Tag Archives: John Flowers

Michigan Notebook: August 4, 2009

Mount Pleasant Meadows jockey Amanda Keller earned her first career victory on July 26. Keller heads out to the track aboard Tans Terminator.

Mount Pleasant Meadows jockey Amanda Keller earned her first career victory on July 26. Keller heads out to the track aboard Tans Terminator.

– The catalog for the August 23 MTOBA Yearling Sale is online for review. The sale drew 38 entries, which is a significant step down from last year’s total of 67 yearlings. When the sale draws closer and I get some time to sit down and look at the catalog, expect to see a preview of the event right here.

– Mount Pleasant Meadows jockey Amanda Keller earned her first two career riding victories on July 26. Keller brought home Quarter Horse Lucky’s Rambler in the day’s sixth race for her first victory, then followed it up with another trip to the winner’s circle in the ninth on Struttin Feathers. After her first win, Keller was greeted at the jock’s room door by a bucket of ice water.

Last Sunday, Keller added one more notch to her win column, finishing first aboard Quiet Apple.

– Speaking of exciting things from last week, Pinnacle Race Course valet and famous dog trainer John Flowers appeared July 28 on Live! with Regis and Kelly with his dog Spencer. A video of their performance does not appear to be readily available, but Spencer did several balancing acts for the audience.

He began by jumping on the middle of a large spool turned on its side and riding back and forth across the stage similar to a log roller. Flowers then took Spencer to a series of open-ended barrels, which the dog balanced on, then jumped to a new barrel before standing on the final barrel with only his hind legs. With time running out on the segment, Flowers went to the big finish. The show’s hosts held a bar at knee-height, which Spencer jumped on and perched. Flowers then instructed Regis and Kelly to stand up with the bar, which they did while the dog maintained his balance the entire time.

– Pinnacle Race Course is connecting with Facebook users on its new fan page. The page offers information on upcoming events and specials, as well as photos from previous events. Definitely worth a look for Pinnacle fans on Facebook.

– The Michigan Strategic Task Force on Agriculture has been holding open-ended meetings across the state to generate ideas on how to improve the state’s agricultural industries.

I attended one of the meetings held in Fremont Monday morning. Political figures in attendance included Reps. Geoff Hansen, Kevin Daley, Cindy Denby (who chaired the meeting), Ken Kurtz and Sen. Jerry VanWoerkom. It was an informal setup, beginning with each Representative giving a quick rundown about themselves and Michigan’s situation both as a whole and in the Ag sector. Afterward, they opened up the floor to anyone with something to say. 

Though nothing was officially accomplished, the elected officials appeared receptive to the concerns of those in attendance, ranging from crop and livestock farmers to members of the racing industry, and offered constructive feedback. Whether anything will come from the meetings remains to be seen, but the fact that they are offering such a forum might mean they are open for suggestions.

According to the Michigan HBPA website, there are two more meetings scheduled. Members of the racing industry in or near the districts are encouraged to attend and voice their opinions and concerns. Attaching faces to the statistics may help advance the cause, and if anything else, it provides an opportunity for attendees to become more familiar with those representing them in Lansing.

Here are the dates, times and locations of the remaining two meetings…

August 10
10:30 a.m.
Ionia Intermediate School District
2191 Harwood Rd.
Ionia, MI                              

August 24
6:00 p.m.
Lapeer County ISD Educational Technology Center
690 Lake Pleasant Rd.
Attica, MI

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Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pinnacle Race Course, Politics

Michigan Notebook: July 6, 2009

Send Cash comes back from a race at Pinnacle Race Course with Federico Mata aboard.

Send Cash comes back from a race at Pinnacle Race Course with Federico Mata aboard.

– Brandon Meier, one the subjects of Animal Planet’s reality show “Jockeys,” is scheduled to take the saddle aboard a few ship-ins Tuesday at Pinnacle Race Course. Unless someone else has been sneaking mounts while I haven’t been paying attention, this is the first time one of the show’s stars has come to a Michigan racetrack to ride since the series aired. Not a bad draw for a Tuesday afternoon card.

– Speaking of reasons to go to Pinnacle, the track has some non-racing related events in the coming weeks to attract audiences:

1) On July 13 at 1 p.m., Pinnacle will host a dog show featuring world-renowned dog trainer, and Pinnacle employee, John Flowers. Admission is free. Flowers has appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman four times with his dog, Spencer. He has also appeared on the Animal Planet show Pet Star five times, winning the competition in 2005. Flowers is a cancer survivor and all donations received from the dog show will go to the American Cancer Society.

For a video of Flowers and Spencer’s winning performance on Pet Star, click here. From there, click on the seventh dog in the row of pictures.

 2) The Budweiser Clydesdales will be at Pinnacle on July 17 from noon to 4 p.m..

– For those curious about how the demolition is progressing at Great Lakes Downs, someone posted some photos from the edges of the grounds on Flickr. They are from the middle of May, so things are almost certainly further along now, but I just found them, so they’re new to me. The photographer does not appear to have too much knowledge about the nuts and bolts of racing (he thinks the grooms’ dormitory is a hotel for visiting jockeys), but they give a good, if a tad depressing, look at what’s left of the place.

– While we are looking at pictures, I also found a few photos from another defunct Michigan Thoroughbred track, Detroit Race Course. For a blast from the past, click here.

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Filed under Great Lakes Downs, Pinnacle Race Course