Tag Archives: Hez Flyin With Class

Stakes action across Michigan

Peak of the Storm till look to win her second straight stakes race in Saturday's Ann Arbor Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

Peak of the Storm will look to keep her stakes success going in Saturday's Ann Arbor Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

Skyline Star makes ’09 stakes debut in Ann Arbor Stakes

Last year’s Michigan juvenile filly of the year, Skyline Star, will take her first step toward defending her title as the crop’s top female in Saturday’s $20,000 Ann Arbor Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The three-year-old Meadow Prayer filly won last year’s juvenile fillies division of the Michigan Sire Stakes and finished second in two other blacktype efforts en route to her division’s top honors. She enters the one mile Ann Arbor off a June 30 allowance win at Pinnacle, her lone start this year.

Skyline Star is owned by Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC and trained by Robert Gorham. Jeffrey Skerrett will get the leg up in the Ann Arbor.

After a win in the June 20 Regret Stakes, Peak of the Storm will try to solidify her own credentials with a second straight stakes victory. The Peaks and Valleys filly comes off a second place finish in a July 13 allowance race  at Pinnacle against older company. She is owned by Richard Hammer and trained by Larry Penner. Peak of the Storm will be ridden by Rick Knott in the Ann Arbor.

Also entered is multiple stakes-placed Hakuna Matata. Owned by White Lake Farms, Inc. and trained by Larry Uelmen, the Meadow Prayer filly enters the race off a third place finish in a July 20 allowance race at Pinnacle. Angel Stanley gets the assignment.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Skyline Star / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 5-2
1A. Moon Charmer / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 5-2
2. Flint / J J Delgado / J R Jackson / 15-1
3. Hakuna Matata / A O Stanley / L R Uelmen / 4-1
4. Peak of the Storm / R L Knott / L Penner / 7-2
5. Susie’s Prayer / I R Gonzalez / G S Bennett / 6-1
6. Baba Booyah / R Barrios / R M Gorham / 9-2
7. The Girl Rolls / F Mata / J R Jackson / 10-1

Senorita Tres will likely be sent off as a heavy favorite in Sunday's Midwest Maturity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Senorita Tres will likely be sent off as the heavy favorite in Sunday's Midwest Maturity Challenge at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Senorita Tres headlines Midwest Maturity Challenge

Whoever coined the phrase “the right horse for the course” clearly had Senorita Tres in mind. 

In her three-year racing career, Senorita Tres has won 10 races in 12 starts at Mount Pleasant Meadows. With a rate of success like that, it is not hard to understand why the four-year-old Tres Seis filly is pegged as the morning line favorite in Sunday’s $21,000 Midwest Maturity Challenge.

Senorita Tres added to her trophy case in her previous start with a win in the July 5 Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Carol Rettele trains Senorita Tres for Walter Harrison. Regular rider Richard Rettele retains the mount in the 350 yard race.

Last year’s Midwest Maturity winner, Hez Flyin With Class, will look to defend his title in Sunday’s race. The six-year-old Strawflyin Buds gelding won the May 24 Spring Sprint Handicap at Mount Pleasant and enters the Midwest Maturity off a third place effort in the Don Boyd Handicap.

Hez Flyin With Class is owned by Ivy Lane Racing and trained by Renee Wilson. Mike Holmes will be in the saddle.

Also entered is June 21 Michigan-Bred Derby winner Mood for a Dash. The three-year-old Dashin Chico filly is a perfect three-for-three at Mount Pleasant Meadows and comes off a second place finish in the July 18 Bluegrass Derby at the Red Mile. Lee Gates will ride Mood for a Dash for owner Christine Tavares and trainer Anthony Cunningham.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Hez Flyin With Class / M Holmes / R Wilson / 2-1
1A. Rio Rojo Jess / N Alcala / R Wilson / 2-1
2. Hez Fastforthecash / J D Williams / C Rettele / 6-1
3. Streakin Joe 123 / A Keller / J Hall / 8-1
4. Senorita Tres / R Rettele / C Rettele / 3-5
5.  Mood For a Dash / L Gates / A F Cunningham / 4-1

