Despite his best efforts to do otherwise, Valient Tenobob could not stop himself from running away with Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Futurity at Pinnacle Race Course.
The Service Stripe colt was unhurried out of the gate and settled into last on the rail, as Buy The Law, Duty Calls and Duncan took to the lead heading into the first turn. Post time favorite Duty Calls emerged from that group in the turn and led by a length heading into the straightaway. He was chased by Duncan across the backstretch, who quickly gave way heading into the final turn. However, Valient Tenobob was on his way to take Duncan’s place and flew past the leader on the outside.
Valient Tenobob opened up multiple lengths in the turn and moved onto the rail, then things got interesting. As he approached the quarter pole, Valient Tenobob shied away from the whip of jockey Tommy Molina and almost slowed to a halt entering the stretch. That loss of momentum allowed Noequal to get within striking distance at the top of the stretch, but Valient Tenobob re-rallied and left that rival behind. He weaved greenly through the stretch, but did it far enough ahead of his foes that it did not matter, as he crossed the wire seven lengths ahead of Noequal. Equal To finished 8 3/4 lengths behind the runner-up for third.
The final time for the one mile race was 1:45.23 over a fast dirt surface. He was the betting public’s second choice at odds of 2.70-to-one.
Valient Tenobob was homebred in Michigan by trainer James Jackson and Laura Jackson. He is also co-owned by Red Riding Hood Stable LLC.
With the victory, his first in stakes company, Valient Tenobob improved his career record to a perfect three-for-three for earnings of $48,222.
For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.
4 – Valient Tenobob (Tommy Molina) 7.40 / 4.80 / 3.40
1 – Noequal (Federico Mata) 3.80 / 2.80
5 – Equal To (Ricardo Barrios) 3.20