Monthly Archives: August 2009

Sunday stakes recap from Mount Pleasant Meadows

Paint Me a Bono pulls away in Michigan Paint Horse Futurity

Paint Me a Bono (2B) shakes off I Do One Two Three (5) to win the GLQHA Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Paint Me a Bono benefitted from a clear trip and won easily in Sunday’s $14,165 Great Lakes Quarter Horse Association Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The two-year-old Bono Jazz gelding broke cleanly and held an ever-growing advantage throughout the stretch and to the finish. Paint Me a Bono was hand ridden to the wire by jockey Richard Rettele for a 1 1/4 length victory in the 350 yard race. Post time favorite I Do One Two Three stayed in pursuit throughout the race and finished 2 1/4 lengths ahead of See Me In Your Dreams for the runner-up position.

Paint Me a Bono and Rettele stopped the clocks at 17.782 seconds over a fast track at odds of 3.50-to-one.

Owned and trained by Renee Wilson, Paint Me a Bono was bred in California by Reese, Theresa and Alan B.. The victory in the Michigan Paint Horse Futurity improved Paint Me a Bono’s lifetime record to a perfect two wins from two starts for career earnings of $7,710.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

2B – Paint Me a Bono (Richard Rettele) 9.00 / 3.00 / 2.20
5 – I Do One Two Three (Oscar Delgado) 2.40 / 2.10
1A – See Me In Your Dreams (Nate Alcala) 2.20

350 Yards
Time: 17.782 Seconds

Your winner, Paint Me a Bono; Richard Rettele, up.

Lots more races and photos can be found behind the jump. Just click the link below.

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Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Stakes Races

Blacktype Bonanza at Mount Pleasant Meadows: Part Two

Pachet will look to continue her stakes success with regular rider Tasha Fritz in Sunday's ARC Midwest Maturity Stakes.

Pachet will look to continue her stakes success in Sunday's ARC Midwest Maturity Distaff Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Fritz trio highlights ARC Midwest Maturity Distaff Stakes

In last year’s Michigan Juvenile, the race’s top three finishers wore the colors of owner Tom Fritz and trainer Mario Fritz.

The duo will try to accomplish the same feat with two of the three horses that pulled it off last year in Sunday’s $11,000 Arabian Racing Cup Midwest Maturity Distaff Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The Fritz platoon is led by Michigan Juvenile winner Pachet. The four-year-old Haffir El Rimal filly enters the six furlong race off a third place finish in an August 2 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Tasha Fritz will get the assignment.

Whos My Daddy has had a productive year at Mount Pleasant Meadows, having hit the board in all but one of her seven starts at the central Michigan track this year. The five-year-old Haffir El Rimal filly comes off a fifth place finish in an August 2 allowance race at Mount Pleasant following two straight victories. Whos My Daddy is owned and trained by Julie Post. Jimmy Williams will be in the saddle.

Nicole Holst charge Ddouble Ddiamond is also entered in Sunday’s race. The four-year-old Jolly By Golly filly has finished no worse than second in three career starts, including two wins. Owned by Diana Jackson, Ddouble Ddiamond enters the race off a victory in July 19 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Regular rider Nate Alcala retains the mount.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Shezablessing / R V Fernandez / M Fritz / 2-1
1A. Pachet / N Fritz / M Fritz / 2-1
1X. Sursee / G W Mayhew / M Fritz / 2-1
2. Aunty Missle / M Holmes / R LeDuc / 20-1
2B. Merry Mee / D Newton / R LeDuc / 20-1
3. Fly Without Wings / O Delgado / L A Roberts / 8-1
4. French Fling / L Gates / T Briggs / 6-1
5. Ddouble Ddiamond / N Alcala / N Holst / 4-1
6. Whos My Daddy / J D Williams / J Post / 7-5

Bush Hog will look to firmly establish himself as Michigan's top Arabian in Sunday's ********* at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Bush Hog will try to firmly establish himself as Michigan's top Arabian in Sunday's ARC Midwest Maturity Open Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Bush Hog looks to continue dominance in ARC Midwest Maturity Open Stakes

Since being brought to Mount Pleasant Meadows from Arapahoe Park earlier this year, the Michigan track’s Arabian platoon has gotten plenty used to seeing Bush Hog’s backside.

