Tag Archives: Julie Veltman

Opening day 2011 at Mount Pleasant Meadows

Opening day at Mount Pleasant Meadows was the climax of a roller coaster year for the central Michigan track. Porsche Pink is led to the winner's circle with Nate Alcala aboard.

On the track’s Aug. 1 closing day last year, the idea of Mount Pleasant Meadows hosting Michigan’s lone Thoroughbred meet seemed outlandish.

A lot can happen in a year.

The central Michigan racetrack’s July 24 opening day was last stop of a roller coaster offseason that included the shuttering of Pinnacle Race Course and months of “Will they? Won’t they?” tension as the state, the track and the horsemen all worked to get on the same page.

The pressure went down to the wire, as the Michigan Gaming Control Board balked on approving Mount Pleasant’s live meet until just days before it was scheduled to commence. Once the paperwork got signed, the gears got turning – and with little time to spare, they got turning fast.

Since Mount Pleasant called it a meet last year, I have been to more racetracks around the country than I can count on two hands. At no point was I more genuinely excited for a day of racing than I was for this year’s opening day.

By the time the horses came over for the first race, I could hardly contain my giddiness, and it lasted throughout the card. The tension that built up with every event that made it look like the place would never host another race had finally come uncoiled. This feeling could have also been due in no small part to mild dehydration, but it was still pretty amazing, nonetheless.

I have been watching and playing the races at Mount Pleasant for years, but for the first time since I first picked up a program, I had absolutely no idea how the races were going to shake out. Would the native horses and riders have a home-track advantage until the new ones figured out the four furlong bullring? Would class prevail regardless of the racing surface? Would horses and bloodlines that succeeded at five-furlong Great Lakes Downs recapture the magic? Would the horses bred for Pinnacle be able to adapt? As it turns out, the answer for just about all of these questions was “yes.” Every bettor on the grounds was on a level playing field, and it was an exciting time.

The best thing about opening day was, without a doubt, getting to see everyone in the same place – Thoroughbred people, Quarter Horse people, Arabian people and other fellow racing enthusiasts. Mount Pleasant is a very communal track, and that spirit was not lost on its new residents. I was glad to see this.

The crowd was robust – easily double the average attendance, if not more. I have never been good at eyeball estimating a crowd, so whenever I want to gauge the attendance at Mount Pleasant, I look out at the parking lot. On a normal day, the cars usually make two rows. On this day, they made four very long rows. It was kind of beautiful.

But enough talk, lets look at some pictures…

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I Do One Two Three wins APHA Running Champion Award

I Do One Two Three competed in stakes races at Remington Park and Mount Pleasant Meadows during his award-winning 2009 campaign.

Michigan-bred I Do One Two Three was named champion regular registry two-year-old gelding at the Jan. 16 American Paint Horse Association’s Running World Championships.

The Judys Lineage gelding is owned and bred by Walt and Carolyn Bay’s T-Bill Stables. While in Michigan, he was trained by Jay Hall and ridden by Julie Veltman and Oscar Delgado.

I Do One Two Three won two races from seven starts during his two-year-old campaign with earnings of $41,748. In 2009, he entered the gates at Remington Park, Mt. Pleasant and Blue Ribbon Downs.

I Do One Two Three competed in stakes races or trials at all three tracks he visited.

On May 30, He finished fourth in the $273,987 Graham Paint & Appaloosa Futurity (G1) at Remington Park.

At Mt. Pleasant, I Do One Two Three finished second in the Aug. 30 Great Lakes Quarter Horse Association Michigan Paint Horse Futurity and the July 26 GLQHA Stallion Service Sale Futurity. I Do One Two Three also registered the fastest time in the trials of the latter race.

To view the full list of winners from the 2009 APHA Running World Championships, click here.

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