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