Bush Hog will again be the one to beat this Sunday in the $11,000 Arabian Racing Cup Midwest Maturity Open Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The six-year-old Line Dancer horse has won all but one of his six starts at Mount Pleasant this year, and his lone hiccup was a second place effort. He enters Sunday’s race off consecutive double digit-length victories, most recently on Aug. 2 in a 11 3/4 length romp over an allowance field. Bush Hog will retain the services of Regular rider Nate Alcala for the race. He is owned by Lapco Arabians and trained by Nicole Holst.

Trainer Mario Fritz and owner Tom Fritz will send a three-horse entry to the gates, highlighted by Zanthus Fury. The four-year-old Haffir El Rimal gelding has won three of five starts in 2009 and finished no worse than third. He enters the Midwest Maturity off a 3/4 length victory in an Aug. 2 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Tasha Fritz will be in the irons for Sunday’s race.

The only horse to defeat Bush Hog at Mount Pleasant Meadows, the Mario Fritz-trained Three Above, will try to repeat the task this Sunday. The six-year-old Ala Croixnoire horse accomplished the feat on May 31 in a 9 1/4 length victory. He comes into Sunday having dropped three straight to Bush Hog, most recently turning in an unplaced finish on Aug. 2. Tom Fritz owns Three Above, who will be ridden by Rafael Fernandez.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Vagas / G W Mayhew / M Fritz / 2-1
1A. Zanthus Fury / N Fritz / M Fritz / 2-1
1X. Three Above / R V Fernandez / M Fritz / 2-1
2. Sey Wiking Streak / J D Williams / T Briggs / 6-1
3. Need For Speed / L Gates / N Holst / 10-1
4. Bush Hog / N Alcala / N Holst / 3-5
5. Executioner / M Holmes / D Higbee / 4-1


Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Stakes Races

Blacktype Bonanza at Mount Pleasant Meadows: Part One

I Do One Two Three leads a talented field of juveniles in Sunday's Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

I Do One Two Three leads a talented field of colorful juveniles in Sunday's Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Four stakes races from different breeds highlight Sunday’s race card at Mount Pleasant Meadows. This post will focus on the two Paint and Quarter Horse races, while the next will preview the two Arabian stakes on the card.

I Do One Two Three headlines Michigan Paint Horse Futurity

After a second place finish in the July 26 GLQHA Stallion Service Sale Futurity, I Do One Two Three will try for his first stakes win against his spotted counterparts in Sunday’s $18,000 GLQHA Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

I Do One Two Three has had a productive tenure at Mount Pleasant after spending the spring at Retama Park. The two-year-old Judys Lineage gelding took the runner-up spot by a half length in the Stallion Service Sale Futurity after registering the fastest time during the race’s trials. Oscar Delgado will ride I Do One Two Three for owner T Bill Stables and trainer Jay Hall.

Owned and trained by Dave Gates (and co-owned by his wife, Shirley), See Me In Your Dreams enters the Michigan Paint Horse Futurity off two straight victories. The Awesome Chrome filly’s most recent win came in an Aug. 2 speed index race at Mount Pleasant, where she prevailed by 1 1/2  lengths. Lee Gates will be aboard See Me In Your Dreams this Sunday.

Also entered is maiden winner Paint Me a Bono. The Bono Jazz gelding is a perfect one-for-one, following a late-running victory by a head in a June 14 maiden race at Mount Pleasant. Richard Rettele will retain the mount for owner and trainer Renee Wilson.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Willies First Love / No Rider / D N Gates / 6-1
1A. See Me In Your Dreams / L Gates / D N Gates / 6-1
2. Mondo Man / N Fritz / R Wilson / 2-1
2B. Paint Me A Bono / R Rettele / R Wilson / 2-1
3. Special Valerina / M Holmes / D J Evans / 8-1
4. Real Fast Man / J D Williams / J Geer / 10-1
5. I Do One Two Three / O Delgado / J Hall / 3-5
6. Maksimum Spice / R V Fernandez / N Funnell / 20-1

Im The Saint will be the lone male sent from the gates in Sunday's Stallion Service Sale Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Im The Saint will be the lone male sent from the gates in Sunday's Stallion Service Sale Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Im The Saint seeks first stakes win of 2009 in Stallion Service Sale Derby

When looking at the field for Sunday’s $15,000 GLQHA Stallion Service Sale Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows, Im The Saint stands out.

The Saint Shining gelding is the only male scheduled to enter the gates in Sunday’s race. Perhaps more importantly, Im The Saint is the field’s lone stakes winner, with a win in last year’s Stallion Service Sale Futurity at Mount Pleasant.

Im The Saint enters Sunday’s race off a third place finish in a trial race for the Stallion Service Auction Derby at Hoosier Park. He is trained by Ron Raper for owner Debra Redmond. Harold Collins will have the assignment.

