Tag Archives: Arabian Racing

“Making Claims” debuts in Arabian Finish Line

Another exciting chapter of my journalistic endeavors kicked off this month with the debut of my monthly column, “Making Claims”, in Arabian Finish Line magazine.

The column’s inaugural entry, which appears in the publication’s April issue, is split into two parts.

The first half introduces yours truly to the magazine’s readers, including anecdotes about my origins in the sport, a few of my qualifications and my experience in Arabian racing. Naturally, I throw in some anecdotes about Mount Pleasant Meadows, too. In the second part, I look back on the Darley Awards weekend, including my evening at Sam Houston Race Park, with the help of a numbered list.

This month’s issue also features several photos I took over the weekend, including ones at the races and a few on the cover.

And now, without further ado…

Click here to read the debut installment of “Making Claims”!

Like what you see? After this post, “Making Claims” will be exclusive to readers of Arabian Finish Line. To keep up with the world of Arabian racing, including my monthly commentary, click here to order a subscription to Arabian Finish Line.

Arabian Finish Line is a fine publication that provides insight on a sector of horse racing that often goes overlooked by the industry’s media outlets. The magazine features articles, commentary, stakes recaps and statistics on Arabian racing in North America and around the world. With detailed stats on every Arabian that leaves the gates in North America, the magazine is quite the useful handicapping tool, as well.

If the notion of reading my column every month is not reason enough to get yourself a subscription, hopefully something in the above paragraph will convince a few readers to give the magazine a try.

I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank the good people at Arabian Finish Line for allowing me the platform to express my views and spin some tales. I hope I can provide a consistent source of engaging and entertaining content for many issues to come.

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Under the lights at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park takes advantage of its strengths as well as any mid-level track. Shotgun Willis is led in front of the grandstand on his way to the paddock.

Sam Houston Race Park had been on my radar as a priority track to visit for quite some time.

The track’s repeated Gallery Furniture-sponsored overtures to pit the two hot horses of the moment against one another showed the willingness of the mid-sized track to make a splash on the national scene.

Nobody ever bit on the offer, but you’ve gotta love a track with moxie.

The evening at Sam Houston concluded day one of the festivities surrounding the weekend’s Darley Awards – Arabian racing’s version of the Thoroughbred breed’s Eclipse Awards. Consistent with the theme of the weekend, the evening’s dual feature was a pair of Arabian stakes races.

The first, and most defining feature of Sam Houston is its lighting – from the stadium track lighting that can be seen well before the rest of the property comes into view, to the inside of the plant itself, which was lit like a shopping mall. Of the tracks I have visited that host a significant night racing schedule, Sam Houston may be the best illuminated.

Having left Detroit that morning in the midst of sleet weather, the comfortable Houston temperatures put me in a very good mood. A big smile came across my face as I passed through the turnstile. I was in a strange city at a new track. The sky was dark, the lights were bright and the breeze was warm. Yes, this is what it means to be alive.

Admission was free for me, as I had a free pass with the group of Arabian enthusiasts. Upon further inspection on the track’s website, general admission is $6. Kind of steep. Programs were $2, and were made of good quality white paper.

The Sam Houston plant is a very large structure, with at least two sets of escalators. Nooks and crannies were plentiful, with some even offering specialties like Greyhound racing (In retrospect, I wish I would have picked up a simulcast program just to see what Greyhound past performances look like). Business was good enough on that particular Friday night that most of the alcoves had at least a small population.

The ground floor offered bars for the parched horseplayer, but I found most of the major food stands on the second floor. My group had arrived at the conclusion of the third race, and I had not eaten since that morning in Detroit, so I found the nearest hamburger stand (or in this case, a barbecue stand that offered hamburgers) and scarfed one down. The burger was ok to average, but considering the above circumstances, I am willing to award an incomplete grade.

