Tag Archives: James Jackson

A Midwest Thoroughbred double feature

I have a pair of stories in the latest news cycle of The Midwest Thoroughbred magazine.

The print edition features a preview story for the upcoming meet at Indiana Downs. The Shelbyville, Ind. track had a banner year in 2010, and faces the unique challenge of keeping that positive momentum going. To find out how they plan to do it, I spoke to racing secretary Raymond “Butch” Cook and trainer Randy Klopp, who is also president of the Indiana HBPA.

Click here to read my preview of the 2011 Indiana Downs meet.

On the publication’s website, I have a feature on Michigan’s breeding industry. The story discusses the impact the state’s flagging business has had on its breeding operations, and highlights five of its top stallions. To get some insight on Michigan’s breeding industry I spoke to Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association president Patti Dickinson, trainer/breeder James Jackson, McMaster Farm manager Dan Boik and breeder EJ Hubel.

Click here to read my story on Michigan’s breeding industry.

Also, if you’ll notice on page six, I have been added to the publication’s masthead as a contributing editor. I’m honored to be part of the team.

This is not the first time I have had work published in The Midwest Thoroughbred. Back in September, I interviewed jockey and trainer Richard Rettele for the magazine’s “Jockey Shorts” section.

The Midwest Thoroughbred is a fantastic publication for readers interested in horse racing in the region, and the effect its native sons and daughters have on the national scene. Though the magazine focuses its coverage on the business in Illinois and Indiana, it frequently covers topics pertaining to racing in surrounding states, including Michigan, Ohio, Iowa and Kentucky.

The publication is getting better with every issue, and is definitely worth the time to check out. And I’m not just saying that because I write for them. The feature writing is creative, entertaining and covers topics that the national publications may overlook.

I’d like to thank The Midwest Thoroughbred for having me on board, and I look forward to working together in the future.

If you like what you see, click here to subscribe to The Midwest Thoroughbred.


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Valient Tenobob nominated to Triple Crown

Michigan-bred Valient Tenobob is one of 364 early nominees for the prestigious Triple Crown races.

The series for three-year-old Thoroughbreds includes the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs, the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course and the Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.

The dark bay or brown Service Stripe colt is trained by James Jackson for owners Red Riding Hood Stable (George & Chrissy Kutlenios) and Laura Jackson. Valient Tenobob was also bred by James and Laura Jackson.

Valient Tenobob is the first Triple Crown nominee born in Michigan since Hot Chili, another Jackson trainee, was made eligible for the races in 2008.

Valient Tenobob went three-for-three in 2010 for earnings of $48,222.

He broke his maiden on Sept. 4 at Pinnacle Race Course with a five-wide rally to prevail by a length. Valient Tenobob then traveled to West Virginia to follow up with a 2 3/4-length allowance score at Mountaineer.

After that race, Valient Tenobob was nominated to the Oct. 31 Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, but instead returned to Pinnacle to compete in the Oct. 30 Michigan Futurity. Despite an erratic trip, Valient Tenobob exploded in the stretch to win by seven lengths.

Valient Tenobob has not raced since the Michigan Futurity and, according to Equibase, he has not posted a workout in the last 60 days. Check back for further updates on Valient Tenobob’s journey down the Derby trail.

For a complete list of the 2011 Triple Crown nominees, click here.


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Meadow Magic named MTOBA’s 2010 Horse of the Year

The connections of Michigan Horse of the Year Meadow Magic celebrate their victory with MTOBA president Patti Dickinson.

Meadow Magic took his place among Michigan’s elite after earning Horse of the Year honors at Sunday’s Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association year-end awards dinner.

The three-year-old Meadow Prayer gelding punched his ticket on the strength of his wins in this year’s Dowling Stakes and Michigan Sire Stakes, along with finishes on the board in the Mackinac Handicap and Lansing Stakes, all at Pinnacle Race Course. He was the only horse to win multiple stakes races during Pinnacle’s 2010 meet.

