Tag Archives: Baba Booyah

Meadow Magic named MTOBA’s 2010 Horse of the Year

The connections of Michigan Horse of the Year Meadow Magic celebrate their victory with MTOBA president Patti Dickinson.

Meadow Magic took his place among Michigan’s elite after earning Horse of the Year honors at Sunday’s Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association year-end awards dinner.

The three-year-old Meadow Prayer gelding punched his ticket on the strength of his wins in this year’s Dowling Stakes and Michigan Sire Stakes, along with finishes on the board in the Mackinac Handicap and Lansing Stakes, all at Pinnacle Race Course. He was the only horse to win multiple stakes races during Pinnacle’s 2010 meet.

Meadow Magic is owned by Laura Jackson and Red Riding Hood Stable, the nom de race of George and Chrissy Kutlenios. He resides in the barn of trainer James Jackson. Those connections celebrated another award earlier in afternoon when Paris Prayer was named champion two-year-old filly.

Arnold Farm, perennially successful at the year-end awards, had another strong showing in 2010. The Hillsdale Mich. farm accounted for four trophies on the afternoon, including Breeder of the Year. Co-Stallion of the Year Meadow Prayer, who stood at Arnold Farm, sired the most award-winners in 2010, with three divisional champions, as well as the horse of the year.

Also taking home their fair share of awards was Owner of the Year Mast Thoroughbreds, who earned honors in both older horse divisions.

On a personal note, I took home my usual awesome haul in the silent auction. I came home with box seats and a dinner package from Arlington Park (got this last year and it was awesome), a gift basket from Hoosier Park and an American Racing Manual from 1972.

As one of the people who helped broker donations for the silent auction, I would like to personally thank Arabian Finish Line Magazine, Midwest Thoroughbred Magazine, Hoosier Park, ThoroFan and Hello Race Fans for their generosity. Others who donated include publications Thoroughbred Times, Blood Horse and Daily Racing Form; information services Equineline and BRISNet; racing organizations Breeders’ Cup and NTRA; stallion farms Adena Springs, Darley America, Hill ‘n Dale Farm and Winstar Farm; and many more, including contributions by several MTOBA members.

One final note related to the silent auction – The Zenyatta Breyer Christmas ornament is easily the Tickle-Me-Elmo of the 2010 holiday season. Its combination of low supply, high demand and the white-hot popularity of its subject make it a coveted item. There was one offered in the silent auction, and it did not take long for it to surpass its Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. For those that seek it, I can only wish them good luck on their journey.

For a list of all the nominees and winners from the 2010 MTOBA year-end awards, click the link below.

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Valley Loot regains form in older females Sire Stakes

After a year with more downs than ups, Valley Loot reminded fans why she is the state’s defending three-time horse of the year with a hard-fought win in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sire Stakes for older fillies and mares, an astounding fourth straight victory for the mare in the series of races.

The six-year-old Demaloot Demashoot mare broke alertly and battled Guns And Giggles for the lead coming out the gate. She settled back to third behind Guns And Giggles and She Could Be Good as the field made its first pass under the wire. Guns And Giggles stayed a couple paths off the rail down the straightaway and entered the first turn with a length advantage. The top three were each separated by about a length heading into the backstretch in the same order as they came into the turn. The two trailers began to draw closer to Guns And Giggles on the backetretch, with Valley Loot making the boldest bid three wide.

As the field entered the final turn, Valley Loot had drawn even with Guns And Giggles, while Baba Booyah moved up from the second flight to challenge She Could Be Good for third. Valley Loot quickly disposed of the pacesetter, but was then faced with a rapidly gaining Baba Booyah on her outside. The defending champion led her challenger by a half length at the top of the stretch, and under heavy urging by jockey Federico Mata, began to pull away. Baba Booyah attempted to re-rally at the sixteenth pole but could not reach the winner before the wire.

Valley Loot finished a half length ahead of Baba Booyah for her first win of 2010. Secret Candy improved her position late to finish third, five lengths behind the runner-up.

Valley Loot completed the mile and one eighth race in 1:56.23 over a fast dirt surface. She was the field’s second choice at odds of 2.40-to-one.