The second floor is a testament to the track’s friendliness to new fans. The track has decorated the walls above the mutuel windows with a glossary of horse racing terms. Basic betting, racing and horse lingo was laid out like it should be in any program worth its salt. Do 90% of the fans in attendance already know just about everything on that wall? Sure. But for that 10% who are standing in line still deciding for whom they want to vote, that information could prove invaluable.

After our in-between-race meal, my group found its way to the grandstand seating. The crowd was good-sized, which is no small feat in a plant of that magnitude (no doubt aided by the 50 cent draft beer and $1.50 wine on Friday nights).

Looking out over the track brought two things to the immediate forefront. First, the track is really good at drawing advertisers. Banners and billboards of various sponsors – with varying levels of local and national recognition and involvement in racing – could be found on the apron, in the paddock, on the rail, beside the tote board and behind the backstretch. As much of an eyesore as that sounds, it was actually arranged to look rather professional. Second, from where we were seated, the auxiliary chute inside the turf course provided an almost head-on view of the break in races that warranted using it. It was a perspective many tracks do not offer.

As the horses entered the gate for the fourth race, what occurred next will stick with me as long as I care about how a racetrack presents itself. When the “minutes to post” number hit zero, the lights dimmed in the grandstand like a movie theater about to play the previews. The buzz that ran through the crowd when this happened was something that I had never seen for an otherwise run-of-the-mill maiden race. It was almost Pavlovian, and it carried on through to the race. It got loud when the field approached the wire – louder than Hoosier Park on last year’s Indiana Derby day, where most of the crowd came inside to seek refuge from the rain – almost “cover your ears” loud. Again, in a grandstand of that magnitude, this was no small feat.

Perhaps this is the secret to horse racing’s never-ending quest to crack the “new fan” demographic – psychological reactions. Clearly, nobody is going anywhere just because of some dim fluorescent lightbulbs, but those dim bulbs tell people that something is going down and it is time to be excited. All attention is turned to the starting gates. If the decades-long success of the laugh track proves anything, it is that if they are already in the seats, people will get excited if you tell them to get excited. If we, as an industry, can find a way to harness these natural reactions, we might be on to something.

Anyway, I hit my first bet on Texas soil – a 5-1 shot that fell to 5-2 by post time. It would also be the last bet I hit on Texas soil. Fortunately, I like to bring home a ticket from each track as a souvenir, so that is not an entirely bad thing.

After a couple races in the grandstand, I decided to venture out on my own and explore the facility. First stop was the paddock. It was a fairly simple stalls and connected walking ring setup behind the grandstand. Horses entered and left by going around the plant.

When the horses emerged at the front of the grandstand to meet the awaiting ponies, they had to pass by a section of the apron. This provided some entertainment as the night wore on and the 50 cent drafts accumulated. A group of guys had gathered by the path and asked each entry arguably the most important question in handicapping, “You gonna win, number five?”, “You gonna win, number six?”, and so on. Most of the riders carried on with their business without paying much mind to the group on the other side of the fence, but when one rider near the end of the procession was asked the question, he turned to them, flashed a smile and thrust his arm out with a resounding thumbs up. This got a huge reaction from the gathering on the apron. The horse didn’t win.

Out front, the track was elevated a few feet off the rather expansive apron. Separating the masses from the running surface was a dirt path where horses were led from the barn area to the paddock without interfering with the horses unsaddling on the track. It was a novel idea, but there was one drawback. The elevated track, along with the walking path, meant the outside rail was prominently placed in the line of sight. Aside from the general difficulty of photographing a speeding horse at night without the benefit of flash photography, the rail made composing a good on-track photo difficult-to-impossible.