Meadow Magic is owned by Laura Jackson and Red Riding Hood Stable, the nom de race of George and Chrissy Kutlenios. He resides in the barn of trainer James Jackson. Those connections celebrated another award earlier in afternoon when Paris Prayer was named champion two-year-old filly.

Arnold Farm, perennially successful at the year-end awards, had another strong showing in 2010. The Hillsdale Mich. farm accounted for four trophies on the afternoon, including Breeder of the Year. Co-Stallion of the Year Meadow Prayer, who stood at Arnold Farm, sired the most award-winners in 2010, with three divisional champions, as well as the horse of the year.

Also taking home their fair share of awards was Owner of the Year Mast Thoroughbreds, who earned honors in both older horse divisions.

On a personal note, I took home my usual awesome haul in the silent auction. I came home with box seats and a dinner package from Arlington Park (got this last year and it was awesome), a gift basket from Hoosier Park and an American Racing Manual from 1972.

As one of the people who helped broker donations for the silent auction, I would like to personally thank Arabian Finish Line Magazine, Midwest Thoroughbred Magazine, Hoosier Park, ThoroFan and Hello Race Fans for their generosity. Others who donated include publications Thoroughbred Times, Blood Horse and Daily Racing Form; information services Equineline and BRISNet; racing organizations Breeders’ Cup and NTRA; stallion farms Adena Springs, Darley America, Hill ‘n Dale Farm and Winstar Farm; and many more, including contributions by several MTOBA members.

One final note related to the silent auction – The Zenyatta Breyer Christmas ornament is easily the Tickle-Me-Elmo of the 2010 holiday season. Its combination of low supply, high demand and the white-hot popularity of its subject make it a coveted item. There was one offered in the silent auction, and it did not take long for it to surpass its Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. For those that seek it, I can only wish them good luck on their journey.

For a list of all the nominees and winners from the 2010 MTOBA year-end awards, click the link below.

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Valient Tenobob raw but effective in Michigan Futurity

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

One Mile
Time: 1:45.23


Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races

Meadow Magic rallies in three-year-old males Sire Stakes

Meadow Magic became the first horse to win multiple stakes races during Pinnacle Race Course’s 2010 meet in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sire Stakes for three-year-old colts and geldings.

The Meadow Prayer gelding broke from the outside gate and ran in fourth behind leader Secrets Only as the field made its first pass by the finish line. Secrets Only ran well off the rail heading into the first turn with a length advantage over Prince Of Paulie. The leader continued to stay off the rail and added an additional half length to his lead heading into the backstretch. Prince of Paulie continued to chase the leader across the straightaway, two lengths ahead of Meadow Magic in third. Secrets Only entered the final turn two lengths in front.

The margins remained unchanged at the top of the stretch, but the pack began to reel in the leader as they passed the eighth pole. Meadow Magic assumed the lead on the outside with Prince Of Paulie coming along between the leader and a fading Secrets Only. Under steady urging from jockey Tommy Molina, Meadow Magic crossed the finish line for a 3 1/2 length victory. A late-moving Power Of Titus edged out Prince Of Paulie by a head for the runner-up spot.

Meadow Magic crossed the wire in the mile and one sixteenth race in 1:48.92 over a fast dirt surface. He was the field’s second choice at 1.50-to-0ne.

A Michigan-bred from the farm of Marilyn McMaster, Meadow Magic was sent to the post by trainer James Jackson for owners Laura Jackson and Red Riding Hood Stables LLC. The Sire Stakes was his fourth win from eleven starts and his second stakes score. With the win, his career earnings now total $85,860.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

7 – Meadow Magic (Tommy Molina) 5.00 / 2.40 / 2.80
1 – Power Of Titus (Octavio Bernal) 2.40 / 2.10
5 – Prince Of Paulie (Ronald Allen, Jr.) 2.80

One Mile and One Sixteenth
Time: 1:48.92

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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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Paris Prayer explodes down stretch in Sickle’s Image Stakes

Paris Prayer established herself as the early leader of Michigan’s two-year-old fillies division with a driving late move down the stretch to win Saturday’s $50,000 Sickle’s Image Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The Meadow Prayer filly broke at a leisurely pace as Germs took the early advantage. The leader was quickly overtaken by Evil Secret, with Harlan Trace and Going For More in close pursuit across the backstretch. Evil Secret held a head’s advantage over Going For More as the field entered the final turn. Germs moved back up on the outside to challenge the leaders and exited the bend in front.