Bred in Michigan by Marilyn McMaster, Valley Loot is owned by Lisa Campbell and trained by Ronald Allen, Sr.. Both Campbell and jockey Mata finished the day with three wins in the six Sire Stakes races.

With her fourth Sire Stakes win in five starts in the series, Valley Loot improved her career record to 14 wins from 32 starts. Her career earnings now total $584,885.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

1 – Valley Loot (Federico Mata) 6.80 / 3.80 / 2.40
7 – Baba Booyah (Jeffrey Skerrett) 5.00 / 3.40
8 – Secret Candy (Ronald Allen, Jr.) 6.20

One Mile and One Eighth
Time: 1:56.23

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2010 Sire Stakes Preview: Older Horses

Baba Booyah, Valley Loot square off in older females Sire Stakes

The old guard of Michigan’s older females division will try to hold off the youth movement for at least one more race in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sire Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

Nine fillies and mares will compete to add a Sire Stakes win to her resume in the 1 1/8 mile race. Valley Loot has won the last two installments of the race in this division and will go for a third this weekend.

She will face a challenge from Moonbeam Handicap winner Baba Booyah. The four-year-old Daylight Savings filly pulled away to win by five and a half lengths in the Aug. 21 stakes race at Pinnacle. She enters the Sire Stakes off a third place finish in the Oct. 2 Farer Belle Lee Handicap. Trainer Robert Gorham will once again give Jeffrey Skerrett the leg up in the Sire Stakes for owner Mast Thoroughbreds LLC.

Valley Loot has had a down year in 2010, but the Sire Stakes is her realm. The six-year-old Demaloot Demashoot mare has won three state runnings of the race, as a three-year-old in 2007 at Great Lakes Downs and as an older horse in 2008 and 2009 at Pinnacle. A three-time Michigan horse of the year, Valley Loot comes off two unplaced finishes in stakes races at Pinnacle, most recently the Farer Belle Lee. Regular rider Federico Mata will be in the irons for owner Lisa Campbell and trainer Ronald Allen, Sr.

Also entered is the 2009 Michigan three-year-old filly of the year Hakuna Matata. A four-year-old daughter of Meadow Prayer, Hakuna Matata is seeking her first victory since a rallying triumph in last year’s sophomore fillies Sire Stakes. In her most recent start, she finished fourth in the Farer Belle Lee. Owned by White Lake Farms, Inc., Hakuna Matata is trained by Larry Uelmen and will be ridden by Octavio Bernal.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Valley Loot / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 3-1
2. Shesashooter / T Molina / S M Spiess / 15-1
3. Guns And Giggles / J Cruz / S M Adkins / 10-1
4. Hakuna Matata / O Bernal / L R Uelmen / 7-2
5. Half A Glance / J J Delgado / J Gold / 20-1
6. She Could Be Good / A O Stanley / R M Gorham / 20-1
7. Baba Booyah / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 8-5
8. Secret Candy / R D Allen, Jr. / R D Allen, Sr. / 8-1
9. Stellar Star / R Barrios / D Cluley / 20-1

Romeo Again looks to start streak in older males Sire Stakes

The older males division of the $50,000 Michigan Sire Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course is all about streaks.

Romeo Again will be looking to build on his success in last year’s Sire Stakes, while Meadow Vespers will try to start a new one after having his four-race win streak in the series of races snapped.

Seven colts and geldings will enter the gates in Saturday’s 1 1/8 mile race. Last year’s installment was won by Bipolar Express.

As a three-year-old, Romeo Again pulled away to win his division of the Sire Stakes on his way to a share of his crop’s title. In 2010, the four-year-old Secret Romeo gelding won the Aug. 14 Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap. He enters the Sire Stakes off an unplaced finish in the Oct. 2 Frontier Handicap. Romeo Again will be ridden by Federico Mata for owners Lisa Campbell and II B’s Thoroughbreds. Patrick White will saddle Romeo Again in Saturday’s race.

