Monthly Archives: June 2010

Montis Grand Concept wins Michigan Bred Futurity

Trainer Dave Gates completed his sweep of Sunday’s stakes races when Montis Grand Concept showed a big final kick to win the $20,000 Michigan Bred Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The One Grand Concept filly broke from the rail and quickly took a slight lead in the opening strides. She held a nose advantage entering the main stretch over Livinggood, Who Wants What, Striking Rolla and Justa Struttin who all dueled for the lead. Montis Grand Concept accelerated as the wire approached and separated herself from the scrum to win by 1 1/4 lengths under jockey Nate Alcala. Livinggood carried on for second by a neck over Who Wants What.

Montis Grand Concept stopped the clock in the 300-yard race at 15.885 seconds over a fast track. She was part of a four-horse entry from the Gates stable that went off as the post-time favorite at odds of 1.20-to-one.

Montis Grand Concept was bred in Michigan by Sue Belden and is owned by Lawrence Belden. Montis Grand Concept’s record stands at two wins from three career starts for total earnings of $10,950. The Michigan Bred Futurity was her first stakes victory.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

1 – Montis Grand Concept (Nate Alcala) 4.40 / 2.80 / 3.40
3- Livinggood (Oscar Delgado) 2.80 / 2.40
1C – Who Wants What (Aron Hunt) 4.40 / 2.80 / 3.40

300 yards
Time: 15.885 seconds

Montis Grand Concept - Nate Alcala 1
Your winner, Montis Grand Concept; Nate Alcala, up (Photo from a previous race).

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Cc Cartel drives late in Michigan Bred Derby

Cc Cartel kicked off her 2010 campaign in a big way with a win in Sunday’s $15,000 Michigan Bred Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The Southern Cartel filly broke well and was second by a nose in a tightly bunched pack early on. Eight Below 123 held on to a slight lead through the stretch, with Cc Cartel, Dials Corona For Me, Later Version and Tuff Southern Gal all within a half length. With the wire approaching, Cc Cartel fired under jockey Aron Hunt to separate herself from the pack and win the Michigan Bred Derby by two lengths. Eight Below 123 hung on for second by a nose over Dials Corona For Me, who also prevailed by only a nose over fourth place finisher Tuff Southern Gal.

The winning time in the 350 yard race was 17.911 seconds over a fast track. Cc Cartel was part of a three-horse entry that left the gates as the 1.20-to-one post time favorite.

Cc Cartel was homebred in Michigan by Dave and Shirley Gates. Dave Gates also saddled the winner. Indiana Downs-based rider Hunt came to Mount Pleasant for the first time this year, possibly for the first time ever, to take the winning mount. The Michigan Bred Derby was Cc Cartel’s third win from nine starts for earnings of $16,890. It was also her first win in stakes company.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

1A – Cc Cartel (Aron Hunt) 4.40 / 2.20
4 – Eight Below 123 (Amanda Keller) 2.40
3 –  Dials Corona For Me (Juan Delgado)

350 Yards
Time: 17.911 seconds

Cc Cartel
Your winner, Cc Cartel (Photo from a previous race).

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Hour By Hour wires field in Lansing Stakes

Hour By Hour struck the first blow on the road to defending his co-title as the best male of his Michigan-bred crop with a front-running score in Saturday’s $50,000 Lansing Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The Elusive Hour colt fired immediately and took command on the outside in the race’s opening strides. He kept a one-length cushion as he worked his way to the rail, while Secrets Only and post time favorite Prince of Paulie battled to keep chase. Hour By Hour maintained his lead heading into the final turn while Prince of Paulie fell off the pace and was replaced by a gaining calvary charge.

Secrets Only whittled away at Hour By Hour’s lead throughout the turn and came to even terms heading into the stretch. His charge was quickly repelled by Hour By Hour, who responded to urging by jockey Federico Mata to regain his advantage and power away from his rival. Under Mata’s right hand whip, Hour By Hour continued to add to his lead as he drove to the wire to win by 2 3/4 lengths. Secrets Only carried on to finish second, two lengths ahead of a rail-running Meadow Magic.

