Mata wins three in Michigan Sire Stakes

The following Sire Stakes recaps are presented without shots of the winning horse and rider courtesy of Sunlight Photography, Pinnacle’s track photographers who threatened to have my camera taken away if I photographed anything except the races themselves, which I was “allowed” to do. All of this happened despite having obtained a media photo credential from track management.

But enough about my day, let’s talk about some races…

Bipolar Express wins stretch battle in Classic
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Bipolar Express (4) duels to the wire with Demagoguery (7) and Hot Chili (1, inside) to win the Michigan Sires Classic at Pinnacle Race Course.

The streak is dead. Long live the streak.

After four years of Sire Stakes consistency by Meadow Vespers, Bipolar Express began a run of his own by winning his second straight October Classic race in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sires Classic at Pinnacle Race Course.

The four-year-old Equality gelding broke with the front pack and battled for the early lead with Hot Chili and Mt. Factor before cooling off and taking a stalking position as the field headed into the first turn. Hot Chili dueled from the rail with Mt. Factor, who maintained a small advantage through the turn and across the first half of the backstretch. Bipolar Express sat two lengths behind the lead duo and began to make his move to on the outside with about five furlongs to go.

Bipolar Express gained the advantage heading into the final turn as Mt. Factor began to fall off the pace. As Bipolar Express and Hot Chili battled into the stretch, Demegoguery also began to gain ground. The lead pair traded bobs of the head throughout the stretch with Demagogurey chipping away on the outside. In the final strides, Bipolar Express put a head in front to prevail under jockey T.D. Houghton. Hot Chili finished a neck ahead of Demagoguery  for the runner-up money.

Bipolar Express stopped the clock in the 1 1/8 mile race with a time of 1:54.21 on a fast track. He left the gates as the second choice of 1.60-to-one. Post time favorite Meadow Vespers had his usual ground saving trip, but came up empty in the stretch.

Bred in Michigan by Gene and Phyllis Gilmore, Bipolar Express is owned by Winning Stables, Inc. and trained by Gerald Bennett. The Sire Stakes victory completes a successful re-claim by Bennett, who lost Bipolar Express to trainer Scott Lake for a $25,000 tag two races ago at Presque Isle Downs. Bennett claimed his charge back in the next race for $35,000

With the win, Bipolar Express improved his career record to seven wins from 27 starts. The race was also his second stakes win, after winning last year’s three-year-old Sire Stakes at Pinnacle. His career earnings now total $209,069.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

4 – Bipolar Express (T.D. Houghton) 5.20 / 3.60 / 3.20
1 – Hot Chili (Federico Mata) 6.80 / 5.60
7 – Demagoguery (Godofredo Laurente) 5.60

1 1/8 Miles
Time: 1:54.21

To view the rest of the day’s Sire Stakes action, click the link below.

Valley Loot extends streak to three in Distaff
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Valley Loot drives to the finish in the Michigan Sires Distaff at Pinnacle Race Course.

Valley Loot made a strong case for a third straight Horse of the Year title with a third consecutive Sire Stakes score in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sires Distaff at Pinnacle Race Course.

The five-year-old Demaloot Demashoot mare was unhurried out of the gate as Glory Bea, She Could Be Good and Guns and Giggles moved to take the early lead. Glory Bea led through the clubhouse turn, but began to lose steam coming out of the turn while Valley Loot sat in sixth. Guns and Giggles took the lead on the rail over a tightly bunched field and led across the backstretch while jockey Federico Mata swung Valley Loot four wide to make her move.

Valley Loot overtook Guns and Giggles heading into the turn and stayed several lengths wide heading into the stretch. She held a 1 1/2 length advantage leaving the turn, and maintained that margin through the stretch and to the wire, with a driving finish under a strong left hand whip. Half a Glance closed six wide from last to finish second by a nose ahead of Stellar Star, who was hindered by an erratic stretch drive.

The final time for the 1 1/8 mile race was 1:55.99 over a fast surface. Valley Loot was the heavy favorite at odds of 0.50-to-one.

Valley Loot is owned by Lisa Campbell and trained by Ronald Allen, Sr.. She was bred in Michigan by Marilyn McMaster. The Distaff improved Valley Loot’s career record to 13 wins from 25 starts, including 11 stakes victories. Valley Loot’s third Sire Stakes victory in as many years boosted her career earnings to $525, 580.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

3 – Valley Loot (Federico Mata) 3.00 / 2.40 / 2.10
4 – Half a Glance (Mary Doser) 6.40 / 5.00
9 – Stellar Star (Angel Stanley) 15.80

1 1/8 Miles
Time: 1:55.99

Romeo Again earns first stakes win in Sophomore Colts
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Romeo Again runs clear in the stretch to win the Michigan Sires Sophomore Colts.

