Monthly Archives: July 2010

Shestheone clear winner in Stars and Stripes Distaff

Shestheone - Nate Alcala 7@
Shestheone coasts to the wire to win the Stars and Stripes Distaff at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

A convincing turn of foot heading into the final turn carried Shestheone to victory in Sunday’s $6,200 Stars and Stripes Distaff at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The five-year-old K A Czubuthan mare was hustled out of the gate and chased early leader French Fling from second as the field made its first pass in front of the grandstands. French Fling, Shestheone and post time favorite Mi Valentine Dancer drew even heading into the clubhouse turn and dueled for the lead throughout the bend. As they approached the backstretch, Mi Valentine Dancer and Shestheone pulled away from French Fling and opened up six lengths on the rest of the field. Mi Valentine Dancer led by as much as a half length on the outside of Shestheone, but the distance was quickly made up when Shestheone accelerated past her rival heading into the final turn.

Shestheone continued to separate herself from Mi Valentine Dancer and led by five lengths at the top of the stretch. She remained unchallenged and widened her advantage to 9 1/2 lengths at the finish line under jockey Nate Alcala. Mi Valentine Dancer held on for second by 3/4 lengths over late-moving Shezablessing.

The final time for the Stars and Stripes was 1:20.67. Shestheone was the field’s second choice at odds of 1.60-to-one.

Homebred in Texas by Tricia Schibik and also bred by Bruce Schibik, Shestheone is conditioned by Julie Post. The Stars and Stripes was Shestheone’s sixth win from 18 career starts, and her first stakes victory. With the win, her career earnings now total $12,845.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

3 – Shestheone (Nate Alcala) 5.40 / 2.80 / 2.40
4 – Mi Valentine Dancer (Oscar Delgado) 2.40 / 2.20
6 Shezablessing (Juan Delgado) 2.20

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:20.67

Shestheone - Nate Alcala 2
Your winner, Shestheone; Nate Alcala, up.

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Catch Me Ridin Dirty wires field in Independence Open

Catch Me Ridin Dirty - Nate Alcala 19@
Catch Me Ridin Dirty and jockey Nate Alcala come down the stretch to win the Independence Open at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

After a storm blew through the area earlier in the card and turned the racing surface into a mud pit, Catch Me Ridin Dirty stayed tight to the dry rail and led at every call to win Sunday’s $6,500 Independence Open at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The four-year-old Aransas HF gelding was forwardly placed coming out of the gate, with Double Djeopardy and RFR Silver Crescent flanking him on both sides. Catch Me Ridin Dirty and Double Djeopardy quickly distanced themselves about three lengths from the rest of the pack and dueled for the lead heading onto the main track. As the field crossed the wire for the first time, Catch Me Ridin Dirty overtook his rival and moved over to the rail. He held a length and a half advantage over Zanthus Fury, who had come into contention on the outside, heading into the clubhouse turn.

Catch Me Ridin Dirty held a comfortable two-length cushion across the backstretch as Zanthus Fury and Double Djeopardy battled for position behind him. A well-urged Double Djeopardy inched closer to the leader coming out of the final turn, but the Catch Me Ridin Dirty repelled the challenge and was hand-ridden to the wire by jockey Nate Alcala on his way to a 3 3/4 length victory. Double Djeopardy finished two lengths ahead of Zanthus Fury for second place.

Catch Me Ridin Dirty completed the six furlong race in 1:26.58 over a fast dirt surface. He went off as the 0.90-to-one post time favorite.

Homebred in Michigan and trained by Nicole Holst, Catch Me Ridin Dirty improved his career record to seven wins from nine starts, and a perfect two-for-two in stakes company. His effort in the Independence Open increased his earnings to $17,384.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

3 – Catch Me Ridin Dirty (Nate Alcala) 3.80 / / 2.10
2 – Double Djeopardy (Oscar Delgado) 2.10 / 2.10
5 – Zanthus Fury (Juan Delgado) 2.10

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:26.58

Catch Me Ridin Dirty - Nate Alcala 6
Your winner, Catch Me Ridin Dirty; Nate Alcala, up.

