Tag Archives: Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap

Romeo Again rallies in Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap

Romeo Again reeled in his rivals down the stretch to win Saturday’s $20,000 Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The Secret Romeo gelding was unhurried on the rail by jockey Federico Mata as post time favorite Meadow Wise took the early lead, followed closely by Perfect Start. Meadow Wise entered the turn with about a length over Perfect Start. The pair opened up three lengths on third place Romeo Again, but set a leisurely opening half mile at :50.19 seconds. Meadow Wise held off Perfect Start across the backstretch, but the Perfect Start took to the rail and drew even with the leader heading into the final turn, four lengths ahead of Romeo Again in third.

Perfect Start and Meadow Wise dueled throughout the bend and entered the top of the stretch neck and neck. Meanwhile, Romeo Again had chipped away from his margin behind the lead duo and prepared to make a three-wide move on the outside. Meadow Wise, out of gas, faded quickly down the stretch, leaving Perfect Start and a rapidly gaining Romeo Again to battle for the last 100 yards. Under left-handed urging from Mata, Romeo Again got up in the final strides to beat Perfect Start by a half length. Bishop Casey made a late bid for third place.

Romeo Again completed the one mile race in 1:48.06 on a fast dirt surface. He left the gates as the longest price in the field at odds of 4.90-to-one.

Romeo Again was homebred in Michigan by Felicia Campbell/Campbell Stables and also owned by II B’s Thoroughbred. He was saddled by Patrick White.

With the win in Saturday’s race, Romeo Again improved his career record to four wins from 16 career starts, including two wins in stakes company. His earnings now total $75,193.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

2 – Romeo Again (Federico Mata) 11.80 / 6.20
3 – Perfect Start (Alexis Ortiz) 6.40
1 – Bishop Casey (Tommy Molina)

One Mile
Time: 1:48.06



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Perfect Start aims to improve in Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap

Perfect Start will try to improve on his runner-up finish in the July 3 Wolverine Stakes in Saturday’s $20,000 Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The field of six older Michigan-bred males going a mile features four stakes winners from last year’s meet at Pinnacle. The purse for Saturday’s race has been decreased from its normal value of $50,000 in order to over the increased cost of regulation from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Perfect Start was one of the more buzz-worthy three-year-olds at Pinnacle in 2009, on the strength of his victory in the Mackinac Handicap and entry in the Ohio Derby (G2). The Jump Start colt ran second to Fiery Lake in the Wolverine and enters Saturday’s race off a third place in a Aug. 3 allowance contest at Thistledown. Alexis Ortiz will be in the irons for owner Charlie Williams and trainer Sandra Adkins.

Last year’s co-champion three-year-old male Meadow Wise will try for his first win in the handicap ranks in the Michigan Breeder’s Cup. The Meadow Prayer gelding won last year’s Dowling Stakes at Pinnacle and never missed the board in 2009. He enters the race off an Aug. 31 allowance victory at Pinnacle, where he won by 5 3/4 lengths. Meadow Wise is trained by Bob Gorham for owner Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC. Jeffrey Skerrett will get the leg up on Saturday.

Meadow Vespers returns to defend his title after winning last year’s installment of the Michigan Breeders’ Cup. The Meadow Prayer gelding is best known for his four straight victories in his division of the Sire Stakes from 2005 to 2008. Meadow Vespers comes in off an unplaced finish in the Wolverine Stakes. He is owned by J. Mack Enterprise, Inc. and trained by Richard Rettele. Jose Delgado will be the rider.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Bishop Casey / T Molina / R M Gorham / 8-5
1A. Meadow Wise / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 8-5
2. Romeo Again / F Mata / P L White / 3-1
3. Perfect Start / A Ortiz / S M Adkins / 5-2
4. Meadow Vespers / J J Delgado / R J Rettele / 7-2
5. Out With A Bang / O Bernal / R M Gorham / 10-1

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Meadow Vespers closes from way back to win Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap

Meadow Vespers executed his signature ground saving trip and screaming stretch drive to prevail in Saturday’s $20,000 Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course by a half length.

The seven-year-old Meadow Prayer gelding broke without urgency as All I Can Get and Hot Chili dueled for the early lead heading into the first turn. All I Can Get pulled clear of his foes across the backstretch as Meadow Vespers sat as far back as 14 1/2 lengths behind in last. The leader was pressured heading into the final turn by Fiery Lake, Hooched Express and Hot Chili as Meadow Vespers began to mount his charge.