After four straight victories in Sire Stakes races, Meadow Vespers’ signature late drive came up short in 2009 on his way to a fifth place finish. The eight-year-old Meadow Prayer gelding will attempt to get back on the winning track on Saturday. In his most recent start, Meadow Vespers missed by a half length for a runner-up finish in Frontier. Ronald Allen, Jr. will have the assignment for owner John Mack and trainer Richard Rettele.

Also entered is 2009 co-champion three-year-old male Meadow Wise. The four-year-old Meadow Prayer gelding’s most recent effort was a front-running fourth place finish, where he finished only 3/4 lengths behind the leaders. Owned by Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC, Meadow Wise will reunite with jockey Angel Stanley for Saturday’s race. Trainer Robert Gorham will give Stanley the leg-up.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Meadow Wise / A O Stanley / R M Gorham / 9-5
2. Elusive Furrari / J Cruz / S M Adkins / 20-1
3. Out With A Bang / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 10-1
4. Red Bow Tie / T Molina / D W Myers / 15-1
5. Romeo Again / F Mata / P L White / 2-1
6. Meadow Vespers / R D Allen, Jr. / R J Rettele / 5-2
7. Hot Chili / R Barrios / J R Jackson / 12-1

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Moon Charmer repeats as Farer Belle Lee Handicap winner

In her racing career, Moon Charmer has won four of her 15 lifetime starts.

After Saturday’s race, two of those wins have come in consecutive installments of the $50,000 Farer Belle Lee Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The four-year-old Indian Charlie filly broke in second as Equalitysdebutante took her usual position at the front of the pack on the inside. The leader entered the first turn with a length advantage over post time favorite Baba Booyah and Moon Charmer. Equalitysdebutante continued to open up on that pair throughout the turn and entered the backstretch two lengths in front. The margins and running order of the horses in contention remained unchanged as the field passed the barns and headed into the final turn.

Equalitysdebutante’s lead began to dwindle through the bend, as Baba Booyah moved up to challenge her. While Baba Booyah dealt with the leader, Moon Charmer fought off a challenge for third from Top Touch and In The Frame. A tiring Equalitysdebutante took Baba Booyah wide coming out of the turn, leaving the rail open for Moon Charmer to work her way back into contention. Moon Charmer drew even with the lead pair at the top of the stretch and dueled with Baba Booyah as they left the pacesetter behind. With an eighth of a mile to go, Moon Charmer broke away from Baba Booyah and drew clear under steady urging by jockey Tommy Molina to win by a length and a half. A late-rallying Top Touch overtook Baba Booyah by a nose for the runner-up spot.

Moon Charmer completed the mile and one sixteenth race in 1:47.61 over a sealed muddy surface. Similar to last year’s Farer Belle Lee, Moon Charmer rewarded her backers nicely as the field’s seventh choice at odds of 11.60-to-one.

Owned by Mast Thoroughbreds LLC, Moon Charmer is conditioned by Robert Gorham. Her career earnings now total $117,800.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

4 – Moon Charmer (Tommy Molina) 25.20 / 6.80 / 9.60
3 – Top Touch (Christian Pilares) 8.00 / 5.80
8 – Baba Booyah (Jeffrey Skerrett) 3.00

One mile and one sixteenth
Time: 1:47.61

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Farer Belle Lee Handicap draws full field

After two stakes races, a front runner has yet to emerge in Michigan’s older fillies and mares division. However, the picture may become clearer following Saturday’s $50,000 Farer Belle Lee Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

A full field of 12 horses will enter the gates for the mile and an eighth Farer Belle Lee, including eight stakes winners. Last year’s race was won in a minor upset when then three-year-old Moon Charmer outkicked Valley Loot in the final strides to win by a head. Both horses are entered in Saturday’s race.

The division’s most consistent mare during the 2010 meet has been Equalitysdebutante. The five-year-old Equality mare is the only horse to hit the board in both of the division’s stakes races this year. She enters the race off a second place finish in the Aug. 21 Moonbeam Handicap following a five-length victory in the July 17 Larkspur Handicap, both at Pinnacle. Equalitysdebutante is owned by Richard Hammer and trained by Larry Penner. Octavio Bernal will be in the irons for the Farer Belle Lee.