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Star Sheba shines in Regret Stakes

Star Sheba led at every call and held on late to win Saturday’s $50,000 Regret Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The three-year-old Elusive Hour filly broke quickly and was soon on the rail, a length ahead of Skys Red Roxy. Hustle Now and post time favorite Touch Misscrafty also loomed on the outside as the field made its way across the backstretch. Skys Red Roxy stayed on Star Sheba’s outside hip heading into the turn, about 3/4 lengths off the leader, and pressured her foe throughout the bend. Behind them, Hustle Now began to fall off the pace, while Touch Misscrafty continued her outside trip about two lengths off the leaders.

A head’s length separated the pair as they made their way into the stretch, but Star Sheba once again separated from her foe. Still on the outside, Skys Red Roxy was shifted to the rail, which had opened up after the leader drifted out from the turn. Skys Red Roxy once again rallied from that position and was on even terms with the leader with 100 yards to go. However, Star Sheba found the kick to separate herself from her rival one last time as the wire drew near to win the Regret by 3/4 lengths under urging from jockey Octavio Bernal. Fully Exposed closed up the rail to take third, 3/4 lengths ahead of a still-wide Touch Misscrafty.

Star Sheba won the six furlong Regret with a time of 1:13.63 over a fast dirt surface. She left the gate as the field’s third choice at odds of 5.50-to-one.

Star Sheba was homebred in Michigan by Elkhorn Oaks Inc. and is trained by James Jackson.

The Regret was Star Sheba’s third victory from five career starts, and her first in stakes company. Her career earnings now total $55,564.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

6 – Star Sheba (Octavio Bernal) 13.00 / 5.00 / 3.20
4 – Skys Red Roxy (Diego Rodriguez) 10.20 / 5.40
1 –  Fully Exposed (Tommy Molina) 7.80

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:13.63

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Alcala, Shestheone reunite in Stars and Stripes Distaff

Shestheone and jockey Nate Alcala will try to re-create their past success in Sunday's Stars and Stripes Distaff at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Sometimes a horse and rider just click.

That seems to be the case jockey Nate Alcala and Arabian Shestheone, who will join forces after some time apart in Sunday’s $6,500 Stars and Stripes Distaff at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

A field of six will meet for the Stars and Stripes, a six furlong race for Arabian fillies and mares, three years old and up.

Nate Alcala will have the mount aboard Shestheone for the first time in two races. In their last two starts together, the duo won both races by a combined 19 lengths. The five-year-old K A Czubuthan mare then finished off the board in her next two starts without Alcala. She enters the Stars and Stripes off an unplaced finish in a June 27 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Nicole Holst trains Shestheone for owner Tricia Schibik.

Holst will also saddle Mi Valentine Dancer in the Stars and Stripes. The five-year-old Line Dancer mare owns a win and a runner-up finish at Mount Pleasant after racing in Texas and Colorado in 2009. Her most recent effort was a victory by a head’s margin in a June 20 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Owned by Lapco Arabians, Mi Valentine Dancer wil be ridden by Oscar Delgado.

Also entered is Tom Fritz’s Shezablessing. The five-year-old Baron Pasb mare has registered thirds of all three of her starts in 2010, the most recent coming in a July 4 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Trainer Mario Fritz will give Juan Delgado the leg up aboard Shezablessing on Sunday.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. French Fling / L Gates / T Briggs / 10-1
2. Fly Without Wings / J Ritchards / L A Roberts / 8-1
3. Shestheone / N Alcala / N Holst / 2-1
4. Mi Valentine Dancer / O Delgado / N Holst / 7-5
5. Sey Proofs Lavitra / Q Bernard / T Briggs / 6-1
6. Shezablessing / J F Delgado / M Fritz / 4-1

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Catch Me Ridin Dirty the chalk in Independence Open

Catch Me Ridin Dirty will try for his second career stakes victory in the Independence Open at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

After a 2009 season capped off by a Darley Award nomination as one of the nation’s top three-year-old Arabian males, Catch Me Ridin Dirty will return to stakes action in Sunday’s $6,500 Independence Open at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The six furlong race for Arabian colts and geldings, three years old and up is the first stakes challenge of the year for Mount Pleasant’s Arabian males.