The Arabian stakes races kicked off with the seventh race – the Texas Yellow Rose Stakes. Headlining this heat was multiple stakes winner Sanddpiper, who would take home the Darley Award for top three-year-old female the following evening. Very rarely does a horse strike me with that indefinable “It Factor” on first sight, but Sanddpiper has it. The gray Burning Sand filly is incredibly photogenic – definitely not to the “camera aware” level of a Zenyatta, but still pretty good. Her sloped nose gives Sanddpiper the distinct look of an Arabian that makes her stand out from the crowd. Plus, she wins a lot, which never hurts. If I were given the task of selecting Arabian horses to market to a national audience, I would choose Grilla, based on the exposure from his big win last year at Keeneland Race Course, and Sanddpiper. Sanddpiper kept up her end of the deal with a dominant 8 1/2 length score in the Texas Yellow Rose.

After a Thoroughbred buffer race in between, the field arrived at the paddock for the Texas Six Shooter Stakes. The race was another blowout affair, this time by Darley Award nominee T M Fred Texas, who won by seven lengths.

There were signs throughout the grandstand providing a number to text for information regarding the movement toward slots in Texas. Like Michigan, the state is surrounded by racino-enabled jurisdictions and is suffering because of it. Regardless of where one stands on the issue of slots as a long-term solution to racing’s ailments, it is no stretch of the imagination to say that Sam Houston is one of the most natural fits for adjacent gaming I have seen.

Sam Houston Race Park appears to have grown itself the right way. The fields are as ample as the attendance, the track setup is well-designed and the marketing efforts and fan experience are superb. With an infusion of that sweet, sweet slots money at Sam Houston, there would be no stopping it.

I’m pulling for them. You’ve got to root for a track that works hard.

Behind the jump are photos from the evening at Sam Houston Race Park.

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Catch Me Ridin Dirty named A.R.A.B. of Michigan’s Horse of the Year

The connections of Arabian Horse of the Year Catch Me Ridin Dirty celebrate the gelding's victory at A.R.A.B. of Michigan's High Point Awards.

Two years after a 5 1/2-length maiden score on a June afternoon in 2009, the Arabian colony at Mount Pleasant Meadows is still playing catch-up with Catch Me Ridin Dirty.

The gap got a little wider after Catch Me Ridin Dirty was honored with his second Horse of the Year title at last Saturday’s Michigan Association of Racing Arabian Breeders High Point Awards at Stanton’s Clifford Lake Inn.

The five-year-old Aransas HF gelding, who goes by the barn name “Louie” when away from the racetrack, made the most of a shortened 2010 meet, with wins in three of his four starts for earnings of $7,509.

Catch Me Ridin Dirty’s showcase win came in the July 11 Independence Open, where he led at every point of call and drew off in the stretch to win by 3 3/4 lengths over a muddy course.

Homebred in Michigan and trained by Nicole Holst, Catch Me Ridin Dirty was also named Horse of the Year as a three-year-old in 2009. Holst, who earned Trainer of the Year honors, said her gelding will return in 2011 to defend his title once again.

Jockey of the Year Nate Alcala has ridden Catch Me Ridin Dirty in all 10 of his career starts, all at Mount Pleasant. The pair won eight of those starts, including two in stakes company, to earn $19,134.

Catch Me Ridin Dirty finished the evening with additional awards for top four-year-old male and Michigan-bred male.

Leading the evening’s award-winners was Tom and Joyce Fritz’s Hickory Lane Farms, Inc. The Sidney, Mich. farm took home four equine awards, along with the prizes for top owner and breeder.

The standout horse to run under Hickory Lane’s neon green colors was three-year-old-male of the year Get R Done.

The Virgule Al Maury gelding finished a perfect two-for-two in 2010 by a combined 29 lengths. A 23-length victory in the Aug. 1 Michigan Arabian Juvenile Stakes helped Get R Done earn a Darley Award nomination for champion three-year-old colt or gelding.

Michigan-bred Get R Done is trained by Mario Fritz for owner and breeder Tom Fritz. He has amassed career earnings of $5,150.

Get R Done was a runner-up for Horse of the Year honors, along with Stars and Stripes Distaff winner Shestheone and award-winning older male Zanthus Fury.

Behind the jump is the full list of winners from Saturday’s awards and their 2010 statistics.