Four-year-old Baba Booyah enters Saturday’s race on the momentum of a five and a half length victory in the Moonbeam. The Daylight Savings filly will make her first start at a mile and an eighth in the Farer Belle Lee. Her two career efforts at a mile and a sixteenth yielded a win in the 2009 Michigan Oaks and a fourth place finish in the same year’s Sire Stakes for three-year-old fillies, both at Pinnacle. Regular rider Jeffrey Skerrett once again has the mount for owner Mast Thoroughbreds LLC and trainer Robert Gorham.

Three-time Michigan horse of the year Valley Loot will seek to jump start an uncharacteristically lagging year in the Farer Belle Lee. The six-year-old daughter of Demaloot Demashoot is still seeking her first win of the year, and enters Saturday’s race off an unplaced finish in the Moonbeam. Trainer Ronald Allen, Sr. will give jockey Federico Mata the leg up for owner Lisa Campbell.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Equalitysdebutante / O Bernal / L Penner / 5-1
2. Half A Glance / R Barrios / J Gold / 20-1
3. Top Touch / C P Pilares / S M Adkins / 8-1
4. Moon Charmer / T Molina / R M Gorham / 6-1
5. In The Frame / L M Quinones / L R Uelmen / 12-1
6. Twilighted Thistle / A De Leon / R D Spiess / 20-1
7. Silent Sunset / G W Mayhew / J A Lewis / 30-1
8. Baba Booyah / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 7-2
9. Surprise Gift / J J Delgado / J R Jackson / 15-1
10. Valley Loot / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 3-1
11. Hakuna Matata / W P Rini / L R Uelmen / 10-1
12. Secret Candy / R D Allen, Jr. / R D Allen, Sr. / 30-1

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Baba Booyah rallies in Moonbeam Handicap

Baba Booyah bided her time behind a clear-running pace setter and took over in the stretch to win Saturday’s $20,000 Moonbeam Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The four-year-old Daylight Savings filly sat in second as Equalitysdebutante launched out to an early and sizable advantage. The leader had a length on Baba Booyah heading into the first turn and stretched it out to four as she headed into the backstretch straightaway. Equalitysdebutante continued to run away from her rivals as they passed the barns and opened up as many as six lengths after a half mile in 47.28 seconds. However, that lead quickly dissipated as she approached the final turn.

Equalitysdebutante hung on to a one-length lead over Baba Booyah at the top of the final turn, chased closely by post time favorite Valley Loot, who overcame a troubled start to work her way back into contention. Baba Booyah slowly gained on Equalitysdebutante through the bend and drew even with her rival at the top of the stretch. The pair dueled for a sixteenth of a mile before Baba Booyah disposed of her foe at the eighth pole and was kept to task by jockey Jeffrey Skerrett to draw off for a 5 1/2 length victory. Equalitysdebutante kept on for second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Moon Charmer.

Baba Booyah completed the one mile race in 1:41.24 over a sealed sloppy dirt surface. She, and stablemate Moon Charmer, left the gates as the field’s third choice in a 4.40-to-one entry. Post time favorite Valley Loot faded to fifth after spending herself getting back into contention.

Baba Booyah is owned by Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC and trained by Robert Gorham. She was bred in Michigan by Todd and Carol Weddon.

With the score in the Moonbeam, Baba Booyah improved her lifetime record to five wins from 16 starts, including two victories in stakes company. Her career earnings now total $87,530.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

1A – Baba Booyah (Jeffrey Skerrett) 10.80 / 6.80 / 3.60
2B – Equalitysdebutante (Octavio Bernal) 4.00 / 2.40
1 – Moon Charmer (Tommy Molina) 10.80 / 6.80 / 3.60

One Mile
Time: 1:41.24

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Former soph stars make handicap debut in Larkspur Handicap

After a 2009 meet spent beating each other up in stakes races, last year’s crop of three-year-old fillies graduated to the handicap ranks and have shown up in force to contest Saturday’s $50,000 Larkspur Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The six furlong Larkspur is the first stakes test of the year for older Michigan-bred fillies and mares. Of the nine entries in Saturday’s race, seven are four-year-olds. Last year’s installment was won by Yawm Estoora.