Hour By Hour completed the six furlong race in 1:11.67 over a fast track, just two tenths of a second off the track record of 1:11.40, set by Funky Pirate on September 16, 2008. He was the field’s sixth choice at odds of 9.40-to-one.

Hour By Hour was homebred in Michigan by Valerie Irvine and is also owned by Laura Jackson. He is trained by James Jackson. With the win, Hour By Hour improved his career record to three wins from five starts. Two of those wins have come in stakes company. His career earnings now total $72,940.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

11 – Hour By Hour (Federico Mata) 20.80 / 6.80 / 5.60
5 – Secrets Only (Jeffrey Skerrett) 7.40 / 5.40
1 – Meadow Magic (Tommy Molina) 4.00

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:11.67

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Gates to saddle four in Michigan Bred Futurity

Montis Grand Concept leads a loaded stable from trainer Dave Gates into Sunday's Michigan Bred Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Trainer Dave Gates will have his work cut out for him in the paddock prior to Sunday’s $20,000 Michigan Bred Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Through all the commotion that will be occurring in the full 10-horse paddock, Gates will have to divide his attention between the four entries he will send to post in the 300-yard race for Michigan-bred juveniles.

Gates, along with the race’s other trainers will try to saddle a first-time stakes winner in the Michigan Bred Futurity. The entire field will be making its first start in stakes company on Sunday.

The Gates stable is led by Montis Grand Concept, who owns the biggest win of the field coming into the race. The Monti’s Lad filly enters the Michigan Bred Futurity off a 3/4 length maiden score on June 13 at Mount Pleasant. Gates trains Montis Grand Concept for owner Lawrence Belden. Nate Alcala will have the assignment.

Justa Struttin will be one of the horses sharing the entry with Montis Grand Concept. The Struttin To Beduino gelding prevailed by a neck in a June 13 maiden race at Mount Pleasant in his most recent start. Dave and Shirley Gates own Justa Struttin and Dave Gates will saddle him. He will be ridden by Lee Gates.

The other two parts of the Gates entry are Lil Liza Pain, owned by Cecil Merritt and ridden Amanda Keller, and Who Wants What, owned by R and R Racing Stables Inc. and ridden by Aron Hunt.

Also entered is Carol Rettele charge Ms Easy Corona. The filly by The Corona finished third by a half length to Justa Struttin during her most recent start in a maiden race at Mount Pleasant. Owned by C-Ludlow Farms, Ms Easy Corona will be ridden by Richard Rettele.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Montis Grand Concept / N Alcala / D N Gates / 3-5
1A. Lil Liza Pain / A Keller / D N Gates / 3-5
1C. Who Wants What / A Hunt / D N Gates / 3-5
1X. Justa Struttin / L Gates / D N Gates / 3-5
2. Striking Rolla / H Collins / A F Cunningham / 3-1
2B. Out An About / J F Delgado / A F Cunningham / 3-1
2X. Dials Jumpn / J A Beltran / A F Cunningham / 3-1
3. Livinggood / O Delgado / R E Moore / 10-1
4. Achoiceforthecash / R Rettele / C Rettele / 7-1
5. Ms Easy Corona / A Hernandez / C Rettele / 5-1

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Tuff Southern Gal seeks comeback win in Michigan Bred Derby

Tuff Southern Gal leads a field of six in the Michigan Bred Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Michigan’s three-year-old Quarter Horse crop will face its first stakes test in Sunday’s $15,000 Michigan Bred Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Tuff Southern Gal is one of three horses in the 350 yard race to be saddled by trainer Dave Gates. The Southern Cartel filly came within a neck of winning last year’s $100,000 Indiana Stallion Service Auction Futurity at Hoosier Park, finishing second. Tuff Southern Gal will make her first start of the year on Sunday, following a fifth place finish in an allowance race last Oct. 11 at Hoosier. Trainer Gates also owns the filly with his wife, Shirley. Lee Gates will have the mount.

Dials Corona For Me is only horse in the field to hold claim to a prior stakes victory. The Corona For Me gelding earned that distinction following a half-length score in last year’s Michigan Bred Futurity at Mount Pleasant. He enters the race off a half-length win against allowance company on June 13 at the same track. Juan Delgado will ride Dials Corona For me for owner and trainer Tony Cunningham.

