Tag Archives: Larkspur Handicap

Equalitysdebutante returns to form in Larkspur Handicap

In October 2007, Equalitysdebutante romped in the two-year-fillies division of the Michigan Sire Stakes at Great Lakes Downs on her way to earning her crop’s top honors. Coming into Saturday’s $50,000 Larkspur Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course, she had only won a single race since.

The five-year-old Equality mare broke her two-year, 13-race cold spell in spectacular fashion with a dominant five-length score in the six furlong race for Michigan’s female handicap platoon.

Equalitysdebutante broke to the front and immediately opened up a length on the rest of the field. The Girl Rolls, Baba Booyah and post time favorite Valley Loot gave chase across the backstretch, with Peak Of The Storm soon coming into contention. The leader continued to maintain her now two-length cushion well off the rail heading into the turn, as Valley Loot emerged as her primary challenger. Equalitysdebutante continued to stay fairly wide throughout the bend and stretched out to a 3 1/2 length lead at the top of the stretch.

Under the intermittent right hand whip of jockey Carlos Garcia, Equalitysdebutante removed any notion of being caught by her rivals in the stretch and drew off to win the Larkspur by five lengths. Valley Loot was locked in a three-way battle down the stretch for second, and emerged 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Peak Of The Storm for the runner-up spot.

The final time for the Larkspur was 1:12.70 over a fast dirt surface. Equalitysdebutante lit up the tote board at 21.40-to-one, the field’s second longest odds.

Equalitysdebutante was homebred in Michigan by Dr. Richard Hammer and trained by Larry Penner. The win in Saturday’s race improved Equalitysdebutante’s lifetime record to four wins in 21 starts, and her third stakes triumph. Her career earnings now total $199,721.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

5 – Equalitysdebutante (Carlos Garcia) 44.80 / 8.00 / 4.80
6 – Valley Loot (Federico Mata) 2.20 / 2.20
8 – Peak Of The Storm (Ricardo Barrios) 3.60

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:12.70

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Former soph stars make handicap debut in Larkspur Handicap

After a 2009 meet spent beating each other up in stakes races, last year’s crop of three-year-old fillies graduated to the handicap ranks and have shown up in force to contest Saturday’s $50,000 Larkspur Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The six furlong Larkspur is the first stakes test of the year for older Michigan-bred fillies and mares. Of the nine entries in Saturday’s race, seven are four-year-olds. Last year’s installment was won by Yawm Estoora.

As in years past, the road to the older female division’s crown will go through three-time defending Michigan Horse of the Year Valley Loot. The six-year-old Demaloot Demashoot mare was a stakes presence in Michigan, West Virginia and Pennsylvania in 2009, with marquee victories in the Golden Sylvia Handicap at Mountaineer Park and a third straight score in her division of the Sire Stakes at Pinnacle. She enters the Larkspur off a second place finish to 2008 Ashland Stakes (G1) winner Hooh Why in a July 6 allowance race at Presque Isle Downs. Regular rider Federico Mata will ride Valley Loot for owner Lisa Campbell and trainer Ronald Allen, Sr..

Making her first start of the year is Michigan’s 2009 three-year-old filly of the year, Hakuna Matata. The four-year-old Meadow Prayer filly sealed her division’s title with a 1 3/4 length victory in last October’s Sire Stakes, following a disqualification-boosted triumph in the Ann Arbor Stakes at Pinnacle. Her last start of the year was a runner-up finish in an Oct. 27 allowance race at Mountaineer. Hakuna Matata is owned by White Lake Farms, Inc. and trained by Larry Uelmen. J.J. Delgado picks up the mount.

One of Hakuna Matata’s biggest rivals during her sophomore campaign was Baba Booyah. The four-year-old Daylight Savings filly was victorious in last year’s Michigan Oaks at Pinnacle and placed second after being fouled in the Ann Arbor. She enters the race off an unplaced finish in a June 20 optional claiming event at Pinnacle. Baba Booyah will be saddled by Bob Gorham for owner Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC. Jeffrey Skerrett will be in the irons for Sunday’s race.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Moon Charmer / T Molina / R M Gorham / 10-1
2. Baba Booyah / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 9-2
3. Oh Fiddlestix / O Bernal / J R Jackson / 10-1
4. Hakuna Matata / J J Delgado / J R Jackson / 8-1
5. Equalitysdebutante / C Garcia / L Penner / 5-1
6. Valley Loot / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 2-1
7. In The Frame / J R Martinez, Jr. / L R Uelmen / 15-1
8. Peak Of The Storm / R Barrios / L Penner / 4-1
9. The Girl Rolls / A Ortiz / J R Jackson / 20-1


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Yawm Estoora pulls the upset in Larkspur Handicap

On paper, Saturday’s $50,000 Larkspur Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course looked like a homecoming romp for 2008 Michigan Thoroughbred of the Year Valley Loot.

