Tag Archives: Frontier Handicap

Dream Victory wins Frontier Handicap

Dream Victory did not let the bullying of Michigan’s older males deter him from his goal, as he pulled the upset in Saturday’s $50,000 Frontier Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The three-year-old Victory Gallop gelding took his time out of the gate as Hot Chili assumed the early lead on the rail, followed closely by Meadow Wise. That pair battled for the lead as the field made its first trip down the stretch and headed into the turn, followed about a length behind by post time favorite Perfect Start and Bipolar Express. Hot Chili put a length on Meadow Wise through the first bend, but that margin was quickly made up entering the backstretch. The leader was soon out of run and Meadow Wise took the lead, a length over a dueling Perfect Start and Bipolar Express, after a half mile of :49.67.

As the field headed into the final turn, Meadow Wise was in front by a length and a half over Bipolar Express, Perfect Start and Romeo Again, who had come into contention on the outside. Romeo Again led the charge as the trio tried to swallow up the leader, but Meadow Wise repelled them through the turn and still held a length’s advantage coming into the home stretch.

Meanwhile, a swarm of late closers, who had been a double-digit number of lengths behind heading into the turn, began to mount their charge together on the outside. That group, consisting of Dream Victory, Meadow Vespers and Power of Titus moved neck-and-neck several paths off the rail and picked off the early challengers. With about an eighth of a mile to go, the closers approached the leaders. As they came down the stretch, Romeo Again lugged out into Power of Titus. This, in turn pinched Dream Victory into Meadow Vespers on the outside. Despite the interference, Dream Victory managed to stay on course and surged to the lead with under a hundred yards to go.

Dream Victory emerged at the wire a half length ahead under urging from jockey Jose Delgado. Behind him was a tightly bunched group of four horses led by Meadow Vespers, who took the runner-up spot by a nose over Power of Titus. Meadow Wise was a neck behind in fourth.

Dream Victory stopped the clock in the mile and one eighth race in 1:54.61 over a sealed muddy surface. He rewarded his backers with the field’s third biggest price at 18.60-to-one.

James Jackson saddled Dream Victory for owners Gene and Phyllis Gilmore. With the win in the Frontier, Dream Victory improved his lifetime record to five wins from 21 career starts and his first score in stakes company. His career earnings now total $87,330.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

9 – Dream Victory (Jose Delgado) 39.20 / 20.60 / 11.20
11 – Meadow Vespers (Alvaro Hernandez-Lopez) 6.00 / 4.80
10 – Power of Titus (Octavio Bernal) 8.60

One mile and one eighth
Time: 1:54.61

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Top finishers in Michigan Breeders’ Cup meet again in Frontier Handicap

The horses of Michigan’s older males division will have one more opportunity to prove themselves before October’s Sire Stakes race in Saturday’s $50,000 Frontier Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Eleven Michigan-breds will contest the mile and one eighth Frontier; the largest stakes field the division has produced during the 2010 meet at Pinnacle. Last year’s running was taken by All I Can Get.

Romeo Again found the winner’s circle in the last stakes meeting of the older males division, with a driving half length score in the Aug. 14 Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap. The four-year-old Secret Romeo gelding has shown a preference for longer distances, having only missed the board once in six career races at a mile or longer. However, this will be Romeo Again’s first start at a mile and an eighth. Regular rider Federico Mata retains the mount for owners Lisa Campbell and II B’s Thoroughbreds. Romeo Again is trained by Patrick White.

Also entered is Michigan Breeders’ Cup runner-up Perfect Start. The four-year-old Jump Start colt has finished second in both of his stakes attempts at Pinnacle, having also missed by a head in the July 3 Wolverine Stakes. Perfect Start will be saddled by Sandra Adkins for owner Charlie J Williams LLC. Christian Pilares comes north from Ohio to take the mount.

