Monthly Archives: July 2010

Equalitysdebutante returns to form in Larkspur Handicap

In October 2007, Equalitysdebutante romped in the two-year-fillies division of the Michigan Sire Stakes at Great Lakes Downs on her way to earning her crop’s top honors. Coming into Saturday’s $50,000 Larkspur Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course, she had only won a single race since.

The five-year-old Equality mare broke her two-year, 13-race cold spell in spectacular fashion with a dominant five-length score in the six furlong race for Michigan’s female handicap platoon.

Equalitysdebutante broke to the front and immediately opened up a length on the rest of the field. The Girl Rolls, Baba Booyah and post time favorite Valley Loot gave chase across the backstretch, with Peak Of The Storm soon coming into contention. The leader continued to maintain her now two-length cushion well off the rail heading into the turn, as Valley Loot emerged as her primary challenger. Equalitysdebutante continued to stay fairly wide throughout the bend and stretched out to a 3 1/2 length lead at the top of the stretch.

Under the intermittent right hand whip of jockey Carlos Garcia, Equalitysdebutante removed any notion of being caught by her rivals in the stretch and drew off to win the Larkspur by five lengths. Valley Loot was locked in a three-way battle down the stretch for second, and emerged 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Peak Of The Storm for the runner-up spot.

The final time for the Larkspur was 1:12.70 over a fast dirt surface. Equalitysdebutante lit up the tote board at 21.40-to-one, the field’s second longest odds.

Equalitysdebutante was homebred in Michigan by Dr. Richard Hammer and trained by Larry Penner. The win in Saturday’s race improved Equalitysdebutante’s lifetime record to four wins in 21 starts, and her third stakes triumph. Her career earnings now total $199,721.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

5 – Equalitysdebutante (Carlos Garcia) 44.80 / 8.00 / 4.80
6 – Valley Loot (Federico Mata) 2.20 / 2.20
8 – Peak Of The Storm (Ricardo Barrios) 3.60

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:12.70


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Former soph stars make handicap debut in Larkspur Handicap

After a 2009 meet spent beating each other up in stakes races, last year’s crop of three-year-old fillies graduated to the handicap ranks and have shown up in force to contest Saturday’s $50,000 Larkspur Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The six furlong Larkspur is the first stakes test of the year for older Michigan-bred fillies and mares. Of the nine entries in Saturday’s race, seven are four-year-olds. Last year’s installment was won by Yawm Estoora.

As in years past, the road to the older female division’s crown will go through three-time defending Michigan Horse of the Year Valley Loot. The six-year-old Demaloot Demashoot mare was a stakes presence in Michigan, West Virginia and Pennsylvania in 2009, with marquee victories in the Golden Sylvia Handicap at Mountaineer Park and a third straight score in her division of the Sire Stakes at Pinnacle. She enters the Larkspur off a second place finish to 2008 Ashland Stakes (G1) winner Hooh Why in a July 6 allowance race at Presque Isle Downs. Regular rider Federico Mata will ride Valley Loot for owner Lisa Campbell and trainer Ronald Allen, Sr..

Making her first start of the year is Michigan’s 2009 three-year-old filly of the year, Hakuna Matata. The four-year-old Meadow Prayer filly sealed her division’s title with a 1 3/4 length victory in last October’s Sire Stakes, following a disqualification-boosted triumph in the Ann Arbor Stakes at Pinnacle. Her last start of the year was a runner-up finish in an Oct. 27 allowance race at Mountaineer. Hakuna Matata is owned by White Lake Farms, Inc. and trained by Larry Uelmen. J.J. Delgado picks up the mount.

One of Hakuna Matata’s biggest rivals during her sophomore campaign was Baba Booyah. The four-year-old Daylight Savings filly was victorious in last year’s Michigan Oaks at Pinnacle and placed second after being fouled in the Ann Arbor. She enters the race off an unplaced finish in a June 20 optional claiming event at Pinnacle. Baba Booyah will be saddled by Bob Gorham for owner Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC. Jeffrey Skerrett will be in the irons for Sunday’s race.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Moon Charmer / T Molina / R M Gorham / 10-1
2. Baba Booyah / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 9-2
3. Oh Fiddlestix / O Bernal / J R Jackson / 10-1
4. Hakuna Matata / J J Delgado / J R Jackson / 8-1
5. Equalitysdebutante / C Garcia / L Penner / 5-1
6. Valley Loot / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 2-1
7. In The Frame / J R Martinez, Jr. / L R Uelmen / 15-1
8. Peak Of The Storm / R Barrios / L Penner / 4-1
9. The Girl Rolls / A Ortiz / J R Jackson / 20-1


Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races

House GOP includes horse racing in Ag Task Force report

Crain’s Detroit Business reports a Michigan House of Representatives Republican task force has laid out a plan to improve the state’s agriculture industry which includes reforms to horse racing.