Also entered is Carol Rettele trainee Anniversary Annie. The First Wrangler filly comes off a fourth place effort in an Aug. 2 speed index race at Mount Pleasant. Anniversary Annie is owned by Mark Mercer and will be ridden by Richard Rettele.

Joni B Special highlights a three horse entry owned by R and R Racing Stable LLC. The Special Effort filly makes her first start in Michigan this year after finishing second by a neck in a July 18 allowance race at The Red Mile. She is trained by Tony Cunningham and Oscar Delgado will be aboard.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Eyesa Planetary / No Rider / A F Cunningham / 4-1
1A. Mama Cole / No Rider / D N Gates / 4-1
1X. Joni B Special / O Delgado / A F Cunningham / 4-1
2. Anniversary Annie / R Rettele / C Rettele / 2-1
3. Im The Saint / H Collins / R Raper / 7-5
4. Merritts Rebel Moon / L Gates / S Belden / 6-1


Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Stakes Races

Positive signs?

Who knew all Michigan racing needed to get Lansing on its side with alternative wagering was a major economic collapse and a budget deficit the size of Montana?

The Michigan HBPA website reports…

PULL TABS AT RACE TRACKS: As the state scrambles to complete the budget process for 2009-10, discussions have centered around allowing tracks to offer  “lottery pull tab” machines to generate needed state revenue and assist the tracks in the challenge to stay in business. The MI-HBPA has supported for years additional gaming at the race tracks and are very interested in working with Lansing to develop a comprehensive plan for additional gaming. As expected, the “pull tab” proposal must follow the requirements set in the passage of Prop 1 in 2004. Pull tabs, as well as, VLT’s will need local and statewide approval.

The MI-HBPA is currently working on proposals for VLT’s and internet account wagering (ADW’s) on horse racing to assist in saving our industry. As the challenges grow with the approval for VLT’s in Ohio to maintain our horse population, we look forward to working with Lansing to get it right. Serious efforts need to be coordinated to develop a comprehensive package to generate state revenue and the needed revenue to save the racing industry.

A comprehensive plan will offer the state millions and save an industry with a 76 year history of being a producer without the need for state subsidies. The racing industry is willing to work with the state to support a much higher take than currently offered by the casinos throughout the state, at least double. The MI-HBPA is committed to working with all parties in developing a fair plan for all as we face extinction.

Additional gaming that belongs in a comprehensive plan:

1) VLT’s at all race tracks as Ohio, Penn, Indiana and West Virginia

2) Advanced Deposit Wagering (ADW’s) internet wagering on horse racing in Michigan currently is projected to be 60 million dollars, money leaving the state to wager on horse racing and the state, horsemen and tracks gain -0- from the activity, because wagering on the internet in Michigan on horse racing is illegal. So, it goes on with no controls, no revenue and continues to grow nationally. One ADW company in Michigan has enjoyed over a 50% gain in the first quarter of 2009 while our simulcasting wagering is in a nose dive and industry all but gone.

3) Intstant Racing machines to allow wagering on archived races.

Basically, with the race tracks involved in the gaming business, they should be allowed to compete fairly for the gaming dollar and offer any game that any competitor offers. Competition is good for the consumer.

While Pull Tabs would certainly be a welcome addition to Michigan’s racetracks, hopefully the state does not see them as a way to appease the industry and stop there. Pull Tabs are indeed very entertaining. I myself am a frequent player when I visit my local bars and dining establishments. However, Pull Tabs must be seen as a first step toward bigger and better things, not an ultimate solution. Pull Tabs are more of an impulse item, while casino-style gaming is a destination. Still, anything to boost the purse structure will be greeted with open arms.

One thing that strikes me as odd about the push for Pull Tabs is it appears the tracks must adhere to the demands of Proposal 1 to install the machines. However, if my memory serves me correctly, the Pull Tab machines in my local establishments were installed well after the 2004 election without any kind of electoral hubbub. Proposal 1 was written to stop Racinos, but I was under the impression it applied to everyone not granted immunity by its language. Surely the racing interests have people on their side better versed in the intricacies of Prop 1 than myself, but if the Double 6 bar in McBride, Michigan can get Pull Tabs without anyone raising a fuss, there is little reason to treat racetracks differently.

In related news, it appears Gov. Jennifer Granholm is (finally) on board with the possibility of implementing alternative wagering. Granholm was on WWJ Newsradio 950 Thursday to discuss placing an expanded gaming issue on a future ballot to help preserve the state’s education programs, namely scholarships for college students and laid off workers returning to school. The interview and a small write-up can be found here.