Catch Me Ridin Dirty collected a pile of accolades last year, including Michigan’s Association of Racing Arabian Breeders Horse of the Year title. The highlight of the four-year-old Aransas HF gelding’s season came in a 12 1/2-length romp in last September Michigan Juvenile Stakes at Mount Pleasant. He enters the Independence off third place finish in a June 27 allowance race at the same track. Regular rider Nate Alcala retains the riding assignment for owner and trainer Nicole Holst.

In his two career defeats, the one horse who has had Catch Me Ridin Dirty’s number is Zanthus Fury. The five-year-old Haffir El Rimal gelding has been the victor in both of those races, most recently in his last start in the same June 27 allowance. Trainer Mario Fritz will saddle Zanthus Fury for owner Tom Fritz. Juan Delgado will be in the irons on Sunday.

The Fritz duo will also send Vagas to the track in the Independence. The five-year-old Haffir El Rimal gelding was a late-moving runner-up in last year’s Arabian Racing Cup Midwest Maturity Open at Mount Pleasant. He enters the race off an unplaced finish in the previously mentioned June 27 allowance race. Vagas will be ridden by Jose Beltran.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Vagas / J A Beltran / M Fritz / 6-1
2. Double Djeopardy / O Delgado / N Holst / 4-1
3. Catch Me Ridin Dirty / N Alcala / N Holst / 7-5
4. RFR Silver Crescent / A Keller / P Fullerton / 8-1
5. Zanthus Fury / J F Delgado / M Fritz / 2-1

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“Racetrack Collector” visits Michigan tracks

Tom Miscannon checked off track number 284 during his visit to Mount Pleasant Meadows last Sunday.

Tom Miscannon has been everywhere, man.

Looking over the list of Thoroughbred racetracks around the world Miscannon has visited can arouse thoughts of the Johnny Cash song of a similar vein.

Miscannon, an Orlando, Fla. resident, increased his impressive list to 284 tracks in 14 different countries following his stops last weekend at Pinnacle Race Course and Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Though he had visited tracks near his current and former hometowns, Miscannon’s conquest began during his time with the Navy in 1983. During a stay in Scotland, Miscannon challenged himself to attend the races at every track in the United Kingdom. He expanded his goal to include the United States and elsewhere when he returned stateside, and on subsequent tours of duty.

Today, Miscannon is an administrative assistant at the University of Central Florida. He also referees soccer games to help fund his self-proclaimed “foolish passion”.

In the face of such a challenge, Miscannon has some guidelines for deciding which tracks he visits. All flat and steeplechase courses that offer a Thoroughbred-exclusive meet are fair game, as are mixed meets where Thoroughbreds have a major share of the condition book. If presented with a Standardbred or primarily Quarter Horse track, he will normally look elsewhere. Fortunately, Mount Pleasant was flush with Thoroughbred races on Sunday.

Miscannon has also begun to visit racetracks not only as a fan, but as an owner.  His horses have competed at flat and steeplechase tracks across the eastern part of the country. He currently campaigns a gelding named King Congo.

When Miscannon visits a racetrack for the first time, he has a few rituals.

First, he procures a mint condition copy of the day’s racing program, or as close to mint as possible. Sometimes, this can involve opening fresh packages in pursuit of the perfect program.

A fairly new tradition of Miscannon’s is to photograph seven defining features of each racetrack: the road sign, the entrance to the plant, the grandstand, the paddock, the starting gates during a race, the finish line and the winner’s circle. Though Miscannon said he rarely visits a track twice, some backtracking might be necessary to shoot the venues attended before he decided to start bringing his camera.

I got a chance to sit down and chat with Miscannon during his visit to Mount Pleasant Meadows on Sunday. The interview, including stories of Miscannon’s travels, can be found behind the jump.

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Hustle Now returns in Regret Stakes

Hustle Now, Michigan’s juvenile filly of the year in 2009, will make her first start on the road to earning top honors as a sophomore in Saturday’s $50,000 Regret Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

A full field of 12 will square off in the six furlong race for Michigan-bred three-year-old fillies. Last year’s installment was won by Peak Of The Storm.