Power of Titus will try to build on his recent stakes success by testing his skill against the older males division. The three-year-old Secret Romeo gelding has spent his 2010 campaign bouncing between Pinnacle and Mountaineer in West Virginia. He enters the Frontier off a length and a quarter win against his fellow Michigan-bred three-year-olds in the Sept. 4 Mackinac Handicap at Pinnacle. Octavio Bernal will have the riding assignment aboard Power of Titus for owner and trainer Del Waite.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Hot Chili / W P Rini / J R Jackson / 15-1
2. Perfect Start / C P Pilares / S M Adkins / 4-1
3. Scrimpy / L M Quinones / J R Jackson / 20-1
4. Fiery Lake / R Barrios / J Gold / 5-1
5. Romeo Again / F Mata / P L White / 7-2
6. Bishop Casey / T Molina / R M Gorham / 9-2
7. Bipolar Express / R D Allen, Jr. / G S Bennett / 10-1
8. Meadow Wise / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 8-1
9. Dream Victory / J J Delgado / J R Jackson / 15-1
10. Power Of Titus / O Bernal / L R Uelmen / 12-1
11. Meadow Vespers / A Hernandez-Lopez / R J Rettele / 20-1

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Juvenile favorites hold, veterans upset in Michigan Breeders Championships

Hustle Now hustles in the stretch to win Sickle’s Image Stakes


Hustle Now (7) pulls away from Top Touch (1) to prevail in the Sickle’s Image Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

Hustle Now took charge at the top of the stretch and held off the begrudging early leader to take Saturday’s $50,000 Sickle’s Image Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The two-year-old Creative filly watched from third on the outside hip of Q Ginger Snap as Top Touch shot to the lead from the inside post. Top Touch held a 1 1/4 length advantage after the first quarter mile as Hustle Now moved into contention. That advantage was whittled down to a half length as the lead duo entered the turn. Hustle Now continued to close the gap on the outside and entered the stretch with a head in front.

Top Touch refused to waver after being passed and continued to pressure the leader throughout the stretch, but she could not regain her advantage. Hustle Now began to separate from her rival in the final furlong and crossed the finish 1 1/4 lengths in front under a right hand whip by Angel Stanley. Creative Lite turned in a ground saving third place effort 5 1/2 lengths behind Top Touch.

Hustle Now completed the six furlong race in 1:14.13 over a fast surface. She was the second choice at two-to-one behind post time favorite Top Touch.

Homebred in Michigan by Sheffield Farms, Hustle Now is conditioned by Larry Uelmen. Hustle Now improved her career record to two wins from three starts. The Farer Belle Lee was Hustle Now’s first stakes victory. Her career earnings now total $40,208.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

7 – Hustle Now (Angel Stanley) 6.00 / 3.40 / 3.60
1 – Top Touch (Federico Mata) 3.80 / 3.40
2  – Creative Lite (Alexis Ortiz) 5.20

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:14.13


Your winner, Hustle Now; Angel Stanley, up.

Recaps of rest of Saturday’s stakes action from Pinnacle Race Course can be found behind the jump. Just click the link below to see more.

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Michigan Breeders’ Championships Preview: Older Horses

Key divisional matchup in Farer Belle Lee Handicap

Wave Pool is one of two horses entered by trainer Ronnie Allen, Sr. and owner Lisa Campbell in Saturday's Farer Belle Lee Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Wave Pool is one of two horses entered by trainer Ronnie Allen, Sr. and owner Lisa Campbell in Saturday's Farer Belle Lee Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Heading into this year, it looked like Michigan’s older females division would be a fairly safe bet for last year’s champion, Valley Loot to repeat. Though Valley Loot has had stakes success elsewhere in 2009, Yawm Estoora has staked her own claim to the title by taking both three-year-old and up stakes races for fillies and mares at Pinnacle Race Course.

The pair will face off for what will likely be the last time this year in Saturday’s $50,000 Farer Belle Lee Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The defending champion older female, as well as Michigan Thoroughbred of the Year, Valley Loot has earned most of her credentials this year outside of Michigan. The five-year-old Demaloot Demashoot mare’s lone start at Pinnacle in 2009, the June 27 Larkspur Handicap, saw her get hung wide the entire race on her way to a third place finish behind Yawm Estoora. Elsewhere, Valley Loot won the June 16 Golden Sylvia Handicap at Mountaineer and finished third in the July 25 Windward Stakes at Presque Isle Downs. Last year, Valley Loot won the Farer Belle Lee by a convincing 7 1/2 length margin. She enters this year’s installment off a fifth place finish in a Sep. 2 optional claimer at Presque Isle. Valley Loot is owned by Lisa Campbell and trained by Ronnie Allen, Sr.. Federico Mata will be in the irons on Saturday.