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Two Michigan-Breds nominated for Darley Awards

Get R Done and jockey Juan Delgado teamed up for two impressive victories in 2010 to earn the horse a Darley Award nomination.

Michigan will be represented by two Arabian divisional finalists at the upcoming Darley Awards.

Stakes winner Get R Done earned an invitation to the event in the three-year-old colts and geldings division and stakes-placed Ovour The Moon is a finalist for champion four-year-old filly.

The Darley Awards are the Arabian equivalent of Thoroughbred racing’s Eclipse Awards. The winners will be announced Mar. 5 in Houston, Texas.

Get R Done was the uncontested leader of Michigan’s juvenile division during the most recent meet at Mount Pleasant Meadows. He was a perfect two-for-two in 2010 for earnings of $5,150.

Arabian Finish Line magazine reports Get R Done ranked 12th in the nation by 2010 earnings among three-year-old Arabian colts and geldings. Because of their size and speed of development, Arabians do not begin their on-track careers until age three.

Get R Done kicked off his career on July 11, with a six-length victory in his maiden effort. The Virgule Al Maury gelding followed that effort with an emphatic 23-length romp in the Aug. 1 Michigan Arabian Juvenile Stakes.

Get R Done is homebred by Tom Fritz and trained by Mario Fritz. The gelding is also nominated for three year-end awards from Michigan’s Association of Racing Arabian Breeders, including the state’s horse of the year.

Other finalists for champion three-year-old male include multiple G3-placed Ovour The Top, G3 winner Rich Frynchman, stakes winner T M Fred Texas and G3 winner Venom.

Ovour The Moon competed at Arabian racing’s highest levels in 2010 and locked horns with some of the best in the sport.

The four-year-old Nivour De Cardonne filly spent most of her campaign at Delaware Park, arguably the breed’s marquee venue. She also participated in the breed’s highest-profile race in recent memory, the President of the United Arab Emirates Cup Stakes (G1) at Keeneland Race Course.

Trained by John Youngdale and homebred by Kathryn and Paul J. Smoke, Ovour The Moon won two of ten starts in 2010 for earnings of $22,079. She was last year’s third-leading earner among four-year-old females, according to Arabian Finish Line’s figures.

After a pair of unsuccessful tries in maiden company, Ovour The Moon earned her first win against a field of open claimers. A second-place finish in another claiming contest led to an off-the-board finish in the CRE Run Oaks Arabian Distaff Stakes (G2).

Ovour The Moon found the winner’s circle once again in an optional claiming race, following a third place effort in an allowance race. She then made the jump back to stakes company, with a runner-up finish in the Rosebrook Arabian Distaff Turf Handicap. Her year came to a close with a pair of unplaced finishes in the President of the United Arab Emirates Cup and teh Buzz Brauninger Distaff Stakes.

Ovour The Moon’s competition for divisional honors includes stakes winner Burning Fancy, multiple stakes placed Doranikaa, G2 winner Sand Witchh, and multiple stakes winner TM Super Bird.

In related news, Michigan-bred Quarter Horse Cold Cash 123 was a finalist for the American Quarter Horse Association’s Racing Champion two-year-old gelding, which was decided Jan. 12

The Oak Tree Special gelding won the Nov. 28 Southwest Juvenile Championship Stakes (G1) at Zia Park and drew away in the Sept. 6 All-American Juvenile Invitational, the consolation race for the All-American Futurity, after winning his trial race. He finished the year ranked seventh nationally among two-year-olds.

However, Cold Cash 123 did not receive a single vote in his division’s Racing Champion ballot, which was won by multiple track record-setter JLS Mr Bigtime.

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A.R.A.B. of Michigan names finalists for 2010 awards

Catch Me Ridin Dirty and Nate Alcala are strong contenders to defend their respective titles as Michigan's Arabian Horse and Jockey of the Year.

The Association of Racing Arabian Breeders of Michigan has released the list of year-end award nominees from the 2010 Mount Pleasant Meadows meet.