The Regret will be Hustle Now’s first start since her emphatic 5 1/2-length victory in the juvenile fillies division of last October’s Sire Stakes at Pinnacle. The Creative filly ended her 2009 campaign with three straight wins, including consecutive scores in the Sire Stakes and the Sickle’s Image Stakes. J.J. Delgado picks up the assignment from jockey Angel Stanley, who moved his tack to Suffolk Downs this summer. Larry Uelmen trains Hustle Now for owner Sheffeld Farms.

During her most recent meeting with Hustle Now in last September’s Sickle’s Image, Top Touch battled down the stretch with her rival, but was outfinished. The Touch Gold filly recovered well, winning her next start in last October’s Michigan Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Pinnacle. Top Touch enters the Regret off an unplaced finish in a July 2 optional claiming event at Thistledown. Sandra Adkins trains Top Touch for owner Charlie J. Williams, LLC. Alexis Ortiz will have the mount.

Also entered is Denis Cluley trainee Skys Red Roxy. The Sky Approval filly is undefeated in two career starts at Indiana Downs and Pinnacle by a combined 10 1/2 lengths. Her most recent victory was a three length score in a June 6 allowance race at Pinnacle. Regular rider Diego Rodriguez retains the mount for owner Bobbie Kay Cluley.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Fully Exposed / T Molina / J R Jackson / 12-1
2. Cute Creation / J R Martinez, Jr. / G E Terrien / 15-1
3. Maximimi / A A Marin / R M Gorham / 20-1
4. Skys Red Roxy / D Rodriguez / D Cluley / 10-1
5. Electric Venus / R Barrios / R R Russell / 15-1
6. Star Sheba / O Bernal / J R Jackson / 8-1
7. Hustle Now / J J Delgado / L R Uelmen / 2-1
8. Top Touch / A Ortiz / S M Adkins / 5-1
9. Shes A Blitz / J Cruz / P L White / 20-1
10. De La Crem / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 9-2
11. News / M Allen / G S Bennett / 15-1
12. Touch Misscrafty / F Mata / P L White / 4-1

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Casino ballot petitions fail to collect signatures

The Detroit Free Press reports the two casino expansion proposals targeting this fall’s election have both failed in the petition stage.

Had the “Racing To Save Michigan” and “Michigan Is Yours” proposals both obtained the 380,196 signatures required to appear on the ballot, Michigan voters would have had the option to add up to a combined 15 new casinos to the state’s 23 already existing operations, with one more under construction. The deadline for signatures passed on July 5.

The “Racing To Save Michigan” plan, drawn up by Hazel Park Harness Raceway CEO Dan Adkins, suggested the addition of up to eight casinos in locations across the state. Five would have been located at the state’s pari-mutuel racetracks: Hazel Park, Pinnacle Race Course in New Boston, Mount Pleasant Meadows, Northville Downs and Sports Creek Raceway in Swartz Creek. The additional three licenses would have been auctioned off by the state government. This proposal was met with skepticism by many in Michigan’s horse racing industry due to its lack of guaranteed provisions for the state’s racing programs.

The “Michigan Is Yours” proposal called for seven new casinos in Benton Harbor, Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Muskegon, Romulus and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Had it passed, the proposal would have also legalized sports betting at the state’s casinos. The “Michigan Is Yours” campaign was co-chaired by Benton Harbor mayor Wilce Cook.

For a detailed breakdown of how the money generated by each proposal would have been distributed to the State of Michigan and other sources, click here.

Both proposals faced opposition from the group Protect MI Vote, which includes state congressmen and women, values-based groups, casino-owning Native American tribes and interests representing the three non-tribal casinos in Detroit.

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Fiery Lake repeats in Wolverine Stakes

Fiery Lake pressed the pace and overtook Perfect Start at the wire on Saturday to win the $50,000 Wolverine Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course for a second straight year.

The five-year-old Devil His Due gelding fired from the gates and grabbed the lead in the race’s opening strides. He was quickly joined by Perfect Start, who took the rail to a length’s advantage across the backstretch. Fiery Lake pressured Perfect Start on the outside with Weatherstorm further out in third. Perfect Start separated to a length and a half advantage heading into the turn. He continued to hold that margin throughout the bend, but began to lose his grasp entering the stretch.

