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