The task force, chaired by Fowlerville Rep. Cindy Denby, submitted the report following a series of town hall-style meetings and tours with members of the agriculture community last summer.

Among the topics discussed, the task force reviews how the state’s racing industry reached the shaky ground on which it stands today and revealed its strategy to reverse the trend.

The report examines the racing industry’s transfer to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the subsequent slashing of race dates and how funding to the state’s Agriculture Equine Industry Development Fund has fallen through decreased income and more outside hands taking from the proverbial cookie jar.

To combat the financial shortfalls, the task force notes the recommendation by those in the racing industry to implement “instant gaming”, which has been approved in Nebraska, among other states. One would assume the report is referring to “instant racing” which has been successful in Arkansas (Nebraska just shot down instant racing, actually), but at least they are open to the idea.

Instant racing, which allows bettors to play stripped-down versions of previously run races, is viewed by the task force as “a solution that would not be expanding gambling, yet would provide an additional source of funding for the equine industry.”

The report also notes the lack of public knowledge regarding the racing industry and its situation, and calls for an increase in efforts to educate the population about the importance of horse racing in Michigan.

The section continues with a review of the Ag Equine Fund and its declining numbers. Noted in the report are the transfers of monies to the state’s general fund, testing for bovine tuberculosis and the end of the casino wagering tax on Detroit’s three non-tribal casinos.

At the end of the report’s horse racing segment, the task force offers the following points of action…


– Develop cooperation between the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) and racing owners to help promote Michigan horse racing.

– Amend the make-up of the MGCB by requiring inclusion of horse industry representatives on the board.

– Require transparency of the MGCB and legislative oversight of the costs associated with horse racing breed by breed.

– Educate the public on the importance of horse racing to the state’s economy.

– Restrict appropriations from the equine fund to horse racing uses.

To view the full report, click here. The section highlighting the horse racing industry begins on page 15.

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Shestheone clear winner in Stars and Stripes Distaff

Shestheone - Nate Alcala 7@
Shestheone coasts to the wire to win the Stars and Stripes Distaff at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

A convincing turn of foot heading into the final turn carried Shestheone to victory in Sunday’s $6,200 Stars and Stripes Distaff at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The five-year-old K A Czubuthan mare was hustled out of the gate and chased early leader French Fling from second as the field made its first pass in front of the grandstands. French Fling, Shestheone and post time favorite Mi Valentine Dancer drew even heading into the clubhouse turn and dueled for the lead throughout the bend. As they approached the backstretch, Mi Valentine Dancer and Shestheone pulled away from French Fling and opened up six lengths on the rest of the field. Mi Valentine Dancer led by as much as a half length on the outside of Shestheone, but the distance was quickly made up when Shestheone accelerated past her rival heading into the final turn.

Shestheone continued to separate herself from Mi Valentine Dancer and led by five lengths at the top of the stretch. She remained unchallenged and widened her advantage to 9 1/2 lengths at the finish line under jockey Nate Alcala. Mi Valentine Dancer held on for second by 3/4 lengths over late-moving Shezablessing.

The final time for the Stars and Stripes was 1:20.67. Shestheone was the field’s second choice at odds of 1.60-to-one.

Homebred in Texas by Tricia Schibik and also bred by Bruce Schibik, Shestheone is conditioned by Julie Post. The Stars and Stripes was Shestheone’s sixth win from 18 career starts, and her first stakes victory. With the win, her career earnings now total $12,845.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

3 – Shestheone (Nate Alcala) 5.40 / 2.80 / 2.40
4 – Mi Valentine Dancer (Oscar Delgado) 2.40 / 2.20
6 Shezablessing (Juan Delgado) 2.20

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:20.67

Shestheone - Nate Alcala 2
Your winner, Shestheone; Nate Alcala, up.

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Catch Me Ridin Dirty wires field in Independence Open

Catch Me Ridin Dirty - Nate Alcala 19@
Catch Me Ridin Dirty and jockey Nate Alcala come down the stretch to win the Independence Open at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

After a storm blew through the area earlier in the card and turned the racing surface into a mud pit, Catch Me Ridin Dirty stayed tight to the dry rail and led at every call to win Sunday’s $6,500 Independence Open at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The four-year-old Aransas HF gelding was forwardly placed coming out of the gate, with Double Djeopardy and RFR Silver Crescent flanking him on both sides. Catch Me Ridin Dirty and Double Djeopardy quickly distanced themselves about three lengths from the rest of the pack and dueled for the lead heading onto the main track. As the field crossed the wire for the first time, Catch Me Ridin Dirty overtook his rival and moved over to the rail. He held a length and a half advantage over Zanthus Fury, who had come into contention on the outside, heading into the clubhouse turn.

