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


Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races

4 responses to “Michigan Sophomore Championships Preview

  1. Should be a lucrative day for Mr. Gorham.

  2. mibredclaimer

    He certainly has plenty of bullets to take down the day’s big races. Gorham could very reasonably finish 1-2 in both the Oaks and the Mackinac.

  3. ahorseofadifferentcolor

    I will be there pulling for Mr. Gorham and his barn!

  4. mibredclaimer

    I won’t be able to make it down to Detroit this weekend, but I’ll almost definitely be down there for the big day next Saturday. Enjoy the races today!

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