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Fiery Lake upsets, Senorita Tres dominates

Longshot Fiery Lake burns field in Wolverine

Fiery Lake shocked a field flush with past Michigan champions to win Saturday’s $50,000 Wolverine Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The four-year-old Devil His Due gelding patiently watched front-runner Weatherstorm open up a large lead from second before reeling in his rival throughout the turn. He then pulled away in the stretch to win the six furlong race by 4 3/4 lengths under a steady driving finish by jockey J.J Delgado. Fiery Lake covered the distance in 1:11.51 at odds of 17.60-to-one.

Second through fourth places were tightly contested, each separated by a neck. Demagoguery held off last year’s champion older male Meadow Vespers, making his usual late charge, for the place money. Lil Perfect Storm finished fourth. 

Pacesetter Weatherstorm faded back to ninth after setting the half mile fraction at 46.16 seconds and leading by as many as 3 1/2 lengths in the early goings. Post time favorite Bipolar Express turned in an even fifth place effort at odds of 1.80-to-one. 

Fiery Lake is owned by Samaron Stable and trained by Evelyn Griffin. He was bred in Michigan by Pat Scanlon. Fiery Lake improved his career record to four wins from 15 starts with his victory in the Wolverine. His career earnings increased to $86,055. The Wolverine was Fiery Lake’s first career stakes win, as well as his first win of 2009.

For a chart of the race, click here.

7 – Fiery Lake (J.J. Delgado) 37.20 / 22.00 / 5.00
6 – Demagoguery (Godofredo Laurente) 10.20 / 4.40
9  – Meadow Vespers (Ivan Gonzalez) 2.80

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:11.51 

It seems I don’t have any pictures of the winner in my archives this week, either. I only had gas for one trip to Pinnacle this weekend and Mrs. Murphy’s start on Friday won out. What’s the deal with all these horses I’ve never seen in person winning stakes races, anyway?

Senorita Tres rolls in Don Boyd Handicap

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Senorita Tres (4) holds off a challenge from Rio Rojo Jess (2) to win the Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

When a horse is the class of the field, the jockey’s whip can become more of an ornament than a tool of encouragement.

Such was the case in Sunday’s $21,500 Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap at Mount Pleasant Meadows, when jockey Richard Rettele only needed three or four strokes of the whip before handriding Senorita Tres to the win by a neck. Senorita Tres left the gates as the 1.30-to-one favorite.

The four-year-old Tres Seis filly broke cleanly and took a small advantage heading into the stretch. That lead grew slightly, then shrunk back as Senorita Tres outlasted a late-gaining Rio Rojo Jess to win the 350-yard race in 17.730 seconds on a fast track. Rio Rojo Jess’ Ivy Lane stablemate Hez Flyin With Class finished 1 1/4 lengths behind for third.

Senorita Tres is homebred in Michigan by Walter R. Harrison and trained by Carol Rettele. The win boosted her career record to sixteen wins from 21 starts and increased her lifetime earnings to $121,432.

For a chart of the race, click here.

4 – Senorita Tres (Richard Rettele) 4.60 / 6.60 / 2.60
2 – Rio Rojo Jess (Nate Alcala) 5.60 / 3.20
2B – Hez Flyin With Class (Oscar Delgado) 5.60 / 3.20

350 Yards
Time: 17.730 seconds

Photobucket
Your winner, Senorita Tres; Richard Rettele, up.

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Weekend stakes action at Pinnacle & Mount Pleasant

Four-time Sire Stakes winner Meadow Vespers begins his stakes campaign toward a fifth in Saturday's Wolverine Handicap. Ivan Gonzalez, pictured above, will retain the mount.

Four-time Sire Stakes winner Meadow Vespers begins his stakes campaign toward a fifth in Saturday's Wolverine Handicap. Ivan Gonzalez, pictured above, will retain the mount.

