After two stakes races, a front runner has yet to emerge in Michigan’s older fillies and mares division. However, the picture may become clearer following Saturday’s $50,000 Farer Belle Lee Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.
A full field of 12 horses will enter the gates for the mile and an eighth Farer Belle Lee, including eight stakes winners. Last year’s race was won in a minor upset when then three-year-old Moon Charmer outkicked Valley Loot in the final strides to win by a head. Both horses are entered in Saturday’s race.
The division’s most consistent mare during the 2010 meet has been Equalitysdebutante. The five-year-old Equality mare is the only horse to hit the board in both of the division’s stakes races this year. She enters the race off a second place finish in the Aug. 21 Moonbeam Handicap following a five-length victory in the July 17 Larkspur Handicap, both at Pinnacle. Equalitysdebutante is owned by Richard Hammer and trained by Larry Penner. Octavio Bernal will be in the irons for the Farer Belle Lee.
Four-year-old Baba Booyah enters Saturday’s race on the momentum of a five and a half length victory in the Moonbeam. The Daylight Savings filly will make her first start at a mile and an eighth in the Farer Belle Lee. Her two career efforts at a mile and a sixteenth yielded a win in the 2009 Michigan Oaks and a fourth place finish in the same year’s Sire Stakes for three-year-old fillies, both at Pinnacle. Regular rider Jeffrey Skerrett once again has the mount for owner Mast Thoroughbreds LLC and trainer Robert Gorham.
Three-time Michigan horse of the year Valley Loot will seek to jump start an uncharacteristically lagging year in the Farer Belle Lee. The six-year-old daughter of Demaloot Demashoot is still seeking her first win of the year, and enters Saturday’s race off an unplaced finish in the Moonbeam. Trainer Ronald Allen, Sr. will give jockey Federico Mata the leg up for owner Lisa Campbell.
#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Equalitysdebutante / O Bernal / L Penner / 5-1
2. Half A Glance / R Barrios / J Gold / 20-1
3. Top Touch / C P Pilares / S M Adkins / 8-1
4. Moon Charmer / T Molina / R M Gorham / 6-1
5. In The Frame / L M Quinones / L R Uelmen / 12-1
6. Twilighted Thistle / A De Leon / R D Spiess / 20-1
7. Silent Sunset / G W Mayhew / J A Lewis / 30-1
8. Baba Booyah / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 7-2
9. Surprise Gift / J J Delgado / J R Jackson / 15-1
10. Valley Loot / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 3-1
11. Hakuna Matata / W P Rini / L R Uelmen / 10-1
12. Secret Candy / R D Allen, Jr. / R D Allen, Sr. / 30-1