After spending most of his 2009 stakes campaign as a bridesmaid, Romeo Again finally broke through and earned his first blacktype score in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sires Sophomore Colts at Pinnacle Race Course.

The three-year-old Secret Romeo gelding watched from fourth as Notaquitter sprinted to the lead and opened up a 1 1/2 length advantage. Notaquitter’s lead began to shrink through the first turn, and he relinquished the top spot to a pressuring Native Power after a half mile. Elusive Furrari was also within a head of the leader, but he did not spend long in the lead pack. After sitting off the rail about two lengths behind the action, Romeo Again began to move up to Native Power, who had since extended his lead to a half length over a begrudging, but fading, Notaquitter.

Romeo Again caught up with Native Power in the turn and spent little time engaging his rival before leaving him behind. He entered the stretch with a length’s advantage and drove clear to 5 1/2 length victory under jockey Federico Mata. Post time favorite Meadow Wise was restless in the gate and overcame a slow start to finish second by 3 1/2 lengths over Native Power.

Romeo Again completed the 1 1/16 mile race in 1.47.31 over a fast track. He was the betting public’s second choice at odds of 2.10-to-one.

Homebred by Lisa Campbell/Campbell Stables, Romeo Again is also owned by II B’s Thoroughbreds. He is trained by Ronald Allen, Sr.. The Sire Stakes was Romeo Again’s third win from 11 starts, as well as his first triumph in stakes competition. It was also the first stakes victory for Romeo Again’s sire, Secret Romeo. Romeo Again’s career earnings now total $59,179.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

4 – Romeo Again (Federico Mata) 6.20 / 2.80 / 2.80
3 – Meadow Wise (Jeffrey Skerrett) 2.20 / 2.20
5 – Native Power (Leonard Frazzitta, Jr.) 5.40

1 1/16 Miles
Time: 1:47.31

Hakuna Matata rallies in stretch to win Sophomore Fillies
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Hakuna Matata (4) takes command to win the Michigan Sires Sophomore Fillies at Pinnacle Race Course.

In what will likely be the final showdown between division rivals Hakuna Matata and Baba Booyah this year, the former delivered a knockout blow in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sires Sophomore Fillies at Pinnacle Race Course.

The three-year-old Meadow Prayer filly was unhurried at the break and shuffled back to sixth place as the field crossed the wire for the first time. Stride to the Sky took the early lead from the outside in the early goings, a length ahead of Lexus Red. The leader’s advantage fluctuated as Lexus Red pressured on the rail and backed off across the backstretch. Heading into the turn, Stride to the Sky opened up a two length advantage, but Lexus Red staged one more gambit on the outside and finally overtook her stablemate.

Meanwhile, Hakuna Matata had begun to stage her own rally five wide. Baba Booyah also moved into contention on the outside of Lexus Red. Hakuna Matata and Baba Booyah briefly hooked up at the top of the stretch, but Hakuna Matata soon left her rival behind and powered to the lead. She carried her momentum to the wire under strong urging by jockey Angel Stanley to prevail by a length and three quarters. After fading back into the pack, Lexus Red re-rallied to finish second, 3/4 lengths ahead of Secret Candy.

Hakuna Matata completed the 1 1/16 mile race in 1:49.95 over a fast surface. She left the gates as the post time favorite at odds of 1.40-to-one.

Hakuna Matata was bred in Michigan by Robert and Delphine Miller. She is trained by Larry Uelmen for owner White Lake Farms, Inc.. The Sire Stakes was Hakuna Matata’s third victory from 10 starts and her second stakes win. With the win, her career earnings increased to $86,366.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

4 – Hakuna Matata (Angel Stanley) 4.80 / 2.60 / 2.80
3 – Lexus Red (Alexis Ortiz) 8.00 / 5.60
2 – Secret Candy (Federico Mata) 6.40

1 1/16 Miles
Time: 1.49.95

Hour by Hour leads all the way in Juvenile Colts
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Hour By Hour prepares to complete his front-running trip in the Michigan Sires Juvenile at Pinnacle Race Course.

Hour By Hour took command early and never looked back to take Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sires Juvenile at Pinnacle Race Course.

The Elusive Hour colt was hustled to the lead by jockey Federico Mata and moved closer to the rail about two lengths in front. The lead was quickly made up by Prince of Paulie, who stalked Hour By Hour on his outside hip. Meadow Magic also followed on the far outside, but the lead pair quickly pulled away by two lengths heading into the turn.

Hour By Hour separated from his rival at the top of the stretch and drove to the wire under a steady right hand whip to win by three lengths. West Virginia-bred Kid Kearny Gabe rallied on the outside to take second, a length ahead of post time favorite Prince of Paulie.

