Perfect Start will try to improve on his runner-up finish in the July 3 Wolverine Stakes in Saturday’s $20,000 Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.
The field of six older Michigan-bred males going a mile features four stakes winners from last year’s meet at Pinnacle. The purse for Saturday’s race has been decreased from its normal value of $50,000 in order to over the increased cost of regulation from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
Perfect Start was one of the more buzz-worthy three-year-olds at Pinnacle in 2009, on the strength of his victory in the Mackinac Handicap and entry in the Ohio Derby (G2). The Jump Start colt ran second to Fiery Lake in the Wolverine and enters Saturday’s race off a third place in a Aug. 3 allowance contest at Thistledown. Alexis Ortiz will be in the irons for owner Charlie Williams and trainer Sandra Adkins.
Last year’s co-champion three-year-old male Meadow Wise will try for his first win in the handicap ranks in the Michigan Breeder’s Cup. The Meadow Prayer gelding won last year’s Dowling Stakes at Pinnacle and never missed the board in 2009. He enters the race off an Aug. 31 allowance victory at Pinnacle, where he won by 5 3/4 lengths. Meadow Wise is trained by Bob Gorham for owner Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC. Jeffrey Skerrett will get the leg up on Saturday.
Meadow Vespers returns to defend his title after winning last year’s installment of the Michigan Breeders’ Cup. The Meadow Prayer gelding is best known for his four straight victories in his division of the Sire Stakes from 2005 to 2008. Meadow Vespers comes in off an unplaced finish in the Wolverine Stakes. He is owned by J. Mack Enterprise, Inc. and trained by Richard Rettele. Jose Delgado will be the rider.
#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Bishop Casey / T Molina / R M Gorham / 8-5
1A. Meadow Wise / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 8-5
2. Romeo Again / F Mata / P L White / 3-1
3. Perfect Start / A Ortiz / S M Adkins / 5-2
4. Meadow Vespers / J J Delgado / R J Rettele / 7-2
5. Out With A Bang / O Bernal / R M Gorham / 10-1