Valley Loot’s primary challenger to the title is Yawm Estoora. The six-year-old Dayjur mare holds a one-to-nothing head-to-head advantage against Valley Loot at Pinnacle this year, after beating her by 2 1/2 lengths in the Larkspur. Because Dayjur is not a Michigan-based sire, Yawm Estoora is not eligible for October’s Sire Stakes. This will be the last opportunity she will get for stakes competition at Pinnacle this year, and a chance to sweep the defending champion in Michigan stakes races for 2009. Yawm Estoora enters the race off a dominant 4 1/4 length victory in the Aug. 8 Moonbeam Handicap at Pinnacle. Angel Stanley will be in the saddle for owner Twin Cedars Farm and trainer Ron Inman.

Also entered is Valley Loot’s stablemate Wave Pool. The four-year-old Sea Legs filly, one of last year’s leading three-year-old females, enters Saturday’s race off a runner-up finish in an Aug. 22 Allowance race at Pinnacle. Wave Pool is trained by Ronnie Allen, Sr. for owner Lisa Campbell. Rick Knott will pick up the mount for the race.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Wave Pool / R L Knott / R D Allen, Sr. / 6-1
2. Glory Bea / A A Marin / J A Lewis / 20-1
3. Moon Charmer / G Laurente / R M Gorham / 10-1
4. Twilighted Thistle / A Ortiz / R Spiess / 20-1
5. Nell’s Enjoyment / JJ Delgado / S M Spiess / 8-1
6. Valley Loot / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 8-5
7. She Could Be Good / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 5-1
8. Yawm Estoora / A O Stanley / R P Inman / 3-1

Meadow Vespers looks to begin stakes streak in Frontier Handicap

Michigan's defending champion older male, Meadow Vespers, will try for a second straight stakes victory in Saturday's Frontier Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Michigan's defending champion older male, Meadow Vespers, will try for a second straight stakes victory in Saturday's Frontier Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Like his running style, Meadow Vespers’ typical campaign through any given year is a slow burn, with respectable finishes working their way toward a big victory in the Sire Stakes. So far, that method has netted him four consecutive Sire Stakes wins.

That is why it is so surprising to see last year’s champion older male in a position to enter October’s major contest riding a two-race stakes wining streak, should he prevail in Saturday’s $50,000 Frontier Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

As previously mentioned, Meadow Vespers enters the Frontier off a deep-closing 1/2 length victory in the Aug. 15 Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Pinnacle. The seven-year-old Meadow Prayer gelding missed by a nose to Rockem Sockem in last year’s installment of the Frontier. Richard Rettele trains Meadow Prayer for owner J Mack Enterprise Inc. JJ Delgado will be in the saddle for Saturday’s race.

Fiery Lake surprised the field and the bettors when he pulled a 17.60-to-one upset in the July 4 Wolverine Stakes at Pinnacle. The four-year-old Devil His Due gelding drove off to a 4 3/4 length victory in that race, five lengths ahead of Meadow Vespers, who finished third. The rivals are tied in their head-to head matchup for 2009 with a win each. Fiery Lake enters the Frontier off a fourth place finish in the Michigan Breeders’ Cup to Meadow Vespers. Evelyn Griffin trains Fiery Lake for owner Samaron Stable. Ricardo Barrios will have the assignment.

Also entered is Michigan Breeders’ Cup runner-up All I Can Get. The five-year-old Slew City Slew gelding returns to Pinnacle after a road trip to Thistledown, where he finished second by a neck to Hot Chili in an Aug. 29 allowance race. Hot Chili is also entered in Saturday’s race. Federico Mata will ride All I Can Get for owner Michael McQuade and trainer Gerald Bennett.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Bishop Casey / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 6-1
2. Fiery Lake / R Barrios / E Griffin / 4-1
3. Born to Tango / A Ortiz / J R Jackson / 20-1
4. Al’s Best Man / L R Frazzitta, Jr. / R J Richardson / 20-1
5. Meadow Vespers / J J Delgado / R J Rettele / 2-1
6. Candid Image / M Ccamaque / L E Boggess / 15-1
7. All I Can Get / F Mata / G S Bennett / 5-1
8. Hot Chili / A O Stanley / J R Jackson / 9-2
9. Hooched Express / L Wade / C Dorris / 12-1


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