Monthly Archives: August 2010

Daylight Savings colt tops 2010 MTOBA Yearling Sale

Carter Road took home top honors in every stage of Sunday’s Michigan Thoroughbred Owners And Breeders Association Yearling Show and Sale at Michigan State University.

The bay Daylight Savings colt started the day by earning grand champion honors in the yearling show, then followed through by dropping the hammer for a sale-topping price of $16,000. For the second straight year, the top seller was the only horse offered to draw more than $10,000.

The uncertain present and future of Michigan’s racing industry led to only 23 yearlings entering the sales ring, with 13 finding new owners. Of the 41 percent of the entries that failed to meet the reserve, seven did not draw the minimum $1,000 bid and two received bids, but did not meet the price set by their consigners.

For the second straight year, Dan McCarthy was the sale’s leading buyer on the strength of one purchase, which also happened to be the top-seller.

Also enjoying repeat success was leading consignor Opportunity Lane, who sold four horses for a total of $25,500, including the top bid-getter. Opportunity Lane sent out three of the top five sellers in this year’s sale.

Earlier in the day, Carter Road took home the top honors at the yearling show. The reserve champion award went to Dickinson Stable’s Equality filly Bubbicious.

For a detailed breakdown of the sale results, click here.

Let’s take a look at the top sellers from Sunday’s sale, along with a few others who were noteworthy for one reason or another.

Top Five Sellers:

#1: Hip #20 – Carter Road – $16,000
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Top bid-getter and yearling show grand champion Carter Road was purchased by leading buyer Dan McCarthy for $16,000. The bay Daylight Savings colt was brought to the ring by leading consignor Opportunity Lane. Carter Road is out of stakes winning Matchlite mare Just Tricks, who notched five wins for career earnings of $96,889. Her two foals of racing age have yet to hit the track. Daylight Savings is the sire of 2007 Michigan champion two-year-old Hot Chili, Sire Stakes winner J.P.’s Big Boy and multiple stakes winner Baba Booyah.

“He’s a phenominal colt,” said Opportunity Lane’s Cami Cumper. “It’s a tough market. The racing industry is really not well. So for the buyers to stand behind a nice colt like that and still pay for him – I’m honored.”

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The rest of the notables from Sunday’s sale can be found behind the jump. Did the horses on your watch list crack the top five? Click below to find out!

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Guest interview on Youbet On-Track

At about 3:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon, I got a message from superstar freelancer Claire Novak asking to appear on her podcast, Youbet On-Track, later that night to break down the late Pick 4 at Saratoga. At 5 p.m., I had to be in line for a cage fight.

This led to one of the most furiously-paced ventures of my handicapping career, as I examined four races from a circuit I have barely followed amidst a crowd of people clamoring to see two guys beat the hell out of each other. Plus, I had to make it sound like I knew what I was talking about to a worldwide audience.

Good thing I work well under pressure.

I managed to decipher the races to the best of my ability, took copious notes, and waited cageside for the call to come in. Shortly after the conclusion of one of the undercard bouts, my phone buzzed and I shuffled off to a quiet spot far from the heavy metal music that could be heard from blocks away.

The interview went very well. Claire and I shared stories of Mount Pleasant Meadows with co-host/producer Joe DePaolo and I gave a brief rundown on the state of racing in Michigan. Then we looked at Rachel Alexandra’s campaign leading into Sunday’s Personal Ensign Stakes and examined her chief competitors in the race. After that, I gave my picks and analysis for the remainder of the Pick 4.

Fortunately, I was at the MTOBA Yearling Sale (which I managed to sneak in a plug on the podcast) most of Sunday, so I did not get the opportunity to back up my predictions at the windows. My Pick 4 ticket was cooked by the second race, and I ended up going one for four and losing a pair of heartbreakers in the final two legs.

My shoddy handicapping aside, getting the chance to chat on the air with Claire and Joe was a fantastic time and I am grateful that they gave me the opportunity to do so. I’d be happy for the opportunity to redeem myself in the Handicapper’s Corner anytime – even if it means missing a fight or two.

To listen to my interview on Youbet On-Track with Claire Novak and Joe DePaolo, click here.

To listen to more podcasts with Claire and Joe, click here.

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Michigan Notebook: August 26, 2010

Jockey Oscar Delgado has found success at tracks across the country, including Mount Pleasant Meadows.

