HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Mucho Macho Man won the $400,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic on Saturday at Gulfstream Park, beating Ron the Greek by 1 1/2 lengths.
Ridden by Ramon Dominguez and trained by Kathy Ritvo, Mucho Macho Man ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.91 and paid $6.20, $3.80 and $3. One of only three horses to race in all the three legs of the Triple Crown last year, Mucho Macho Man made was making his 2012 debut in the finale of the six stakes for Florida-bred thoroughbreds.
``It was the absolute perfect trip,'' Dominguez said. ``We were right on the outside of the speed. He handled himself so well. He gave me the feeling every step of the way that whenever I was ready to ask he was ready to go. He gave me so much confidence. I was just a passenger today. You can really tell how much he's grown up since I rode him in the Belmont. Back then, he was just a big skinny horse that had a lot of maturing to do. Now he looks like he's grown up and has everything figured out.''
Owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team Racing, Mucho Macho Man had a long break after finishing seventh in the Belmont Stakes. He was third in the Kentucky Derby.
Ritvo has no set plan for Mucho Macho Man's next race.
``We'll see how he comes out of it and then start to look for another race for him,'' she said.
Ron the Greek returned $5.20 and $3.60, and Turbo Compressor paid $3.20 to show.
In the $300,000 Distaff, Awesome Feather beat Delightful Mary by 5 3/4 lengths for her ninth victory in nine starts, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.17.
``She trained great for the race, but you just don't know until you can run them,'' trainer Chad Brown said. ``She's just a real pro.''
Ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.10.
``I have so much confidence in her,'' said Sanchez, aboard Awesome Feather for all nine of her victories. ``She's just so special to me. She's the best horse I've ever ridden. She's the best filly in the world.''
Delightful Mary returned $5.40 and $3.60, and Sweet Repent paid $3.40.
Soaring Stocks took the $150,000 Sprint, beating Cajun Breeze by a half-length. Ridden by John Velazquez, the John Pletcher-trained Soaring Stocks ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:09.490 and paid $11, $5.20 and $3.80.
Cajun Breeze returned $14.40 and $5.40, and Royal Currier paid $3.20.
It's Me Mom won the $150,000 Filly & Mare Sprint, beating Honey Chile by 6 3/4 lengths. Ridden by Willie Martinez and trained by Lynne Scace, It's Me Mom ran 6 furlongs in 1:08.85 and paid $6.80, $4.80 and $4. She has six victories in nine starts at 6 furlongs.
Honey Chile returned $8.40 and $5.20, and Indulgence paid $6 to show.
``We knew we'd be in front, that's what she does,'' Martinez said. ``There's a difference between fast and brilliant speed and she has brilliant speed. ... She's just a freak.''
Little Mike won the $150,000 Turf, beating Slews Answer by three-quarters of a length. Ridden by Joe Bravo, Little Mike ran 1 1/8 miles on in 1:45.94 and paid $5.20, $3.20 and $2.80. Slews Answer returned $4.20 and $3.20, and Bad Debt paid $3.20 to show.
``He's a better horse this year than he was last coming back from the injury,'' trainer Dale Romans said. ``He had a cracked shin. I've always thought he could get the mile-and-an-eighth because even though he runs on the front he relaxes. I haven't got anything in particular picked out for him at this point. We'll start talking about it tomorrow.''
In the $150,000 Filly and Mare Turf, long-shot Hooh Why beat Romacaca by 1 1/4 lengths, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.770. Ridden by Velazquez, the winner paid $37.40, $11 and $7.60.
``It worked out absolutely perfectly,'' Velazquez said. ``There was a good pace in there and she settled really nicely. When I asked her turning for home, she really responded well.''
Romacaca returned $3.80 and $2.80, and Speak Easy Gal paid $7.80.