Monthly Archives: July 2009

Fiery Lake upsets, Senorita Tres dominates

Longshot Fiery Lake burns field in Wolverine

Fiery Lake shocked a field flush with past Michigan champions to win Saturday’s $50,000 Wolverine Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The four-year-old Devil His Due gelding patiently watched front-runner Weatherstorm open up a large lead from second before reeling in his rival throughout the turn. He then pulled away in the stretch to win the six furlong race by 4 3/4 lengths under a steady driving finish by jockey J.J Delgado. Fiery Lake covered the distance in 1:11.51 at odds of 17.60-to-one.

Second through fourth places were tightly contested, each separated by a neck. Demagoguery held off last year’s champion older male Meadow Vespers, making his usual late charge, for the place money. Lil Perfect Storm finished fourth. 

Pacesetter Weatherstorm faded back to ninth after setting the half mile fraction at 46.16 seconds and leading by as many as 3 1/2 lengths in the early goings. Post time favorite Bipolar Express turned in an even fifth place effort at odds of 1.80-to-one. 

Fiery Lake is owned by Samaron Stable and trained by Evelyn Griffin. He was bred in Michigan by Pat Scanlon. Fiery Lake improved his career record to four wins from 15 starts with his victory in the Wolverine. His career earnings increased to $86,055. The Wolverine was Fiery Lake’s first career stakes win, as well as his first win of 2009.

For a chart of the race, click here.

7 – Fiery Lake (J.J. Delgado) 37.20 / 22.00 / 5.00
6 – Demagoguery (Godofredo Laurente) 10.20 / 4.40
9  – Meadow Vespers (Ivan Gonzalez) 2.80

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:11.51 

It seems I don’t have any pictures of the winner in my archives this week, either. I only had gas for one trip to Pinnacle this weekend and Mrs. Murphy’s start on Friday won out. What’s the deal with all these horses I’ve never seen in person winning stakes races, anyway?

Senorita Tres rolls in Don Boyd Handicap

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Senorita Tres (4) holds off a challenge from Rio Rojo Jess (2) to win the Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

When a horse is the class of the field, the jockey’s whip can become more of an ornament than a tool of encouragement.

Such was the case in Sunday’s $21,500 Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap at Mount Pleasant Meadows, when jockey Richard Rettele only needed three or four strokes of the whip before handriding Senorita Tres to the win by a neck. Senorita Tres left the gates as the 1.30-to-one favorite.

The four-year-old Tres Seis filly broke cleanly and took a small advantage heading into the stretch. That lead grew slightly, then shrunk back as Senorita Tres outlasted a late-gaining Rio Rojo Jess to win the 350-yard race in 17.730 seconds on a fast track. Rio Rojo Jess’ Ivy Lane stablemate Hez Flyin With Class finished 1 1/4 lengths behind for third.

Senorita Tres is homebred in Michigan by Walter R. Harrison and trained by Carol Rettele. The win boosted her career record to sixteen wins from 21 starts and increased her lifetime earnings to $121,432.

For a chart of the race, click here.

4 – Senorita Tres (Richard Rettele) 4.60 / 6.60 / 2.60
2 – Rio Rojo Jess (Nate Alcala) 5.60 / 3.20
2B – Hez Flyin With Class (Oscar Delgado) 5.60 / 3.20

350 Yards
Time: 17.730 seconds

Photobucket
Your winner, Senorita Tres; Richard Rettele, up.

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Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races

Weekend stakes action at Pinnacle & Mount Pleasant

Four-time Sire Stakes winner Meadow Vespers begins his stakes campaign toward a fifth in Saturday's Wolverine Handicap. Ivan Gonzalez, pictured above, will retain the mount.

Four-time Sire Stakes winner Meadow Vespers begins his stakes campaign toward a fifth in Saturday's Wolverine Handicap. Ivan Gonzalez, pictured above, will retain the mount.

Wolverine Handicap

Michigan’s stakes scene is nothing new for Meadow Vespers.

The seven-year-old Meadow Prayer gelding has been a mainstay in the state’s top ranks since his Sire Stakes-winning two-year-old campaign at Great Lakes Downs.

Four straight Sire Stakes victories later, Meadow Vespers will begin his march toward a fifth Fall Showcase win in Saturday’s $50,000 Wolverine Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Last year’s champion older male enters the six furlong Wolverine off a deep closing June 6 allowance win at Pinnacle in his first start since last October’s Sire Stakes. In the allowance effort, he beat many of the rivals he will face on Sunday, including Demagoguery, Hot Chili, and Weatherstorm, who finished second through fourth respectively. 

Meadow Vespers is owned by J. Mack Enterprise, Inc. and trained by Richard Rettele. Regular rider Ivan Gonzalez will be in the saddle.

The 2008 Sire Stakes winner in the three-year-old male division is also entered Saturday. Bipolar Express, a four-year-old Equality gelding, comes off a third place effort in a June 16 optional claimer at Mountaineer. He is owned by Gene and Phyllis Gilmore and trained by Gerald Bennett. Faith Schorr comes in from Presque Isle Downs to take the mount.