After wintering at Hialeah Park, Refined Cowboy returns to Mount Pleasant for the Michigan Bred Derby. The Cowboys Rodeo colt comes in off an unplaced finish in a Feb. 3 claiming contest at the revived Florida racetrack. Nate Alcala will get the leg up aboard Refined Cowboy by trainer Dave Gates for owner Cecil Merritt.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Tuff Southern Gal / L Gates / D N Gates / 3-5
1A. Cc Cartel / A Hunt / D N Gates / 3-1
1X. Refined Cowboy / N Alcala / D N Gates / 2-1
2. Later Version / R Rettele / C Rettele / 2-1
3. Dials Corona For Me / J F Delgado / A F Cunningham / 7-5
4. Eight Below 123 / A Keller / J Hall / 5-1

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Prince of Paulie, Hour By Hour square off in Lansing Stakes

Following a 2009 meet where the state’s two-year-old males took turns beating each other in stakes contests, Michigan was left with co-champions in its juvenile colts and geldings division.

Track announcer Matt Hook’s champion, Hour By Hour, and the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s title holder, Prince of Paulie, will try to break the stalemate among a field of 11 in Saturday’s $50,000 Lansing Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The six furlong race for Michigan-bred three-year-olds is notable in Pinnacle’s history for being the track’s inaugural race on its opening day in 2008. That installment was won in an upset victory by Equally Good.

Prince of Paulie was the only horse in his crop to hit the board in all three of Pinnacle’s stakes races for two-year-old males in 2009. The Meadow Prayer gelding won the Sept. 12 Patrick Wood Stakes, then finished third in the Oct. 3 Michigan Sire Stakes and second by a neck in the Oct. 17 Michigan Futurity. He enters the Lansing off a fourth place finish in a May 22 allowance race at Thistledown. Prince of Paulie is owned by John Mack and will be saddled by Richard Rettele. Regular rider J.J. Delgado retains the assignment.

Hour By Hour will make his 2010 debut in the Lansing. Last year’s campaign was highlighted by a three-length victory in the juvenile males division of the Sire Stakes. The Elusive Hour colt ended his 2009 run with an unplaced finish in the Michigan Futurity. Federico Mata will have the mount aboard Hour By Hour for owners Valerie Irvine and Laura Jackson. Hour By Hour is trained by James Jackson.

Also entered is Arts And Leisure, who makes his debut at Pinnacle and in stakes company. The Equality gelding has won three of five career starts at Presque Isle Downs, Thistledown and Tampa Bay Downs. His most recent victory came in a June 3 claiming event at Presque Isle, where Arts And Leisure was checked, but came back to score by a head. Arts And Leisure will run for owners Gene and Phyllis Gilmore and trainer Gerald Bennett. A rider had not been named for Arts And Leisure at the time the morning line odds were set.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Meadow Magic / T Molina / J R Jackson / 4-1
2. Wiley Potts / A A Marin / R M Gorham / 15-1
3. Music Conductor / J R Martinez, Jr. / R J Rettele / 20-1
4. Why Not Nauiti / G W Mayhew / B I McBride / 20-1
5. Secrets Only / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 8-1
6. Ready To Tango / R Barrios / L R Uelmen / 5-1
7. Dream Victory / J Cruz / J R Jackson / 10-1
8. Power Of Titus / D Rodriguez / D D Waite / 8-1
9. Prince of Paulie / J J Delgado / R J Rettele / 7-2
10. Arts And Leisure / No Rider / G S Bennett / 12-1
11. Hour By Hour / F Mata / J R Jackson / 6-1


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Uno Machine draws clear in Michigan Paint Horse Futurity

Uno Machine wins the 2010 Michigan Paint Horse Futurity
Uno Machine (4) takes command approaching the wire to win the Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Uno Machine’s late kick separated her from the field and the rest of Michigan’s juvenile Paint division on Sunday, en route to a convincing score in the $5,000 Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The two-year-old Dos Poruno filly veered out slightly coming out of the starting  gate, but her course was quickly corrected. She trailed an inside-running Petergunrabbit by a head going into the main stretch, but began to distance herself from her rivals as the wire approached. Under the intermittent right hand whip of jockey Lee Gates, Uno Machine took advantage of a clear path to the finish to win the Michigan Paint Horse Futurity by a length and a half. Shake It Twice joined Uno Machine on her rally and chased the leader to a runner-up finish, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Awesome Voodo Magic.

