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)