Meanwhile, Paris Prayer prepared to complete the execution of a six-wide move from second-to-last to the front. Paris Prayer drew even with Germs at the quarter pole and carried on past that rival under left handed urging by jockey Tommy Molina. She was ridden out to win the Sickle’s Image by 5 1/4 lengths. Germs carried on to finish second, a half length ahead of Ittybittyprayer.

Paris Prayer completed the six furlong race in 1:14.06 over a fast dirt surface. She was the post time favorite in the Sickle’s Image at odds of 2.10-to-one.

Paris Prayer was bred in Michigan by James Arnold, Marcia Arnold and Deb Miley. She was saddled by trainer James Jackson for owners Laura Jackson and Red Riding Hood Racing Stable LLC.

The Sickle’s Image improved Paris Prayer’s record to a perfect two-for-two, including her first victory in stakes company. Her career earnings now total $37,080.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

7 – Paris Prayer (Tommy Molina) 6.20 / 5.40 / 3.40
5 – Germs (Jose Delgado) 12.80 / 9.00
3 – Ittybittyprayer (Alvaro Hernandez-Lopez) 6.40

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:14.06


Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races

Loaded Jackson barn heads up Patrick Wood Stakes

Trainer James Jackson’s stable is not lacking for promising two-year-olds, including the three he will saddle in Sunday’s $50,000 Patrick Wood Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

A field of eight Michigan-bred juveniles will compete in the six furlong race. The 2009 Patrick Wood was won by Prince of Paulie.

A pair of Jackson’s horses took a similar path to the Patrick Wood. Native Niko and Arctic Key both enter Sunday’s race off unplaced finishes in the Aug. 7 Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes at Mountaineer following impressive maiden scores. Native Niko, a Shaniko colt, earned his diploma in a July 2 maiden special weight race. Arctic Key, by Scrimshaw, won in a clear fashion in a July 17 maiden special weight contest at Pinnacle. Octavio Bernal will be on Native Niko’s back, while Jackson will give Augusto Marin the leg up aboard Arctic Key. Both horses are owned by Elkhorn Oaks, Inc.

Jackson will also send Valient Tenobob to the track in Sunday’s race. The Service Stripe colt is a perfect one-for-one following a driving Sept. 4 maiden special weight win at Pinnacle. Tommy Molina will ride Valient Tenobob for owners Laura Jackson and Red Riding Hood Stables LLC.

Duty Calls also enters the Patrick Wood off one start and one win from an Aug. 1 maiden special weight race at Pinnacle. The Service Stripe gelding will be ridden by Jeffrey Skerrett for owner Mast Thoroughbreds LLC and trainer Robert Gorham.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Valient Tenobob / T Molina / J R Jackson / 5-2
2. Noequal / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 8-1
3. Duty Calls / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 6-1
4. Native Niko / O Bernal / J R Jackson / 2-1
5. Equal By Design / W P Rini / L Penner / 12-1
6. Call Me Quincy / R Barrios / J Gold / 20-1
7. Arctic Key / A A Marin / J R Jackson / 7-2
8. Meadow Sailor / A Hernandez-Lopez / R J Rettele / 20-1

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Jackson-saddled pair highlights Mackinac Handicap

Trainer James Jackson has had a solid hold on Michigan’s three-year-old male division in 2010.

Jackson reached the winner’s circle in the division’s two stakes races at Pinnacle Race Course this year, saddling Hour By Hour in the June 26 Lansing Stakes and Meadow Magic in the July 31 Dowling Stakes. He will try to keep that streak alive by sending the pair to the post in Saturday’s $50,000 Mackinac Handicap.