The winners will be decided Jan. 22 during the organization’s awards dinner at the Clifford Lake Inn in Stanton, Mich.. For more information on the dinner, or to make reservations, click here.

Four horses lead all finalists with nominations in three categories a piece. Defending Michigan Arabian Horse of the Year Catch Me Ridin Dirty shares that honor with Michigan Arabian Juvenile Stakes winner Get R Done, Stars and Stripes Distaff winner Shestheone and stakes-placed allowance winner Zanthus Fury. All four horses are finalists for Michigan’s Horse of the Year title.

On the human side of the awards, Nicole Holst leads all nominees as a finalist for champion owner, breeder and trainer.

A list of nominees from each category can be found behind the jump.

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Get R Done demolishes field in Michigan Arabian Juvenile Stakes

2010 Michigan Arabian Juvenile Stakes
Get R Done leaves the field in the distance to win the Michigan Arabian Juvenile Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

If there was any debate about who should own the title as Michigan’s top three-year-old Arabian, Get R Done silenced it with authority, following a 23 length victory in Sunday’s $7,600 Michigan Arabian Juvenile Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The Virgule Al Maury gelding broke well and watched from second as Triple Play SA shot to the lead on the outside. Triple Play SA stretched out her lead as the field passed the grandstand for the first time and led by about three lengths as she headed into the clubhouse turn. Get R Done and Wicked Breeze were the nearest trailers, about a length apart. The leader’s advantage was quickly narrowed in the turn by Get R Done, who was briefly neck and neck with Triple Play SA before leaving his rival behind.

That confrontation was the last time Get R Done would be near a rival until the gallop-out. He stretched out his lead across the backstretch and entered the turn about eight lengths ahead of Triple Play SA and First Kiss HLF. The margin continued to expand throughout the final turn, and Get R Done entered the stretch 20 lengths better than his nearest foe. He continued to pad his lead throughout the stretch and crossed the wire under an easy hand ride from jockey Juan Delgado. Get R Done checked in 23 lengths ahead of the second place finisher, stablemate First Kiss HLF. The runner-up earned his spot by an impressive margin of his own, 11 1/4 lengths in front of Pipers Prime Time.

Get R Done completed the five furlong race with a time of 1:10.86 over a fast dirt surface. He was part of a three-horse entry, along with runner-up First Kiss HLF and fourth place Hot Lava, that left the gates as the post time favorite at 0.90-to-one.

Get R Done was homebred in Michigan by Tom Fritz and trained by Mario Fritz. His lifetime record is now a perfect two-for-two with earnings of $5,150. the Michigan Arabian Juvenile was also Get R Done’s first stakes victory.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

1A – Get R Done (Juan Delgado) 3.80
1 – First Kiss HLF (Jose Beltran) 3.80
3 – Pipers Prime Time (Oscar Delgado)

Five Furlongs
Time: 1:10.86

Get R Done - Juan Delgado
Your winner, Get R Done; Juan Delgado, up.

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Holst, Fritz send many entries in Michigan Arabian Juvenile Stakes

Get R Done's convincing score in his maiden race helped make him the co-morning line favorite in the Michigan Arabian Juvenile Stakes.

Owner Tom Fritz and trainer Nicole Holst will account for a combined seven of the eight entries in Sunday’s $6,000 Michigan Arabian Juvenile Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The marquee race in Michigan for three-year-old Arabians was won last year by eventual Michigan Arabian of the Year Catch Me Ridin Dirty. Sunday’s race will be the first start at five furlongs for each horse in the field.

Like Larry The Cable Guy opening the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Get R Done made a strong first impression on the strength of his six-length debut win on July 11. The Virgule Al Maury gelding quickly took a commanding lead in the maiden special weight race and cantered down the stretch unchallenged under jockey Juan Delgado, who retains the mount. Mario Fritz trains Get R Done for owner Tom Fritz.