– Crain’s Detroit Business has been monitoring the situation surrounding Pinnacle Race Course’s sale of a parcel of land to the Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa Indians and the ensuing controversy it has generated in the local government. The publication has published several updates since the deal was publicly announced, outlining Pinnacle’s economic situation, tax snafus by the Huron Township government, and concerns by local leaders about the handling of Pinnacle’s incentives to purchase and build on the property.

Here is a list of stories published on the site in recent days. There are some inaccuracies in a few of the details (most notably suggesting the racetracks themselves are footing the bill for additional State regulation when it is actually coming from the horsemen’s purse pools), but the general idea paints an unsettling picture of the relationship between the track and local government.

8-25 – Text of Wayne County Commission’s concerns about Pinnacle Race Course

8-25 – Commissioners weigh legal issues of Pinnacle land deal

8-24 – Tax bill snafu puts Pinnacle in arrears, Racecourse fights assessments, battles other financial problems

– Detroit News editorial page editor Nolan Finley discussed the state government’s treatment of Michigan’s horse racing industry in his column on Thursday. Finley notes the hypocrisy of offering movie studios hundreds of millions in breaks and incentives to film in Michigan, while leaving horse racing, an industry that generates money for the state and provides jobs without the massive state investments, out to dry. Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association president Patti Dickinson and Pinnacle Race Course owner Jerry Campbell are quoted in the piece, as is spokeswoman for Governor Jennifer Granholm, Liz Boyd.

Hoosier Park put out a news item on Aug. 12 about Quarter Horse jockey Oscar Delgado, also a regular at Mount Pleasant Meadows. The piece profiles Delgado’s life and racing career, where he has won riding titles at Mount Pleasant and the inaugural Quarter Horse meet at Hialeah Park. He also discusses racing against his brother, Juan, who is among the leading Quarter Horse riders at Mount Pleasant and the Indiana circuit. Oscar Delgado currently hangs his tack at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa.

– The Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association Yearling Sale is this Sunday at the Michigan State University Pavilion’s south barn. The yearling show begins ay 9 a.m. followed by the sale at 1 p.m.. For an online catalog of the sale, click here. To view this site’s preview of Sunday’s sale, click here.

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Baba Booyah rallies in Moonbeam Handicap

Baba Booyah bided her time behind a clear-running pace setter and took over in the stretch to win Saturday’s $20,000 Moonbeam Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The four-year-old Daylight Savings filly sat in second as Equalitysdebutante launched out to an early and sizable advantage. The leader had a length on Baba Booyah heading into the first turn and stretched it out to four as she headed into the backstretch straightaway. Equalitysdebutante continued to run away from her rivals as they passed the barns and opened up as many as six lengths after a half mile in 47.28 seconds. However, that lead quickly dissipated as she approached the final turn.

Equalitysdebutante hung on to a one-length lead over Baba Booyah at the top of the final turn, chased closely by post time favorite Valley Loot, who overcame a troubled start to work her way back into contention. Baba Booyah slowly gained on Equalitysdebutante through the bend and drew even with her rival at the top of the stretch. The pair dueled for a sixteenth of a mile before Baba Booyah disposed of her foe at the eighth pole and was kept to task by jockey Jeffrey Skerrett to draw off for a 5 1/2 length victory. Equalitysdebutante kept on for second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Moon Charmer.

Baba Booyah completed the one mile race in 1:41.24 over a sealed sloppy dirt surface. She, and stablemate Moon Charmer, left the gates as the field’s third choice in a 4.40-to-one entry. Post time favorite Valley Loot faded to fifth after spending herself getting back into contention.

Baba Booyah is owned by Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC and trained by Robert Gorham. She was bred in Michigan by Todd and Carol Weddon.

With the score in the Moonbeam, Baba Booyah improved her lifetime record to five wins from 16 starts, including two victories in stakes company. Her career earnings now total $87,530.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

1A – Baba Booyah (Jeffrey Skerrett) 10.80 / 6.80 / 3.60
2B – Equalitysdebutante (Octavio Bernal) 4.00 / 2.40
1 – Moon Charmer (Tommy Molina) 10.80 / 6.80 / 3.60

One Mile
Time: 1:41.24

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Equalitysdebutante, Valley Loot set for rematch in Moonbeam Handicap

After shocking the field at odds of 21.40-to-one in the July 17 Larkspur Handicap, Equalitysdebutante returns to prove her effort was no fluke in Saturday’s $20,000 Moonbeam Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Equalitysdebutante will face seven rivals in Saturday’s one mile race for older Michigan-bred fillies and mares. Last year’s installment of the Moonbeam was won by Yawm Estoora.