Wolverine Handicap

Michigan’s stakes scene is nothing new for Meadow Vespers.

The seven-year-old Meadow Prayer gelding has been a mainstay in the state’s top ranks since his Sire Stakes-winning two-year-old campaign at Great Lakes Downs.

Four straight Sire Stakes victories later, Meadow Vespers will begin his march toward a fifth Fall Showcase win in Saturday’s $50,000 Wolverine Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Last year’s champion older male enters the six furlong Wolverine off a deep closing June 6 allowance win at Pinnacle in his first start since last October’s Sire Stakes. In the allowance effort, he beat many of the rivals he will face on Sunday, including Demagoguery, Hot Chili, and Weatherstorm, who finished second through fourth respectively. 

Meadow Vespers is owned by J. Mack Enterprise, Inc. and trained by Richard Rettele. Regular rider Ivan Gonzalez will be in the saddle.

The 2008 Sire Stakes winner in the three-year-old male division is also entered Saturday. Bipolar Express, a four-year-old Equality gelding, comes off a third place effort in a June 16 optional claimer at Mountaineer. He is owned by Gene and Phyllis Gilmore and trained by Gerald Bennett. Faith Schorr comes in from Presque Isle Downs to take the mount.

Stepping up to face older foes is three-year-old Juggle. The Elusive Hour colt comes off a win in the June 13 Lansing Stakes at Pinnacle against fellow three-year-olds. Juggle is one of three horses entered in the Wolverine by owner Mast Thoroughbreds LLC and trainer Robert Gorham.

Despite coming off a stakes victory, a rider was not named for Juggle at the time the race drew. Pinnacle-based jockeys without a mount in the Wolverine include Wilkin Ortiz, Lizetta Cedeno, Glenmore Mayhew and Leonard Frazzitta, Jr.. A visiting rider from another track could be a possibility as well.

Here are the entries for Saturday’s race…

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Bishop Casey / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 15-1
2. Hot Chili / R Barrios / J R Jackson / 8-1
3. Lil Perfect Storm / R L Knott / D D Waite / 20-1
4. It’s a Ego Thing / A O Stanley / R R Russell / 7-2
5. Bipolar Express / F Schorr / G S Bennett / 5-1
6. Demagoguery / G Laurente / G S Bennett / 15-1
7. Fiery Lake / J J Delgado / E Griffin / 15-1
8. All I Can Get / F Mata / G S Bennett / 8-1
9. Meadow Vespers / I R Gonzalez / R J Rettele / 2-1
10. Juggle / No Rider / R M Gorham / 15-1
11. Weatherstorm / A A Marin / R M Gorham / 12-1

Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap

Perennial Mount Pleasant Meadows favorite Senorita Tres will again likely be the people's choice in Sunday's Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap. Richard Rettele will be in the irons.

Perennial Mount Pleasant Meadows favorite Senorita Tres will again likely be the people's choice in Sunday's Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap. Richard Rettele will be in the irons.

After successful campaigns at ages two and three, Senorita Tres will look to continue her dominance in year cuatro in Sunday’s $18,000 Don Boyd Memorial Challenge Handicap at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The four-year-old Tres Seis filly enters the 350-yard race off a third place effort in the Indiana Downs Classic Stakes on May 23 at Indiana Downs. Owned by Walter Harrison and trained by Carol Rettele, Senorita Tres will be ridden by Richard Rettele.

Also entered is MPM Spring Stakes winner Hez Flyin With Class. Owned by Ivy Lane Racing and trained by Renee Wilson, the six-year-old Strawflyin Buds gelding found the winner’s circle in his last start at Mount Pleasant Meadows, winning the May 24 Spring Sprint by a half length.

Hez Flyin With Class is the second part of an entry with fellow Ajax Downs-based Ivy Lane horse Rio Rojo Jess. The five-year-old Feature Mr Jess gelding (a paint!) will be ridden by Nate Alcala. 