As in years past, the road to the older female division’s crown will go through three-time defending Michigan Horse of the Year Valley Loot. The six-year-old Demaloot Demashoot mare was a stakes presence in Michigan, West Virginia and Pennsylvania in 2009, with marquee victories in the Golden Sylvia Handicap at Mountaineer Park and a third straight score in her division of the Sire Stakes at Pinnacle. She enters the Larkspur off a second place finish to 2008 Ashland Stakes (G1) winner Hooh Why in a July 6 allowance race at Presque Isle Downs. Regular rider Federico Mata will ride Valley Loot for owner Lisa Campbell and trainer Ronald Allen, Sr..

Making her first start of the year is Michigan’s 2009 three-year-old filly of the year, Hakuna Matata. The four-year-old Meadow Prayer filly sealed her division’s title with a 1 3/4 length victory in last October’s Sire Stakes, following a disqualification-boosted triumph in the Ann Arbor Stakes at Pinnacle. Her last start of the year was a runner-up finish in an Oct. 27 allowance race at Mountaineer. Hakuna Matata is owned by White Lake Farms, Inc. and trained by Larry Uelmen. J.J. Delgado picks up the mount.

One of Hakuna Matata’s biggest rivals during her sophomore campaign was Baba Booyah. The four-year-old Daylight Savings filly was victorious in last year’s Michigan Oaks at Pinnacle and placed second after being fouled in the Ann Arbor. She enters the race off an unplaced finish in a June 20 optional claiming event at Pinnacle. Baba Booyah will be saddled by Bob Gorham for owner Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC. Jeffrey Skerrett will be in the irons for Sunday’s race.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Moon Charmer / T Molina / R M Gorham / 10-1
2. Baba Booyah / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 9-2
3. Oh Fiddlestix / O Bernal / J R Jackson / 10-1
4. Hakuna Matata / J J Delgado / J R Jackson / 8-1
5. Equalitysdebutante / C Garcia / L Penner / 5-1
6. Valley Loot / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 2-1
7. In The Frame / J R Martinez, Jr. / L R Uelmen / 15-1
8. Peak Of The Storm / R Barrios / L Penner / 4-1
9. The Girl Rolls / A Ortiz / J R Jackson / 20-1

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Sire Stakes Preview: Sophomores

Meadow Wise looks to clinch honors in Three-Year-Old Males division

Meadow Wise will try to put a stamp on his 2009 campaign in the Sophomore Males division of the Sire Stakes.

Meadow Wise will try to put a stamp on his 2009 campaign in the Sophomore Males division of the Sire Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

In a fairly deep sophomore male crop where each stakes race appeared to produce an entirely different field, Meadow Wise has been the one horse to show up to every dance and come out at or near the top.

Meadow Wise will try to secure his position at the top of the class with a win in the $50,000 Sire Stakes for three-year-old males at Pinnacle Race Course. A win in Saturday’s 1 1/16 mile race could go a long way in locking up Horse of the Year honors, as well.

Meadow Wise has yet to finish worse than second during the 2009 Pinnacle meet, including a win in the July 25 Dowling Stakes and runner-up finishes in the June 13 Lansing Stakes and his most recent effort, the Sep. 5 Mackinac Handicap. The Meadow Prayer gelding will have a different rider in the saddle for the Sire Stakes in Jeffrey Skerret, replacing regular rider Angel Stanley, who has the mount on Jangle. In his lone start aboard Meadow Wise, Skerrett won a July 4 maiden special weight race at Pinnacle. Meadow Wise is owned by Mast Thoroughbreds LLC and trained by Bob Gorham.

Romeo Again has been knocking on the door for a first stakes win both for himself and his sire throughout his sophomore campaign. The Secret Romeo gelding finished second behind Meadow Wise in the July 25 Dowling Stakes at Pinnacle and ran third in the Sep. 5 Mackinac Handicap. He enters the Sire Stakes off a 7 1/4 length victory in a Sep. 21 allowance race at Pinnacle. Federico Mata will have the assignment for owners Lisa Campbell and II B’s Thoroughbreds. Ronnie Allen, Sr. conditions Romeo Again.