Uno Machine won the 350-yard race in :18.353 over a fast track. She left the gate as the post time favorite at odds of 1.20-to-0ne.

Homebred in Michigan by Dave and Shirley Gates, Uno Machine is also trained by Dave Gates. The Michigan Paint Horse Futurity was Uno Machine’s second win from as many starts and was the filly’s first stakes victory. She has amassed career earnings of $3,800.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

4 – Uno Machine (Lee Gates) 4.40 / 2.80 / 2.20
3 – Shake It Twice (Jose Beltran) 5.40 / 2.60
5 – Awesome Voodo Magic (Juan Delgado) 2.40

350 yards
:18.353 seconds

Uno Machine - Lee Gates
Your winner, Uno Machine; Lee Gates, up.

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New York Stakes preview for Thorofan

Once again, I have been called upon to represent the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance in its quasi-weekly segment on the Thorofan website, Handicapper’s Corner.

My assignment for this installment was Saturday’s New York Stakes at Belmont Park. The field is rather small, but it is open enough to offer some decent prices on horses with a real shot at making money.

As regular readers may recall, my previous contribution to Handicapper’s Corner was a rousing success, when Exhi wired the Coolmore Lexington Stakes field at odds of 19.90-to-one. Hopefully that good mojo can carry over into this Saturday’s race.

To view my New York Stakes predictions on Thorofan, click here.

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Uno Machine headlines Michigan Paint Horse Futurity

Uno Machine will be one of two entries saddled by trainer Dave Gates in Sunday's Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Paint Horse Uno Machine looks to become the first winner on the Mount Pleasant Meadows stakes calendar in Sunday’s $5,000 Michigan Paint Horse Futurity.

Each horse in the field will be making his or her stakes debut in the 250 yard race.

All but one of the entries squared off against each other in a June 6 maiden race at Mount Pleasant. It was the first start for all involved.

Uno Machine came out on top in that race by a half length. The Dos Poruno filly picked up speed on a heavy track and had all the momentum as she crossed the wire. Uno Machine is owned by Dave and Shirley Gates and trained by Dave Gates. Lee Gates will have the assignment in Sunday’s race.

The race’s runner-up, Awesome Voodo Magic, returns to challenge Uno Machine. The Awesome Chrome gelding was the post time favorite in his maiden effort and conceded the lead in the race’s final strides. Tony Cunningham trains Awesome Voodo Magic for owners Dave and Tammy Lewis. Juan Delgado will be in the irons.

Also entered is Shake It Twice, who finished fourth in his career debut. The Judys Lineage gelding will be ridden by Jose Beltran for owner Robert Bergquist and trainer Nate Funnell.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Petergunrabbit / M Holmes / D N Gates / 6-1
2. Sundays Sermon / A Keller / D Howard / 10-1
3. Shake It Twice / J A Beltran / N Funnell / 4-1
4. Uno Machine / L Gates / D N Gates / 3-5
5. Awesome Voodo Magic / J F Delgado / A F Cunningham / 7-5

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Mount Pleasant Meadows in photos

The Mount Pleasant Meadows 2010 meet is off and running; as is Thoroughbred Sweet at Best, ridden by Nate Alcala.

The first two weeks of Mount Pleasant Meadows’ 2010 meet are in the books.

I’ve been telling a lot of long-winded stories lately, so for the beginning of Mount Pleasant’s season, I’m going to let the photos do most of the talking. Between stakes races and general goings-on, more than enough will be written about the central Michigan track in due time.

For those interested in a written description of the track, my review of last year’s opening day can be found here. A few names and faces may have shuffled since last year, but the general feel of the place remains the same.

Before we commence with the photos, this seems as good a time as any to once again plug the Mount Pleasant Meadows Facebook page, to which I have been contributing. Readers interested in learning more about the track are encouraged to become “fans” by visiting the page and clicking on the appropriate button.

Now, without further ado, behind the jump are photos from the last two week’s worth of races at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Enjoy!

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