First Kiss HLF opened her career with an impressive score of her own, notching a 4 1/4 length win on July 18. The daughter of Chndaka took a similar path to the winner’s circle as her stablemate, Get R Done, with a forwardly placed trip followed by an un-pressured lope down the stretch. Julie Post trains First Kiss HLF for owner Tom Fritz. Jose Beltran will be in the irons for Sunday’s race.

The other part of the Tom Fritz-owned entry is Hot Lava, who is trained by Mario Fritz and did not have a rider at the time final entries were published. Of the remaining riders available in Mount Pleasant’s regular jockey colony, Josh Ritschard is the most likely one to fill the opening.

Also entered is the Nicole Holst-trained Three T Peacock. The TTT Freedom gelding won on July 4 with a 3 1/4 victory, and enters the race off a third place finish on July 18. Tricia Schibik owns Three T Peacock, who will be ridden by Gerardo Garrido.

Holst will send three others to the post in Sunday’s race. Oddsmaker is owned by Lapco Arabians and will be ridden by Nate Alcala. Amanda Keller will ride Holst-owned Wicked Breeze, and Lee Gates will ride Triple Play SA for Tricia Schibik.

Pipers Prime Time is also entered in the Michigan Arabian Juvenile. Julie Post trains the Pipers Pinosh gelding for owner Leon Silber. Oscar Delgado will get the leg up.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. First Kiss HLF / J A Beltran / J Post / 3-5
1A. Get R Done / J F Delgado / M Fritz / 3-5
1C. Hot Lava / No Rider / M Fritz / 3-5
2. Oddsmaker / N Alcala / N Holst / 1-1
2B. Wicked Breeze / A Keller / N Holst / 1-1
2D. Triple Play SA / L Gates / N Holst / 1-1
2X. Three T Peacock / G Garrido  / N Holst / 1-1
3. Pipers Prime Time / O Delgado / J Post / 15-1

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Shestheone clear winner in Stars and Stripes Distaff

Shestheone - Nate Alcala 7@
Shestheone coasts to the wire to win the Stars and Stripes Distaff at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

A convincing turn of foot heading into the final turn carried Shestheone to victory in Sunday’s $6,200 Stars and Stripes Distaff at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The five-year-old K A Czubuthan mare was hustled out of the gate and chased early leader French Fling from second as the field made its first pass in front of the grandstands. French Fling, Shestheone and post time favorite Mi Valentine Dancer drew even heading into the clubhouse turn and dueled for the lead throughout the bend. As they approached the backstretch, Mi Valentine Dancer and Shestheone pulled away from French Fling and opened up six lengths on the rest of the field. Mi Valentine Dancer led by as much as a half length on the outside of Shestheone, but the distance was quickly made up when Shestheone accelerated past her rival heading into the final turn.

Shestheone continued to separate herself from Mi Valentine Dancer and led by five lengths at the top of the stretch. She remained unchallenged and widened her advantage to 9 1/2 lengths at the finish line under jockey Nate Alcala. Mi Valentine Dancer held on for second by 3/4 lengths over late-moving Shezablessing.

The final time for the Stars and Stripes was 1:20.67. Shestheone was the field’s second choice at odds of 1.60-to-one.

Homebred in Texas by Tricia Schibik and also bred by Bruce Schibik, Shestheone is conditioned by Julie Post. The Stars and Stripes was Shestheone’s sixth win from 18 career starts, and her first stakes victory. With the win, her career earnings now total $12,845.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

3 – Shestheone (Nate Alcala) 5.40 / 2.80 / 2.40
4 – Mi Valentine Dancer (Oscar Delgado) 2.40 / 2.20
6 Shezablessing (Juan Delgado) 2.20

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:20.67

Shestheone - Nate Alcala 2
Your winner, Shestheone; Nate Alcala, up.