Coming off an impressive maiden win is Notaquitter. The Meadow Prayer gelding was never headed on his way to a 9 3/4 length victory in a Sep. 12 maiden special weight contest at Pinnacle. Notaquitter will make his first try at stakes competition in his third career start. Al Talsma trains Notaquitter for Wanda Talsma. Godofredo Laurente will be in the irons.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. The K Factor / T D Houghton / G S Bennett / 10-1
2. Notaquitter / G Laurente / A Talsma / 15-1
3. Meadow Wise / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 6-5
4. Romeo Again / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 5-2
5. Native Power / L J Frazzitta, Jr. / M A Barron / 12-1
6. Elusive Furrari / A Ortiz / S M Adkins / 5-1
7. Jangle / A O Stanley / D R Barron / 20-1

In other news from Michigan’s three-year-old male division, Mackinac Handicap winner Perfect Start is entered in Saturday’s Ohio Derby (G2) at Thistledown. The Jump Start colt will be ridden by Mountaineer mainstay DeShawn Parker and was one of three horses assigned the longest morning line odds in the field at 30-1. To see the past performances for the Ohio Derby field, click here.

Baba Booyah, Hakuna Matata battle for supremacy in Sire Stakes Sophomore Fillies division

Baba Booyah will likely be the post-time favorite in the Three-Year-Old Fillies division of the Sire Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

Baba Booyah will likely be the post-time favorite in the Three-Year-Old Fillies division of the Sire Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

This year’s crop of Michigan-bred three-year-old fillies has been largely dominated by the trio of Baba Booyah, Hakuna Matata and Moon Charmer. Each has their own marquee win and they never finish far apart from each other.

With Kentucky-sired Moon Charmer ineligible for Saturday’s $50,000 Sire Stakes for three-year-old fillies, Baba Booyah and Hakuna Matata will be left to settle their rivalry in the 1 1/16 mile contest at Pinnacle Race Course.

Baba Booyah brings a two-race winning streak into Saturday’s race. Her most recent victory came in the Sep. 5 Michigan Oaks at Pinnacle, where she prevailed by a half-length in a front-running fashion. The Daylight Savings filly is owned by Marion Gotham and trained by Bob Gorham. Jeffrey Skerrett will be in the irons on Saturday.

Hakuna Matata’s big win came as the beneficiary of a disqualification in the Aug. 1 Ann Arbor Stakes, where the first place finisher, Moon Charmer, was disqualified to third after knocking Baba Booyah off stride in the stretch drive. The Meadow Prayer filly enters the Sire Stakes off a third place finish in the Michigan Oaks. Hakuna Matata is trained by Larry Uelmen for owner White Lake Farms Inc.. Regular rider Angel Stanley will again have the mount for the Sire Stakes.

Also entered is Susie’s Prayer, who defeated both Baba Booyah and Hakuna Matata in a July 20 allowance race at Pinnacle. The Meadow Prayer filly did not fare as well against the pair in the Ann Arbor, her most recent start, where she finished fifth after a troubled trip. Susie’s Prayer will be ridden by J.J. Delgado for owners Valorie and Richard Powers and trainer Karl Waters.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Jig Is Up Now / T D Houghton / R M Gorham / 20-1
2. Secret Candy / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 12-1
3. Lexus Red / A Ortiz / D Cluley / 10-1
4. Hakuna Matata / A O Stanley / L R Uelmen / 2-1
5. Baba Booyah / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 9-5
6. City Tour / A A Marin / S M Spiess / 20-1
7. Stride To The Sky / G Laurente / D Cluley / 8-1
8. Susie’s Prayer / J J Delgado / K S Waters / 6-1

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Baba Booyah, Perfect Start prevail in Michigan Sophomore Championships

Baba Booyah leads at all points in Michigan Oaks

Baba Booyah was never headed on her way to a half-length victory in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Oaks at Pinnacle Race Course.