The purse for the race has been decreased from its normal $50,000 value to accommodate for additional race days of regulation from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Equalitysdebutante, a Michigan champion two-year-old filly in 2007, won the Larkspur by five lengths in a front-running trip. The win was the five-year-old Equality mare’s first stakes score since her Juvenile campaign and her most recent start. Larry Penner will saddle Equalitysdebutante for owner Richard Hammer. Octavio Bernal will pick up the mount for Saturday’s race.

Three-time Michigan horse of the year Valley Loot finished second to Equalitysdebutante in the Larkspur, also her most recent start. The six-year-old Demaloot Demashoot mare is still seeking her first win of 2010 after running into buzzsaws in all three of her starts this year, finishing second each time. Regular rider Federico Mata will once again be in the saddle for owner Felicia Campbell and trainer Ronald Allen, Sr..

Also entered is the Larkspur’s third place finisher, Peak Of The Storm. The four-year-old Peaks And Valleys filly was the front-running winner of last year’s Regret Stakes at Pinnacle and seeks her first win of the year in the Moonbeam. Peak Of The Storm is a stablemate of Equalitysdebutante, owned by Richard Hammer and trained by Larry Penner. Ricardo Barrios will be in the irons

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Moon Charmer / T Molina / R M Gorham / 7-2
1A. Baba Booyah / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 7-2
2. Peak Of The Storm / R Barrios / L Penner / 5-2
2B. Equalitysdebutante / O Bernal / L Penner / 5-2
3. Half A Glance / A Ortiz / J Gold / 20-1
4. Hakuna Matata / J J Delgado / L R Uelmen / 4-1
5. Secret Candy / J E Collazo, Jr. / R D Allen, Sr. / 20-1
6. Valley Loot / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 6-5

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2010 MTOBA Yearling Sale Preview

A full sister to last year's sale topper Noequal will be offered in the Aug. 29 MTOBA Yearling Sale.

The increasingly unsteady condition of Michigan’s racing industry is reflected in the low number of entries in the Aug. 29 Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association Yearling Sale.

This year’s sale catalog features 25 yearlings, a ten-horse decrease from the 35 offered after outs in last year’s installment.

The sale will once again be held at the Michigan State University Pavilion’s south barn in East Lansing, Mich.. The first horse will go through the ring at 1 p.m., preceded by the yearling show at 9 a.m..

Though the catalog may be small, the MTOBA Yearling Sale is a historically fertile ground for Michigan stakes winners, and there are plenty of prospects here with the potential to have successful careers on the racetrack.

To view the online catalog for the 2010 MTOBA Yearling Sale, click here.

Behind the jump are some of the yearlings that caught my attention for one reason or another while browsing the catalog. I welcome reader input on who you think will make a splash in the sale as well.

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Romeo Again rallies in Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap

Romeo Again reeled in his rivals down the stretch to win Saturday’s $20,000 Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The Secret Romeo gelding was unhurried on the rail by jockey Federico Mata as post time favorite Meadow Wise took the early lead, followed closely by Perfect Start. Meadow Wise entered the turn with about a length over Perfect Start. The pair opened up three lengths on third place Romeo Again, but set a leisurely opening half mile at :50.19 seconds. Meadow Wise held off Perfect Start across the backstretch, but the Perfect Start took to the rail and drew even with the leader heading into the final turn, four lengths ahead of Romeo Again in third.

Perfect Start and Meadow Wise dueled throughout the bend and entered the top of the stretch neck and neck. Meanwhile, Romeo Again had chipped away from his margin behind the lead duo and prepared to make a three-wide move on the outside. Meadow Wise, out of gas, faded quickly down the stretch, leaving Perfect Start and a rapidly gaining Romeo Again to battle for the last 100 yards. Under left-handed urging from Mata, Romeo Again got up in the final strides to beat Perfect Start by a half length. Bishop Casey made a late bid for third place.

Romeo Again completed the one mile race in 1:48.06 on a fast dirt surface. He left the gates as the longest price in the field at odds of 4.90-to-one.

Romeo Again was homebred in Michigan by Felicia Campbell/Campbell Stables and also owned by II B’s Thoroughbred. He was saddled by Patrick White.

With the win in Saturday’s race, Romeo Again improved his career record to four wins from 16 career starts, including two wins in stakes company. His earnings now total $75,193.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

2 – Romeo Again (Federico Mata) 11.80 / 6.20
3 – Perfect Start (Alexis Ortiz) 6.40
1 – Bishop Casey (Tommy Molina)

One Mile
Time: 1:48.06

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