Stepping up to face older foes is three-year-old Juggle. The Elusive Hour colt comes off a win in the June 13 Lansing Stakes at Pinnacle against fellow three-year-olds. Juggle is one of three horses entered in the Wolverine by owner Mast Thoroughbreds LLC and trainer Robert Gorham.

Despite coming off a stakes victory, a rider was not named for Juggle at the time the race drew. Pinnacle-based jockeys without a mount in the Wolverine include Wilkin Ortiz, Lizetta Cedeno, Glenmore Mayhew and Leonard Frazzitta, Jr.. A visiting rider from another track could be a possibility as well.

Here are the entries for Saturday’s race…

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Bishop Casey / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 15-1
2. Hot Chili / R Barrios / J R Jackson / 8-1
3. Lil Perfect Storm / R L Knott / D D Waite / 20-1
4. It’s a Ego Thing / A O Stanley / R R Russell / 7-2
5. Bipolar Express / F Schorr / G S Bennett / 5-1
6. Demagoguery / G Laurente / G S Bennett / 15-1
7. Fiery Lake / J J Delgado / E Griffin / 15-1
8. All I Can Get / F Mata / G S Bennett / 8-1
9. Meadow Vespers / I R Gonzalez / R J Rettele / 2-1
10. Juggle / No Rider / R M Gorham / 15-1
11. Weatherstorm / A A Marin / R M Gorham / 12-1

Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap

Perennial Mount Pleasant Meadows favorite Senorita Tres will again likely be the people's choice in Sunday's Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap. Richard Rettele will be in the irons.

Perennial Mount Pleasant Meadows favorite Senorita Tres will again likely be the people's choice in Sunday's Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap. Richard Rettele will be in the irons.

After successful campaigns at ages two and three, Senorita Tres will look to continue her dominance in year cuatro in Sunday’s $18,000 Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The four-year-old Tres Seis filly enters the 350-yard race off a third place effort in the Indiana Downs Classic Stakes on May 23 at Indiana Downs. Owned by Walter Harrison and trained by Carol Rettele, Senorita Tres will be ridden by Richard Rettele.

Also entered is MPM Spring Stakes winner Hez Flyin With Class. Owned by Ivy Lane Racing and trained by Renee Wilson, the six-year-old Strawflyin Buds gelding found the winner’s circle in his last start at Mount Pleasant Meadows, winning the May 24 Spring Sprint by a half length.

Hez Flyin With Class is the second part of an entry with fellow Ajax Downs-based Ivy Lane horse Rio Rojo Jess. The five-year-old Feature Mr Jess gelding (a paint!) will be ridden by Nate Alcala. 

Here are the entries for Sunday’s race…

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Shakem Otis 123 / L Gates / J Hall / 6-1
1A. Streakin Joe 123 / J Veltman / J Hall / 6-1
2. Rio Rojo Jess / N Alcala / R Wilson / 4-1
2B. Hez Flyin With Class / O Delgado / R Wilson / 4-1
3. Doc Holiday 123 / J F Delgado / A F Cunningham / 10-1
4. Senorita Tres / R Rettele / C Rettele / 7-5
5. Bye Bye Cartel / A Keller / N Bishop / 12-1

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Mrs. Murphy looks to move forward in fourth start

Can Mrs. Murphy improve from her second place finish last time out? I sure hope so.

Can Mrs. Murphy improve from her second place finish last time out? I sure hope so.

When promoting an athletic competition, it is usually an unwise decision to put the main event at the beginning of the schedule.

However, Friday’s card at Pinnacle Race Course will do just that, and it works for me just fine.

Michigan’s most famous maiden claimer, Mrs. Murphy, will make her fourth attempt at her first win this Friday in the first race of the day.

Unlike her previous starts, Murph will likely enter the race with support from racegoers other than myself and her trainer. On the strength of her second place finish last race, the morning line has her picked second (assuming one of the horses in the entry scratches) at odds of 5-2. Quite the step up from the 12-1 she was sent off at in her previous outing.

Of course, with odds like that come bigger expectations. Mrs. Murphy proved last out she is capable of putting together a complete race and hanging with the Chicago invaders that will inevitably challenge her (Can someone please explain to me why Pinnacle is drawing more Chicago shippers than I ever remember seeing at Great Lakes Downs despite being 100 miles further away?). There is only one way to improve from a second place effort, and looking at the field, she stands as good a chance as ever to do it here.

Angel Stanley retains the mount, which I am happy to see. He has been having a successful meet at Pinnacle so far, so perhaps some of that good mojo will rub off on Murph. Any advantage she can get doesn’t hurt.

As always, expect a look back with words and photos in the days following the race. Of course, the only photo that matters is the one I don’t take, if you get my drift…Hope for the best!

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Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, The Family Business