Apparently, Yawm Estoora did not get that memo.

The six-year-old Dayjur mare battled for the lead on the rail before riding tactics by jockey Angel Stanley helped Yawm Estoora chip away at pacesetter Dublin Dutchess’ lead and eventually put a nose in front to win the six furlong race in 1:12.97 on a fast surface.

Dublin Dutchess took early command of the race and was quickly pressured on the lead by Yawm Estoora on the rail. Dublin Dutchess steadily began to separate from her rival heading into the turn and had a full length’s advantage at the top of the stretch. Early in the stretch drive, Angel Stanley took Yawm Estoora off the rail, angling to the outside of Dublin Dutchess. The two battled to the wire as Dublin Dutchess’ lead slowly vanished and Yawm Estoora got the good side of a head bob finish to win the Larkspur at odds of 11.30-to-one.

One-to-two post-time favorite Valley Loot suffered from a wide trip  in the early goings and finished an even-running third, a half-length ahead of rapidly closing stablemate Wave Pool.

Homebred by Twin Cedars Farm, Yawm Estoora earned her first career stakes win in the Larkspur, increasing her earnings on the year to $39,690. She is trained by Ronald Inman.

For a chart of the race, click here.

1 Yawm Estoora (Angel Stanley) 24.60 / 10.40 / 6.60
6 Dublin Dutchess (Augusto Marin) 21.60 / 7.80
9 Valley Loot (Federico Mata) 2.40

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:12.97 

Sorry gang, it seems I don’t have any photos of Yawm Estoora in my collection. I couldn’t make it to the track on Saturday, so you’ll just have to use your imagination on this one.

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Valley Loot headlines Larkspur Handicap

Without a doubt, Valley Loot will be the one to beat in Saturday's Larkspur Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Without a doubt, Valley Loot will be the one to beat in Saturday's Larkspur Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

In last year’s race to decide Michigan’s top older female, it was Valley Loot and everyone else.

Valley Loot will take her first step toward defending that title this Saturday when she makes her first start of the year at Pinnacle Race Course in the $50,000 Larkspur Handicap.

A field of nine will enter the gates for the six furlong race, including four former Sire Stakes winners. 

The favorite will almost certainly be 2008 Michigan Horse of the Year Valley Loot. The five-year-old Demaloot Demashoot mare won last year’s installment of the Larkspur by 2 3/4 lengths and enters the race off a front-running victory in the June 16 Golden Sylvia Stakes at Mountaineer Race Track and Casino. Federico Mata will get the assignment in the saddle for owner Lisa Campbell and trainer Ronnie Allen, Sr.. Not surprisingly, Valley Loot is the field’s highweight.

The second half of the Campbell/Allen contingent is fellow Sire Stakes winner Wave Pool. The four-year-old Sea Legs filly won the three-year-old female division of last year’s Sire Stakes en route to earning the crop’s top honors. Wave Pool comes off a second-place finish in an allowance race at Pinnacle on June 12. Ivan Gonzalez will take the irons.

A two-time Sire Stakes winner and top horse in her division in 2006 and ’07, Nell’s Enjoyment will look to get her stakes career back on track this Saturday. The six-year-old Quiet Enjoyment mare was well beaten in her three tries in stakes company in 2008, but turned things around in her last start of the year at Pinnacle, closing from the clouds to win a stakes-caliber allowance race against the likes of fellow Larkspur entrants Wave Pool, Dublin Dutchess and Silent Sunset. She enters off a fifth place finish in a June 1 allowance race at Indiana Downs. Nell’s Enjoyment is owned and trained by Shane Spiess and will be ridden by Ricardo Barrios.

Also entered is the only horse to beat Valley Loot in a Sire Stakes race, Dublin Dutchess. The five-year-old Native Factor mare defeated Valley Loot during the 2006 installment of the two-year-old division’s Sire Stakes at Great Lakes Downs. Dublin Dutchess ran second to Valley Loot in last year’s Larkspur. Owned by Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC and trained by Bob Gorham, Dublin Dutchess will have the services of Augusto Marin in the saddle.  

Here is a list of the entries for Saturday’s Larkspur Handicap…

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Yawm Estoora / A.O. Stanley / R. P. Inman / 10-1
2. Nell’s Enjoyment / R Barrios / S. M. Spiess / 15-1
3. Tillie The Hunn / G. Laurente / L. R. Uelmen / 20-1
4. She Could Be Good / J. Skerrett / R. M. Gorham / 5-1
5. Wave Pool / I. R. Gonzalez / R. D. Allen, Sr / 8-1
6. Dublin Dutchess / A. A. Marin / R. M. Gorham / 12-1
7. Silent Sunset / G. W. Mayhew / J. A. Lewis / 25-1
8. Candy Cane / J. J. Delgado / J. C. Rupert / 3-1
9. Valley Loot / F. Mata / R. D. Allen, Sr. / 6-5


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