While having the governor publicly support the cause for expanded gaming is definitely a big positive for the movement, forgive me if I take a “wait and see” approach to her statements. Granholm’s track record with the racing industry has been less than stellar during her time in the executive position, most recently shooting down a bill to help restore supplemental funds to Michigan’s horsemen. Cuts like these would have been much easier to swallow if the governor had shown the same openness to expanded gaming then as she is now.

Until the talk turns into action, I approach all of these developments with cautious optimism.

For additional coverage on Gov. Granholm’s newfound support of racinos, a WLNS Channel 6 feature focusing on Sports Creek Raceway can be found here. The link to the video is in the upper left hand corner.


Filed under Commentary, Politics

Equality colt tops MTOBA Yearling Sale

Equality colt Noequal attracted the high bid of $12,000 in last Sunday’s Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association Yearling Sale at Michigan State University.

The gray or roan Noequal, out of stakes-winner Rapid Reaction was the only horse of the 35 offered to eclipse the $10,000 mark.

Results were down in all major categories, largely stemming from a 52% decrease in entries from last year’s sale. The economy and the uncertain future of racing in Michigan were without a doubt factors in the decline (As well as Mount Pleasant Meadows running at the same time as the sale? MPM trainer Don Evans was among the leading buyers at last year’s yearling sale).

Noequal’s purchase alone produced the sale’s top buyer, Daniel McCarthy (one horse, $12,000) and top consigner, Opportunity Lane (three horses, $26,500). Opportunity Lane sent out three of the sale’s top four sellers.

The MTOBA sale may not have drawn in high rollers the likes Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum or IEAH Stables’ Michael Iavarone, but this auction did have one thing on the Fasig-Tiptons of the world: free pizza. The organization provided several buffet tables of Papa John’s pizza and breadsticks to consigners, potential bidders, onlookers and internet writing types in the middle of the sale barn. Things like this are what make going to the sale so enjoyable, even if all I can afford to do is window shop.

The pizza was well deserved for many of the horsemen and women in attendance who had been inside the MSU Pavilion’s South Barn since well before the yearling show at 9 a.m.. Equality gelding Meachem Road took home Grand Champion honors and the top prize in the colts and geldings division. Noequal, another Equality colt, took reserve champion, while Daylight Savings filly Daytime Tricks took first prize among the females.

For a complete listing of the sale’s results, click here.
For a statistical breakdown of the sale, click here.
For a listing of the yearling show’s results, click here.

Let’s have a look at the top five sellers from last Sunday’s yearling sale, as well as some other notable hits and misses. I apologize in advance for the less-than-ideal quality of the photos. Indoor arena lighting paired with bright outside lighting is the bane of many a photographer.

Top Five Sellers:

#1: Hip #3 – Noequal – $12,000
Noequal, the MTOBA Yearling Sale’s top selling entry, was bought by leading buyer Daniel S. McCarthy for $12,000. The gray or roan Equality colt was consigned by leading seller Opportunity Lane. Noequal is out of stakes-winning Monetary Gift dam Rapid Reaction, full sister of two multiple stakes winners of over $380,000; That Gift, a Michigan champion three-year-old, and That Monetary. Rapid Reaction is the dam of six other foals, sending five to the races with four winners, including stakes-placed Impeachment gelding Red Line. Equality is the sire of Michigan champions Equalitysdebutante and Bipolar Express.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

This post is heavy on the pictures, so the rest can be found behind the jump. For loads more coverage of the MTOBA Yearling sale, just click the link below.

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Filed under Commentary, Pictures, Pinnacle Race Course

Back to work

Well, hello there…

This notice is to inform you that one or more of your horses has worked out.

Mrs. Murphy

Your Comment:

Date: August 25, 2009
Distance: Four Furlongs
Time: 54:00 Breezing
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: Dirt
Rank: 22/24


It’s nice to see Murph back on the work tab. I’m not sure where this will take her, but if I find anything out, you know where to find it.

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Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, The Family Business

2009 MTOBA Yearling Sale Preview

Even the greatest champions of the turf started out as freaked out yearlings in a sale ring.

The time has come again for the next crop of Michigan-bred yearlings to take one step closer to the racetrack in Sunday’s Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association Yearling Show and Sale . The yearling show will begin at 9 a.m. in the Michigan State University Pavilion’s South Barn and the sale will follow at 1 p.m.