Perfect Start came out of the turn wide and slightly grazed Fiery Lake, who had worked his way to almost even terms at that point. Meanwhile, Demagoguery took advantage of the newly open rail and continued his rally from seven lengths back into contention on the inside. The three dueled down the stretch, with Perfect Start clinging on to a razor-thin lead over Fiery Lake. Despite a game effort, Perfect Start could not hold off Fiery Lake’s challenge, and the latter got up at the wire to prevail by a head under strong right-handed urging by jockey Ronald Allen, Jr.. Demagoguery finished third, a neck behind runner-up Perfect Start.

Fiery Lake completed the six furlong race with a time of 1:12.41 over a fast track. He went off as the post time favorite at odds of 1.80-to-one.

Fiery Lake was saddled by trainer Jaroslav Gold for owner Samaron Stable. He was bred in Michigan by Pat Scanlon.

With his victory in the Wolverine, Fiery Lake improved his career record to six wins from 24 starts. Two of those wins came in stakes company. His career earnings total $174,935.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

2 – Fiery Lake (Ronald Allen, Jr.) 5.60 / 3.80 / 3.80
1 – Perfect Start (Alexis Ortiz) 8.80 / 8.60
10 – Demagoguery (Luis Gonzalez) 5.80

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:12.41

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Champions collide in Wolverine Stakes

A well-decorated field of 10 will face off in Saturday’s $50,000 Wolverine Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

Included among the group are two co-winners of divisional awards from last year’s meet at Pinnacle, one from 2008 and a former Michigan Thoroughbred of the Year at the now-defunct Great Lakes Downs. Each horse in the field has won a stakes race at one or both of those tracks.

The six furlong race for Michigan-bred three-year-olds and upward is the first blacktype challenge for the state’s older male division during Pinnacle’s 2010 meet.

Meadow Wise heads up three entries from trainer Bob Gorham’s barn. The four-year-old Meadow Prayer gelding won last year’s Dowling Stakes at Pinnacle and never missed the board on the way to earning a share of the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s top three-year-old male honors. He enters the Wolverine off a front-running 4 1/2 length score in a June 20 optional claiming event at Pinnacle. Jeffrey Skerrett will be in the irons for owner Mast Thoroughbreds LLC.

Last year’s Wolverine winner, Fiery Lake, returns to defend his title. The five-year-old Devil His Due gelding was a mainstay in Michigan’s older male division in 2009, with an additional runner-up finish in the Frontier Handicap and a fourth in the Michigan Breeders’ Handicap, both at Pinnacle. Fiery Lake enters the Wolverine off a second place effort in a June 15 optional claimer at Presque Isle Downs, where he closed on the rail to miss by a head. Randy Russell will saddle Fiery Lake for owner Samaron Stable. Ronald Allen, Jr. will venture over from Presque Isle to take the mount.

Well-traveled campaigner Speak Of Kings will make his debut at Pinnacle on Saturday in the Wolverine. The eight-year-old Announce gelding has competed at tracks throughout Kentucky and the Midwest, even venturing down to the Fair Grounds in Louisiana, and has won multiple times on dirt, turf and all-weather surfaces. During one of his occasional stops in Michigan, Speak Of Kings won the 2005 Lansing Stakes at Great Lakes Downs. He comes off a 1 1/4-length victory in a $16,000 claiming race on the turf course at Indiana Downs. J.J. Delgado will have the riding assignment for owners Sam Rogers, Ralph Postoian and Steve Vanovich. Gregory Foley trains Speak Of Kings.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Perfect Start / A Ortiz / S A Adkins / 8-1
2. Fiery Lake / R D Allen, Jr. / R R Russell / 7-2
3. Speak Of Kings / J J Delgado / G D Foley / 5-1
4. Meadow Vespers / R Barrios / R J Rettele / 10-1
5. Bishop Casey / O Bernal / R M Gorham / 20-1
6. Weatherstorm / T Molina / R M Gorham / 15-1
7. Romeo Again / F Mata / P L White / 6-1
8. Meadow Wise / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 5-2
9. Hot Chili / J R Martinez, Jr. / J R Jackson / 12-1
10. Demagoguery / L A Gonzalez / G S Bennett / 15-1

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