track. He was sent off as the second choice in a field of 11 and paid $10 to win.

Three-year-old Will Take Charge, ridden by Luis Saez, was narrowly denied after making a tremendous run in the stretch, edging Declaration of War and Joseph O’Brien by a head for the runner-up slot. Game On Dude, favored at 8-5, gave way in the stretch and was denied victory in the race for a third consecutive year while finishing ninth.

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