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Catch Me Ridin Dirty wires field in Independence Open

Catch Me Ridin Dirty - Nate Alcala 19@
Catch Me Ridin Dirty and jockey Nate Alcala come down the stretch to win the Independence Open at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

After a storm blew through the area earlier in the card and turned the racing surface into a mud pit, Catch Me Ridin Dirty stayed tight to the dry rail and led at every call to win Sunday’s $6,500 Independence Open at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The four-year-old Aransas HF gelding was forwardly placed coming out of the gate, with Double Djeopardy and RFR Silver Crescent flanking him on both sides. Catch Me Ridin Dirty and Double Djeopardy quickly distanced themselves about three lengths from the rest of the pack and dueled for the lead heading onto the main track. As the field crossed the wire for the first time, Catch Me Ridin Dirty overtook his rival and moved over to the rail. He held a length and a half advantage over Zanthus Fury, who had come into contention on the outside, heading into the clubhouse turn.

Catch Me Ridin Dirty held a comfortable two-length cushion across the backstretch as Zanthus Fury and Double Djeopardy battled for position behind him. A well-urged Double Djeopardy inched closer to the leader coming out of the final turn, but the Catch Me Ridin Dirty repelled the challenge and was hand-ridden to the wire by jockey Nate Alcala on his way to a 3 3/4 length victory. Double Djeopardy finished two lengths ahead of Zanthus Fury for second place.

Catch Me Ridin Dirty completed the six furlong race in 1:26.58 over a fast dirt surface. He went off as the 0.90-to-one post time favorite.

Homebred in Michigan and trained by Nicole Holst, Catch Me Ridin Dirty improved his career record to seven wins from nine starts, and a perfect two-for-two in stakes company. His effort in the Independence Open increased his earnings to $17,384.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

3 – Catch Me Ridin Dirty (Nate Alcala) 3.80 / / 2.10
2 – Double Djeopardy (Oscar Delgado) 2.10 / 2.10
5 – Zanthus Fury (Juan Delgado) 2.10

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:26.58

Catch Me Ridin Dirty - Nate Alcala 6
Your winner, Catch Me Ridin Dirty; Nate Alcala, up.

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Alcala, Shestheone reunite in Stars and Stripes Distaff

Shestheone and jockey Nate Alcala will try to re-create their past success in Sunday's Stars and Stripes Distaff at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Sometimes a horse and rider just click.

That seems to be the case jockey Nate Alcala and Arabian Shestheone, who will join forces after some time apart in Sunday’s $6,500 Stars and Stripes Distaff at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

A field of six will meet for the Stars and Stripes, a six furlong race for Arabian fillies and mares, three years old and up.

Nate Alcala will have the mount aboard Shestheone for the first time in two races. In their last two starts together, the duo won both races by a combined 19 lengths. The five-year-old K A Czubuthan mare then finished off the board in her next two starts without Alcala. She enters the Stars and Stripes off an unplaced finish in a June 27 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Nicole Holst trains Shestheone for owner Tricia Schibik.

Holst will also saddle Mi Valentine Dancer in the Stars and Stripes. The five-year-old Line Dancer mare owns a win and a runner-up finish at Mount Pleasant after racing in Texas and Colorado in 2009. Her most recent effort was a victory by a head’s margin in a June 20 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Owned by Lapco Arabians, Mi Valentine Dancer wil be ridden by Oscar Delgado.

Also entered is Tom Fritz’s Shezablessing. The five-year-old Baron Pasb mare has registered thirds of all three of her starts in 2010, the most recent coming in a July 4 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Trainer Mario Fritz will give Juan Delgado the leg up aboard Shezablessing on Sunday.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. French Fling / L Gates / T Briggs / 10-1
2. Fly Without Wings / J Ritchards / L A Roberts / 8-1
3. Shestheone / N Alcala / N Holst / 2-1
4. Mi Valentine Dancer / O Delgado / N Holst / 7-5
5. Sey Proofs Lavitra / Q Bernard / T Briggs / 6-1
6. Shezablessing / J F Delgado / M Fritz / 4-1

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