The three-year-old Daylight Savings filly moved quickly to the rail and set an easy pace in the early goings, as City Tour chased from a length behind. The field stayed closely bunched across the backstretch with little change in positions as the opening half mile was set at :50.95.

Baba Booyah began to pick up the pace heading into the final turn, as did stablemate Moon Charmer, who quickly overtook City Tour for the second position. Moon Charmer, the post time favorite, began to pressure Baba Booyah through the turn, but she was turned away by the leader, who still held a length’s advantage heading into the stretch. The challenger continued to stage bids throughout the stretch and was repelled with each attempt. As the finish drew near, Moon Charmer began to gain significant ground on Baba Booyah, but could not beat the wire, as Baba Booyah held on for a 1/2 length victory under jockey Jeffrey Skerrett. A late-running Hakuna Matata finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Moon Charmer for third.

Baba Booyah completed the 1 1/16 mile race in 1:49.45 over a fast surface. She left the gates as the third choice at odds of 2.30-to-one.

Baba Booyah is trained by Bob Gorham for owner Marion Gorham. She was bred in Michigan by Todd and Carol Weddon. The Oaks victory was Baba Booyah’s third win from ten starts, as well as her first stakes triumph. The win increased Baba Booyah’s career earnings to $63,590.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

5 – Baba Booyah (Jeffrey Skerrett) 6.60 / 3.20 / 2.20
4 – Moon Charmer (Federico Mata) 2.10 / 2.20
3 – Hakuna Matata (Angel Stanley) 2.10

1 1/16 Miles
Time:  1:49.45

Photobucket
Your winner, Baba Booyah (photo from a previous race).

Perfect Start overcomes troubled trip in Mackinac Handicap

During a conversation with Perfect Start’s owner Charlie Williams, he said the three-year-old Jump Start colt had the potential to be the best horse to run under his name.

Perfect Start took a major step toward fulfilling that prophecy with a pace-stalking victory in Saturday’s $50,000 Mackinac Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Perfect Start stuck to the outside hip of early pacesetter Juggle as the field made its first pass under the wire and into the clubhouse turn, where he then moved inside to the rail. After trying to get around Juggle on the inside failed to produce results, jockey Alexis Ortiz moved Perfect Start sharply to the outside of his rival as the two battled across the backstretch.

As this was happening, Juggle began to accelerate heading into the final turn and quickly found himself used up on the lead. Perfect Start capitalized and overtook the leader in the turn. Post time favorite Meadow Wise also began to approach the front on the inside after a ground saving start. A length separated Perfect Start and Meadow Wise at the top of the stretch, as the challenger was urged to gain ground on the leader . However, Perfect Start continued to power ahead of his rival under a right hand whip and prevailed by 1 1/4 lengths. Romeo Again led the second wave of horses and finished four lengths behind Meadow Wise for third place. Early leader Juggle faded to last.

The 1 1/16 mile race was completed in 1:47:87 over a fast surface. Perfect Start raced at final odds of 5.10-to-one.

Perfect Start is homebred in Michigan by Charlie Williams and trained by Sandra Adkins. With the victory in the Mackinac, Perfect Start improved his lifetime record to three wins in six starts and notched his first stakes win in the process. His career earnings now total $49,570.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

2 – Perfect Start (Alexis Ortiz) 12.20 / 5.00 / 4.20
8 – Meadow Wise (Angel Stanley) 3.20 / 2.60
6 – Romeo Again (Federico Mata) 3.60

1 1/16 Miles
Time: 1:47.87

Photobucket
Your winner, Perfect Start (photo from a previous race).

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Michigan Sophomore Championships Preview

Ann Arbor trio gets rematch in Michigan Oaks

Hakuna Matata leads a field of five to the gates in Saturday's Michigan Oaks at Pinnacle Race Course.

Hakuna Matata leads a field of five to the gates in Saturday's Michigan Oaks at Pinnacle Race Course.

After a disputed finish shuffled the positions of the top three finishers in the Ann Arbor Stakes, the same trio will try to settle the score in Saturday’s 1 1/16 mile, $50,000 Michigan Oaks at Pinnacle Race Course.