About two lengths separated All I Can Get and Meadow Vespers at the top of the stretch, with the latter staging a rally five wide as Hot Chili came into contention on the rail. The three battled down the stretch, but Meadow Vespers’ momentum carried him across the wire first, a half length ahead of All I Can Get. Hot Chili finished a length behind All I Can Get to take the third place money.

Meadow Vespers completed the mile and one sixteenth race in 1:47.03 under regular jockey Ivan Gonzalez on a fast surface.

Meadow Vespers is owned by J Mack Enterprise Inc. and trained by Richard Rettele. He was bred in Michigan by James Arnold, Marcia Arnold and Deborah Miley. The Michigan Breeders’ Cup win improved Meadow Vespers’ career record to 13 wins from 32 starts, including five stakes victories. His career earnings increased to $465,368.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

7 – Meadow Vespers (Ivan Gonzalez) 5.60 / 5.20 / 2.80
3 – All I Can Get (Jareth Loveberry) 10.20 / 4.40
2 – Hot Chili (Alexis Ortiz) 5.20

1 1/16 Miles
Time:  1:47.03

Your winner, Meadow Vespers; Ivan Gonzalez, up. (Photo from a previous race)

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Fiery Lake looks to continue fortunes in Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap

Hot Chili will look to get back on the winning track in Saturday's Michigan Breeders' Cup Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Hot Chili will try to get back on the winning track in Saturday's Michigan Breeders' Cup Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The last time Michigan’s top older males met, in the July 4 Wolverine Stakes, Fiery Lake drew off in the stretch for an upset victory.

This Saturday, Fiery Lake will be the one with the target on his back, as he goes for a second stakes victory in the $20,000 Michigan Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Fiery Lake notched his first career stakes win in the Wolverine, staying near the lead and driving to the wire to win by four lengths at odds of 17.60-to-one. The four-year-old Devil His Due gelding enters Saturday’s race off a July 30 front-running effort at Presque Isle Downs, where he was nipped at the wire to finish second by a nose. J.J. Delgado will ride Fiery Lake for owner Samaron Stable and trainer Evelyn Griffin.

Defending older male of the year Meadow Vespers will be the race’s heavyweight, carrying 122 pounds. The four-time Sire Stakes winner closed from a double digit deficit to finish third in the Wolverine behind Fiery Lake and second-place Demagoguery, who is not entered in Saturday’s race. The seven-year-old Meadow Prayer gelding returns to Michigan following a successful road trip to Thistledown, where he won a July 30 optional claimer. Richard Rettele trains Meadow Vespers for owner J Mack Enterprise Inc.. Regular rider Ivan Gonzalez retains the assignment.

After finishing with at least a share of his crop’s top honors during his two and three-year-old campaigns, Hot Chili has had a rough go of his fourth year so far. The Daylight Savings gelding’s best finish of 2009 has been a third place effort in a June 6 optional claimer at Pinnacle following two stakes attempts at Mountaineer. He enters this race after finishing off the board in the Wolverine. Hot Chili is owned by Sharon Valley Thoroughbreds and trained by James Jackson. Alexis Ortiz will have the mount.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Bishop Casey / J Skerret / R M Gorham / 5-1
1A. My First Buck / F Mata / R M Gorham / 5-1
2. Hot Chili / A Ortiz / J R Jackson / 6-1
3. All I Can Get / J Loveberry / G S Bennett / 8-1
4. Fiery Lake / J J Delgado / E Griffin / 5-2
5. Rhythm In Motion / No Rider / R M Gorham / 20-1
6. Hooched Express / G Laurente / C Dorris / 15-1
7. Meadow Vespers / I R Gonzalez / R Rettele / 8-5

In other Michigan stakes news, keep an eye out Saturday night as one of Michigan’s top Quarter Horses, Senorita Tres, heads to Prairie Meadows to contest the Bank of America Central Championship Challenge (G2). At morning line odds of 5-1, the gray filly will face one of her toughest challenges to date, but she ought to go off at a generous price and she is no stranger to out-of-state travel for big races. Be sure to catch the race if possible.

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