The Mackinac Handicap drew nine Michigan-bred three-year-old males to race at a mile and a sixteenth. Last year’s installment of the Mackinac was won by Perfect Start.

Dowling Stakes winner Meadow Magic will have the inside post in Saturday’s race. The Meadow Prayer gelding won the July 31 race by four lengths, capped off by an erratic trip down the stretch. He enters the Mackinac off a third place finish in an Aug. 17 allowance race at Presque Isle Downs. James Jackson trains Meadow Magic for Laura Jackson and Red Riding Hood Stable. Tommy Molina will be in the saddle for Saturday’s race.

Also coming out of the Jackson barn is Lansing Stakes winner Hour By Hour, who will start from the outside post. The Elusive Hour gelding won the Lansing with one of his signature front-running trips for a 2 3/4 length victory. Hour By Hour comes in off an unplaced finish in another Aug. 17 allowance race at Presque Isle. Augusto Marin will wear the colors of Laura Jackson in the Mackinac. James Jackson will saddle Hour By Hour.

Lansing Stakes runner-up Secrets Only is also entered in Saturday’s race. The Secret Romeo gelding enters the Mackinac off the field’s highest last-race Beyer figure, a 73, following an 8 3/4 length score in an Aug. 8 allowance contest at Pinnacle. Robert Gorham trains Secrets Only for owner Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC. Regular rider Jeffrey Skerrett retains the mount for the Mackinac.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Meadow Magic / T Molina / J R Jackson / 8-5
2. Got Your Nugget / A Hernandez-Lopez / P J Powers / 20-1
3. Wiley Potts / F Mata / R M Gorham / 15-1
4. Secrets Only / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 6-1
5. Power Of Titus / O Bernal / D D Waite / 7-2
6. Dream Victory / R Barrios / J R Jackson / 12-1
7. Prince Of Paulie / J J Delgado / R J Rettele / 5-1
8. Bentley Red / A Pusac / D Cluley / 20-1
9. Hour By Hour / A A Marin / J R Jackson / 8-1

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Meadow Magic draws off erratically in Dowling Stakes

After several races spent on the cusp of a breakthrough stakes win, Meadow Magic finally earned his first marquee score in Saturday’s $20,000 Dowling Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The three-year-old Meadow Prayer colt broke on the rail as Generalyitsamemory took the early lead by a length over Hour By Hour. Mission Achieved also applied pressure to the lead duo as they made their way through the first turn. Generalyitsamemory held a length’s advantage after a quarter mile as his trailers began to bunch together and move closer to the front. Meadow Magic climbed up the rail across the backstretch and improved from eighth place to breathing down the leader’s neck on the inside while the other half of the entry, Hour By Hour, kept up the pressure on the outside.

The two parts of the entry and Generalyitsamemory dueled throughout the final turn. Hour By Hour held a slight advantage coming out of the bend, but Meadow Magic quickly moved ahead of his rivals by multiple lengths. Once clear, Meadow Magic veered out sharply down the stretch, and was well past the center of the track despite attempts to correct his course by jockey Ricardo Barrios. However, taking the long way did not deter Meadow Magic from his goal, as he crossed the wire to win by four lengths. Power Of Titus finished second after a six wide rally from last place. Prince of Paulie finished an even third.

Meadow Magic completed the one mile race in 1:41.53 over a fast dirt surface. He was the co-post time favorite with the other half of his entry, Hour By Hour, at odds of 0.40-to-one.

Meadow Magic was bred in Michigan by Marilyn McMaster. James Jackson is the winning conditioner for owners Laura Jackson and Red Riding Hood Stables LLC. With the victory in the Dowling, Meadow Magic improved his career record to three wins from eight starts for earnings of $42,160.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

1 – Meadow Magic (Ricardo Barrios) 2.80 / 2.40 / 2.20
5 – Power Of Titus (Alexis Ortiz) 5.00 / 2.60
3 – Prince Of Paulie (Jose Delgado) 3.20

One Mile
Time: 1:41.53

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