This year’s sale will feature 38 yearlings going through the sale ring, a significant decrease from the 74 offered last year. However, the yearling sale has been a rich source of Michigan stakes winners, including last year’s champion Valley Loot and 2008 stakes winners Clever Idea, Equally Good and Ittybittymeadow. Past results suggest there is plenty of blacktype waiting to happen from this sale.

In preparation for Sunday’s sale, I have compiled a few categories I found to be interesting. I have also singled out three yearlings I predict will command the highest prices of the day. If anyone thinks someone else will command the top dollar, I welcome your reasoning.

DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind I am by no means a bloodstock expert. Not even close. The following post is not a suggestion of who to buy, but simply a series of my observations and predictions regarding the upcoming yearling sale. I have seen none of these horses in person and am going strictly by what I see in the sale catalog and online, along with general vibes I get while looking over the catalog. However, if someone should purchase Michigan’s next millionaire based on something written here, a “thank you” would be nice.

So, without further ado, let’s have a look at a few of the horses that stand out from this year’s sale catalog.

For a full list and details of the horses offered in this year’s sale, view the online catalog here.

This gets pretty long, so I am putting it behind the jump to save space on the front page. Click the link below to keep reading.

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Filed under Commentary, Pinnacle Race Course

The Alternative Scene: Part Two – ADW, Card Rooms, etc.

The question of what forms of alternative wagering fall under the restrictions of Proposal 04-1 continues to plague Michigan racing as it looks to expand its product. Tizzy's Prospector is led to the Pinnacle winner's circle with Alex Estrada aboard.

The question of what forms of alternative wagering fall under the restrictions of Proposal 04-1 continues to plague Michigan racing as it looks to expand its product. Tizzy's Prospector is led to the Pinnacle winner's circle with Alex Estrada aboard.

Though slot machines got the winner’s share of my recent poll, they are by no means the only method racetracks are trying to expand their product.

Many tracks are taking their game online with advance deposit wagering, while others are expanding on the casino concept with card rooms or instant racing machines.

Though all three (and throw slots in there, too) are completely different ways to get action, Michigan appears to be stonewalled in terms of implementing any of them by Proposal 04-1.

The brilliantly written (by tribal/casino interests) proposal requires any interest outside of the tribal and Detroit-based casinos to pass local and statewide referendums before getting the go-ahead to install video lottery terminals. Though it was sold to the public in the 2004 election as a way for them to control gambling in the state, the ballot issue instead gave the casinos free reign to expand while handcuffing their competition – the racetracks.

But, like Mark McGwire, I’m not here to talk about the past. What I am here to talk about is how the proposal’s vague language affects the present and future of racing in Michigan. 

Because of the ballot’s less than specific wording, it could, and has, been argued that any of the aforementioned forms of alternative wagering fall under Prop 1’s umbrella. The amount of money and labor required to get such an issue on two ballots has hindered efforts to get any kind of expanded gaming off the ground in Michigan. 

Obviously, this takes millions of hypothetical dollars out of the pockets of the Michigan racing industry. However, according to Michigan HBPA Executive Director Gary Tinkle, it is holding back tens of millions of actual dollars as well.

In an email exchange with Tinkle, he said over $50 million was wagered by Michigan residents through ADW services in 2008 despite their illegality in this state. While some online wagering services allow users to play Pinnacle or Hazel Park, Michiganders are not legally allowed to bet on races in their home state (or anywhere else, for that matter) unless it is at the track itself or by simulcast. Tinkle said because these wagers are not  legally recognized, Michigan’s tracks, the state, and the horsemen do not get a cut from the monies wagered as they would from a simulcast bet.

The situation is further complicated by the actual location of the wagers. Though the person placing an online wager may reside in Michigan, the hub in which the bets are actually placed is in a state where online wagering is allowed (I keep hearing about this hub in Oregon. Must do good business). This brings about the dilemma of where the bet actually originated.

Is the stay-at-home Michigan handicapper in the wrong if he plays a race out-of-state and his money never has to enter his own state limits? Apparently yes, but there are so many gray areas to Michigan’s ADW laws that the definition of what is and isn’t kosher might depend on who you ask. Either way, things would be much less complicated (and I would be more likely to actually know what I was talking about) if Michigan were just allowed to legalize ADW already.

Another alternative wagering option that has found its way into some racetracks are card rooms. With the World Series of Poker and movies like “21” bringing card games into mainstream consciousness, tracks like Canterbury Park in Minnesota are capitalizing on the popularity.