The situation stems from the stretch drive of the Aug. 1 stakes race, where Moon Charmer repeatedly bothered stablemate Baba Booyah as they dueled for the lead. Baba Booyah was eventually forced to check and faded to third behind a late-surging Hakuna Matata.

The beneficiary of the change in positions was Hakuna Matata. The Meadow Prayer filly closed from well behind to cross the line second in the Ann Arbor, her last start, and was elevated to first following the stewards’ ruling. Angel Stanley will ride Hakuna Matata for owner White Lake Farms, Inc. and trainer Larry Uelmen.

An overly physical stretch drive sent Baba Booyah spiraling from a potential stakes victory to a fading third place finish. After the race, she was moved up to second. Baba Booyah enters the Michigan Oaks off a 3/4 length victory in an Aug. 14 allowance race at Pinnacle. The Daylight Savings filly is trained by Bob Gorham for his sister, Marion Gorham. Jeffrey Skerrett will have the assignment.

The offending party in the Ann Arbor, Moon Charmer, is also entered in Saturay’s race. The Indian Charlie filly was taken down to third in her last stakes effort, also her most recent start, after finishing 1 1/4 lengths ahead of her next closest rival. Moon Charmer is owned by Mast Thoroughbreds LLC and trained by Bob Gorham. She will be ridden by Federico Mata.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. City Tour / J J Delgado / S M Spiess / 20-1
2. Flint / A A Marin / J R Jackson / 20-1
3. Hakuna Matata / A O Stanley / L R Uelmen / 8-5
4. Moon Charmer / F Mata / R M Gorham / 5-2
5.  Baba Booyah / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 6-5

Gorham sends out three in Mackinac Handicap

Juggle is one of three horses entered by trainer Robert Gorham and owner Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC.

Juggle is one of the three horses entered by trainer Bob Gorham and owner Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC in Saturday's Mackinac Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

So far, Michigan’s three-year-old male division has literally been a two-horse race.

In the division’s two stakes races in 2009, stablemates Meadow Wise and Juggle have locked horns when the race was on the line. The pair figure to do the same in Saturday’s $50,000 Mackinac Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Meadow Wise holds a two-to-one advantage over Juggle in the head-to-head matchup, and is only a nose in the June 13 Lansing Stakes away from having the sweep. In their most recent meeting, the July 25 Dowling Stakes, Meadow Wise prevailed by 1 1/4 lengths. The Meadow Prayer gelding enters Saturday’s 1 1/16 mile race off a win by a nostril’s margin in an Aug. 7 allowance race at Pinnacle. Bob Gorham trains Meadow Wise for Mast Thoroughbreds LLC.

After leading the Dowling for all but the final strides, Juggle will look to even the series against his stablemate. The Elusive Hour colt gave way near the wire and was passed by a late-moving Romeo Again for the second place spot. He will be ridden by Jeffrey Skerrett in the Mackinac.

Juggle is owned and trained by the same connections as Meadow Wise, but they will compete as separate entries. The Mast/Gorham connection will also send out Reasontobefoolish, who enters off a victory in a $5,000 claiming event.

The horse who nipped Juggle at the wire for the runner-up spot in the Dowling, Romeo Again, is also entered in Saturday’s race. The Secret Romeo gelding stalked the lead pack and got up to take second by a head. He enters the Mackinac off a fifth place finish in an Aug. 7 allowance race at Presque Isle Downs. Romeo Again is owned by Lisa Campbell and II B’s Thoroughbreds. Ronnie Allen, Sr. trains Romeo Again, and will give jockey Federico Mata the leg up in Saturday’s race.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Juggle / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 6-1
2. Perfect Start / A Ortiz / S M Adkins / 7-2
3. Run Up The Score / J J Delgado / J R Jackson / 15-1
4. Reasontobefoolish / G Laurente / R M Gorham / 20-1
5. Jangle / A A Marin / D R Barron / 20-1
6. Romeo Again / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 5-1
7. Scrimpy / R Barrios / J R Jackson / 8-1
8. Meadow Wise / A O Stanley / R M Gorham / 6-5

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