Catch Me Ridin Dirty held a comfortable two-length cushion across the backstretch as Zanthus Fury and Double Djeopardy battled for position behind him. A well-urged Double Djeopardy inched closer to the leader coming out of the final turn, but the Catch Me Ridin Dirty repelled the challenge and was hand-ridden to the wire by jockey Nate Alcala on his way to a 3 3/4 length victory. Double Djeopardy finished two lengths ahead of Zanthus Fury for second place.

Catch Me Ridin Dirty completed the six furlong race in 1:26.58 over a fast dirt surface. He went off as the 0.90-to-one post time favorite.

Homebred in Michigan and trained by Nicole Holst, Catch Me Ridin Dirty improved his career record to seven wins from nine starts, and a perfect two-for-two in stakes company. His effort in the Independence Open increased his earnings to $17,384.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

3 – Catch Me Ridin Dirty (Nate Alcala) 3.80 / / 2.10
2 – Double Djeopardy (Oscar Delgado) 2.10 / 2.10
5 – Zanthus Fury (Juan Delgado) 2.10

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:26.58

Catch Me Ridin Dirty - Nate Alcala 6
Your winner, Catch Me Ridin Dirty; Nate Alcala, up.

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Star Sheba shines in Regret Stakes

Star Sheba led at every call and held on late to win Saturday’s $50,000 Regret Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The three-year-old Elusive Hour filly broke quickly and was soon on the rail, a length ahead of Skys Red Roxy. Hustle Now and post time favorite Touch Misscrafty also loomed on the outside as the field made its way across the backstretch. Skys Red Roxy stayed on Star Sheba’s outside hip heading into the turn, about 3/4 lengths off the leader, and pressured her foe throughout the bend. Behind them, Hustle Now began to fall off the pace, while Touch Misscrafty continued her outside trip about two lengths off the leaders.

A head’s length separated the pair as they made their way into the stretch, but Star Sheba once again separated from her foe. Still on the outside, Skys Red Roxy was shifted to the rail, which had opened up after the leader drifted out from the turn. Skys Red Roxy once again rallied from that position and was on even terms with the leader with 100 yards to go. However, Star Sheba found the kick to separate herself from her rival one last time as the wire drew near to win the Regret by 3/4 lengths under urging from jockey Octavio Bernal. Fully Exposed closed up the rail to take third, 3/4 lengths ahead of a still-wide Touch Misscrafty.

Star Sheba won the six furlong Regret with a time of 1:13.63 over a fast dirt surface. She left the gate as the field’s third choice at odds of 5.50-to-one.

Star Sheba was homebred in Michigan by Elkhorn Oaks Inc. and is trained by James Jackson.

The Regret was Star Sheba’s third victory from five career starts, and her first in stakes company. Her career earnings now total $55,564.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

6 – Star Sheba (Octavio Bernal) 13.00 / 5.00 / 3.20
4 – Skys Red Roxy (Diego Rodriguez) 10.20 / 5.40
1 –  Fully Exposed (Tommy Molina) 7.80

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:13.63

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Alcala, Shestheone reunite in Stars and Stripes Distaff

Shestheone and jockey Nate Alcala will try to re-create their past success in Sunday's Stars and Stripes Distaff at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Sometimes a horse and rider just click.

That seems to be the case jockey Nate Alcala and Arabian Shestheone, who will join forces after some time apart in Sunday’s $6,500 Stars and Stripes Distaff at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

A field of six will meet for the Stars and Stripes, a six furlong race for Arabian fillies and mares, three years old and up.

Nate Alcala will have the mount aboard Shestheone for the first time in two races. In their last two starts together, the duo won both races by a combined 19 lengths. The five-year-old K A Czubuthan mare then finished off the board in her next two starts without Alcala. She enters the Stars and Stripes off an unplaced finish in a June 27 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Nicole Holst trains Shestheone for owner Tricia Schibik.

Holst will also saddle Mi Valentine Dancer in the Stars and Stripes. The five-year-old Line Dancer mare owns a win and a runner-up finish at Mount Pleasant after racing in Texas and Colorado in 2009. Her most recent effort was a victory by a head’s margin in a June 20 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Owned by Lapco Arabians, Mi Valentine Dancer wil be ridden by Oscar Delgado.

Also entered is Tom Fritz’s Shezablessing. The five-year-old Baron Pasb mare has registered thirds of all three of her starts in 2010, the most recent coming in a July 4 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Trainer Mario Fritz will give Juan Delgado the leg up aboard Shezablessing on Sunday.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. French Fling / L Gates / T Briggs / 10-1
2. Fly Without Wings / J Ritchards / L A Roberts / 8-1
3. Shestheone / N Alcala / N Holst / 2-1
4. Mi Valentine Dancer / O Delgado / N Holst / 7-5
5. Sey Proofs Lavitra / Q Bernard / T Briggs / 6-1
6. Shezablessing / J F Delgado / M Fritz / 4-1

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