Though Proposal 1 explicitly outlaws “table games” at the racetracks, Great Lakes Downs played host to poker games for two or three years before it shut its doors in 2007. The defunct Muskegon track apparently found a loophole by hosting charity poker games with the proceeds going to some worthy cause instead of the purse pools. To my knowledge, the only money the track got out of the deal was a fee for renting the space – a far cry from the money brought in from established card rooms.

The one flaw that hurts the viability of card rooms is it’s the only alternative wagering option that can be done just as well without having to go to a casino or racetrack. Though some games are dependent on dealers, such as blackjack, the current big-ticket game, poker, is played for real money in garages, basements and game rooms around the world. One can grab a beer, go to the weekly poker night in his buddy’s basement and lose 20 bucks just as easily as he can go to the local racetrack’s card room, and he doesn’t have to worry nearly as much about his personal conduct.

An interesting option gaining steam both nationally and in Michigan is instant racing. The machines allow users to wager on stripped-down versions of previously run races on a device resembling a self-service terminal. Oaklawn Park in Arkansas was the early adopter of the new form of wagering and saw its purses and field sizes rise. An interesting piece on instant racing can be found on The Thoroughbred Brief, written by guest poster John M. Lockwood, Esq. outlines some facts and issues surrounding the games.

The challenge facing instant racing machines is state Supreme Courts don’t seem to know what to make of them. As Lockwood’s editorial notes, some states have ruled them as pari-mutuel wagering the same as the actual live races and gave them the go-ahead. A recent push to get instant racing legalized in Michigan banked on rulings like this, but so far, little has come from it. Other states have labeled them a closer relative of  the slot machine and treated them as such.

Of the three alternative wagering options discussed in this post, instant racing would appear to have the least immediate drawing power. People know what poker is and most can wrap their minds around online wagering. Not much explanation needed. Putting a sign out front that reads “Instant Racing”, however is not quite the slam dunk. Some advertising or other form of public education would probably be needed to get the person on the street both aware and interest in what instant racing has to offer. The risk seemed to work in Arkansas, other racetracks might not be so lucky.

Like slot machines, there is still a sense of trial and error associated with these forms of alternative wagering. In most cases, the results appear promising, but the permanent effects of expanded gaming on the racing industry remain to be seen. When a track can perfect the balance between the races and the alternative wagering without making one of them a sideshow, that operation stands to make a good deal of money.


Filed under Commentary, Great Lakes Downs, Polls

The Scoop

Get me, I’m a news source!

In an Aug. 12 story in the Flint Journal about newly-appointed Acting Racing Commissioner Patricia Lockwood, this blog is cited as having been the first to report the news.

Just thought I would share. Enjoy the rest of your day.


Filed under Politics

Meadow Vespers closes from way back to win Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap

Meadow Vespers executed his signature ground saving trip and screaming stretch drive to prevail in Saturday’s $20,000 Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course by a half length.

The seven-year-old Meadow Prayer gelding broke without urgency as All I Can Get and Hot Chili dueled for the early lead heading into the first turn. All I Can Get pulled clear of his foes across the backstretch as Meadow Vespers sat as far back as 14 1/2 lengths behind in last. The leader was pressured heading into the final turn by Fiery Lake, Hooched Express and Hot Chili as Meadow Vespers began to mount his charge.

About two lengths separated All I Can Get and Meadow Vespers at the top of the stretch, with the latter staging a rally five wide as Hot Chili came into contention on the rail. The three battled down the stretch, but Meadow Vespers’ momentum carried him across the wire first, a half length ahead of All I Can Get. Hot Chili finished a length behind All I Can Get to take the third place money.

Meadow Vespers completed the mile and one sixteenth race in 1:47.03 under regular jockey Ivan Gonzalez on a fast surface.

Meadow Vespers is owned by J Mack Enterprise Inc. and trained by Richard Rettele. He was bred in Michigan by James Arnold, Marcia Arnold and Deborah Miley. The Michigan Breeders’ Cup win improved Meadow Vespers’ career record to 13 wins from 32 starts, including five stakes victories. His career earnings increased to $465,368.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

7 – Meadow Vespers (Ivan Gonzalez) 5.60 / 5.20 / 2.80
3 – All I Can Get (Jareth Loveberry) 10.20 / 4.40
2 – Hot Chili (Alexis Ortiz) 5.20

1 1/16 Miles
Time:  1:47.03

Your winner, Meadow Vespers; Ivan Gonzalez, up. (Photo from a previous race)

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Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races