Hour By Hour completed the six furlong race with a time of 1:13.38 on a fast track. He was the field’s fifth choice with post time odds of 6.70-to-one, the longest-priced winner of the day’s Sire Stakes races.

Homebred in Michigan by Valerie Irvine and co-owned Laura Jackson, Hour By Hour is conditioned by James Jackson. The Sire Stakes was his second win from three starts and his first in stakes company. His career earnings now total $42,940.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

8 – Hour By Hour (Federico Mata) 15.40 / 6.80 / 3.60
6 – Kid Kearny Gabe (Joel Hiraldo) 4.00 / 2.20
4 – Prince of Paulie (J.J. Delgado) 2.40

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:13.38

Hustle Now pulls away in Juvenile Fillies
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Jockey Angel Stanley looks behind at his competition before crossing the wire unchallenged in the Michigan Sires Juvenile Fillies at Pinnacle Race Course.

Hustle Now cemented her resume as Michigan’s top two-year-old filly with a dominating win in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sires Juvenile Fillies at Pinnacle Race Course.

The Creative filly was the best of the rest early on as Q Elegant Storm burst out of the gate to a 3 1/2 length lead after a half mile. Hustle Now gradually began to cut into the leader’s advantage heading into the turn, well ahead of everyone else, and came even with Q Elegant Storm with a wide move at the top of the stretch.

Under strong urging by jockey Angel Stanley, Hustle Now continued her drive in the stretch and pulled away to a 5 1/2 length victory. De La Crem rallied in the stretch for second, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Fortune in Gold.

Hustle Now finished the six furlong race in 1:13.87 over a fast surface. She was a major post time favorite at odds of 0.50-to-one.

Trained by Larry Uelmen, Hustle Now was homebred in Michigan by Sheffield Farms. Hustle Now improved her career record to three wins from four starts, including two stakes scores. Her lifetime earnings now total $70,208.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

2 – Hustle Now (Angel Stanley) 3.00 / 2.60 / 2.40
6 – De La Crem (Jeffrey Skerrett) 7.00 / 4.80
4 – Fortune in Gold (J.J. Delgado) 4.20

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:13.87

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8 Comments

Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races

8 responses to “Mata wins three in Michigan Sire Stakes

  1. ahorseofadifferentcolor

    Great recap for those of us who couldn’t be there. You have a very special talent for bringing thoroughbred racing to life. Also, love the shot of Angel Stanley looking back at his rivals. Sorry Sunlight Photography impeded your coverage but I guess it’s called job security. Thanks for your hard work.

  2. ahorseofadifferentcolor

    Oh, and a huge Congratulations to Federico Mata for winning the lion’s share of the days pots. Well deserved!

  3. old time race fan

    No doubt Freddie Mata was the story on the day. Not only three wins but a second and a third also.

  4. Great pics…probally better then the one’s the track photog got!!!!

  5. mibredclaimer

    ahoresofadifferentcolor,
    Thanks! As always, I appreciate your kind words. I like that shot, too. I got one like that a few weeks ago when Ricardo Barrios rode Notaquitter to a multi-length victory. Always a cool pose.

    Old Time Race Fan & ahorseofadifferentcolor,
    Yep, Freddie definitely had a good day. All those big performances has him positioned as the track’s leading earner in the saddle. Angel Stanley didn’t do too badly for himself either, with two wins and a third.

    Bill,
    I appreciate it, but their equipment, photo quality and training is way better than mine. This is why I am not a threat to their jobs or profits.

  6. ragman

    Mi-Bred
    I would say you are the farthest thing from being a threat to their jobs. You do more to publicize racing in Michigan than anyone I know. For Pinnacle not to bend over backwards to accomodate you and your camera is a huge mistake. It’s not like you cut into winners circle picture sales.
    To my knowledge only you have put a face on MPM. I’ve always wondered what was up there and because of you maybe next year I’ll make the effort to get up there. Maybe on Mi-Bred Claimer Day?
    You certainly should be eating and drinking free at these tracks.
    Keep up the good work.

  7. Ron

    MB-Claim
    I do not have a chance to visit Pinnacle or any of the other tracks in MI and I really appreciate the photos and coverage you provide on this blog to keep me and everyone else informed. Thank You!

  8. mibredclaimer

    Ragman,
    Thanks for all the kind words. It means a lot.

    Mi-Bred Claimer Day? I kind of like the ring of that. Maybe I can set up a table and sign autographs. That would make it hard for me to run around and get pictures, though. I’ll have to work on this…Can’t wait to see you at MPM.

    Ron,
    My pleasure. Thank you for reading.

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