Here are the entries for Sunday’s race…

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Shakem Otis 123 / L Gates / J Hall / 6-1
1A. Streakin Joe 123 / J Veltman / J Hall / 6-1
2. Rio Rojo Jess / N Alcala / R Wilson / 4-1
2B. Hez Flyin With Class / O Delgado / R Wilson / 4-1
3. Doc Holiday 123 / J F Delgado / A F Cunningham / 10-1
4. Senorita Tres / R Rettele / C Rettele / 7-5
5. Bye Bye Cartel / A Keller / N Bishop / 12-1

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Spring Fling at Mount Pleasant Meadows

 Jockey Nate Alcala shows off one his whips to the crowd during Mount Pleasant Meadows' Spring Fling event prior to the day's races.

Jockey Nate Alcala shows off one his whips to the crowd during Mount Pleasant Meadows' Spring Fling event prior to the day's races.

After a week where bad news seemed to come in from Lansing on a daily basis, last Sunday brought a welcome bit of diversion.

Mount Pleasant Meadows held its Spring Fling event in the reserved section of the grandstand to introduce fans to the sport and the people behind it.

The event featured members of the track’s staff telling the crowd of about 50 about their jobs and what happens behind the scenes at the central Michigan track. Guests were also given a tutorial on how to read a racing program and place bets.

The day began with Great Lakes Quarter Horse Association Vice President Carolyn Bay describing what goes into a racehorse’s feed bin (with baggies of trail mix as examples!) before yielding the floor to her husband, track president Walter Bay, who welcomed everyone to the event.

A notable person in attendance was State Representative Bill Caul, and I believe Rep. Tim Moore was in the crowd as well. With so much of Michigan’s racing’s future resting in the State Legislature’s hands, it was nice to see members of Congress appearing at events like this. Hopefully they walked away from the event realizing how important the industry is to the state and will encourage their fellow congressmen and women to work toward aiding the efforts to keep racing alive in Michigan.

After the introduction, the track’s employees were given their time to talk to the audience and answer their questions. Speakers included:

– Racing Secretary/Announcer Robert “Butch” Berryhill
– State Steward Billy Lee Williams
– Starter Bob Williams
– Paddock Judge Jolene Sweet
– Clerk of Scales Randy Dunlop
– Mutuel Manager Chris Christensen
– Tattooer Ryan Maxum
– Jockey Nate Alcala

After the presentations, the crowd was taken down to the track where Alcala was saddling a former racehorse spending its retirement as a stable pony. The starting gates were brought in front of the grandstands  and after a brief warm-up trot, the horse and jockey were loaded and left the gates similar to a workout.

Once the horse was unsaddled, the group was brought out on to the track to get a closer look at the gates. As I made my way through the winner’s circle and out onto the racing surface, I realized I have spent more time standing on the dirt at Churchill Downs than I have at the track closest to my home. I doubt this was as much a security issue as much as it was just never having a need to be out there. Regardless, I picked up a handful of the sandy loam surface and kicked myself for not having a storage container in my possession. Someday…

After the gate demonstration, newcomers to the game were treated to a handicapping tutorial, decoding the past performances and the various ways to place a wager.

At the end of the event, guests were each given $2 vouchers for the day’s races (which for me went promptly back into the track’s bank account on my way to an absolute beating at the windows).

In terms of drawing in new fans and educating them on the sport, this is exactly what the track needed to do. It was a great way to showcase the facility, and the free program and voucher gave visitors a reason to stick around and get excited about the upcoming races after getting the rundown on how to bet. The crowd may have been a bit smaller than I would have liked to have seen, but things like this will turn newcomers into repeat customers and generate good word of mouth. If this becomes an annual event, I expect the number of attendees to double next year. If I’m still around, I’ll sure be there. Whoever came up with the idea deserves praise.

Here are a few scenes from the Spring Fling and the races afterward…

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