Tag Archives: Moon Charmer

Moon Charmer repeats as Farer Belle Lee Handicap winner

In her racing career, Moon Charmer has won four of her 15 lifetime starts.

After Saturday’s race, two of those wins have come in consecutive installments of the $50,000 Farer Belle Lee Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The four-year-old Indian Charlie filly broke in second as Equalitysdebutante took her usual position at the front of the pack on the inside. The leader entered the first turn with a length advantage over post time favorite Baba Booyah and Moon Charmer. Equalitysdebutante continued to open up on that pair throughout the turn and entered the backstretch two lengths in front. The margins and running order of the horses in contention remained unchanged as the field passed the barns and headed into the final turn.

Equalitysdebutante’s lead began to dwindle through the bend, as Baba Booyah moved up to challenge her. While Baba Booyah dealt with the leader, Moon Charmer fought off a challenge for third from Top Touch and In The Frame. A tiring Equalitysdebutante took Baba Booyah wide coming out of the turn, leaving the rail open for Moon Charmer to work her way back into contention. Moon Charmer drew even with the lead pair at the top of the stretch and dueled with Baba Booyah as they left the pacesetter behind. With an eighth of a mile to go, Moon Charmer broke away from Baba Booyah and drew clear under steady urging by jockey Tommy Molina to win by a length and a half. A late-rallying Top Touch overtook Baba Booyah by a nose for the runner-up spot.

Moon Charmer completed the mile and one sixteenth race in 1:47.61 over a sealed muddy surface. Similar to last year’s Farer Belle Lee, Moon Charmer rewarded her backers nicely as the field’s seventh choice at odds of 11.60-to-one.

Owned by Mast Thoroughbreds LLC, Moon Charmer is conditioned by Robert Gorham. Her career earnings now total $117,800.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

4 – Moon Charmer (Tommy Molina) 25.20 / 6.80 / 9.60
3 – Top Touch (Christian Pilares) 8.00 / 5.80
8 – Baba Booyah (Jeffrey Skerrett) 3.00

One mile and one sixteenth
Time: 1:47.61

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Baba Booyah rallies in Moonbeam Handicap

Baba Booyah bided her time behind a clear-running pace setter and took over in the stretch to win Saturday’s $20,000 Moonbeam Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

The four-year-old Daylight Savings filly sat in second as Equalitysdebutante launched out to an early and sizable advantage. The leader had a length on Baba Booyah heading into the first turn and stretched it out to four as she headed into the backstretch straightaway. Equalitysdebutante continued to run away from her rivals as they passed the barns and opened up as many as six lengths after a half mile in 47.28 seconds. However, that lead quickly dissipated as she approached the final turn.

Equalitysdebutante hung on to a one-length lead over Baba Booyah at the top of the final turn, chased closely by post time favorite Valley Loot, who overcame a troubled start to work her way back into contention. Baba Booyah slowly gained on Equalitysdebutante through the bend and drew even with her rival at the top of the stretch. The pair dueled for a sixteenth of a mile before Baba Booyah disposed of her foe at the eighth pole and was kept to task by jockey Jeffrey Skerrett to draw off for a 5 1/2 length victory. Equalitysdebutante kept on for second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Moon Charmer.

Baba Booyah completed the one mile race in 1:41.24 over a sealed sloppy dirt surface. She, and stablemate Moon Charmer, left the gates as the field’s third choice in a 4.40-to-one entry. Post time favorite Valley Loot faded to fifth after spending herself getting back into contention.

Baba Booyah is owned by Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC and trained by Robert Gorham. She was bred in Michigan by Todd and Carol Weddon.

With the score in the Moonbeam, Baba Booyah improved her lifetime record to five wins from 16 starts, including two victories in stakes company. Her career earnings now total $87,530.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

1A – Baba Booyah (Jeffrey Skerrett) 10.80 / 6.80 / 3.60
2B – Equalitysdebutante (Octavio Bernal) 4.00 / 2.40
1 – Moon Charmer (Tommy Molina) 10.80 / 6.80 / 3.60

One Mile
Time: 1:41.24


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Bubble Watch

Will Meadow Wise be Michigan's THoroughbred of the Year in 2009? He's as live as any.

Will Meadow Wise be Michigan's Thoroughbred of the Year in 2009? He's as live as any.

The Sire Stakes has a way of sorting things out when it comes to year-end awards.

In 2008, the winners of the marquee race’s six divisions accounted for all seven of the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s awards (one for each division and horse of the year) and six of the seven awards from Pinnacle Race Course, as decided by the track’s announcer, Matt Hook. Though the purses for this year’s installment will likely be no higher than the average stakes prize of $50,000, the races will no doubt still hold a special weight with voters.

With the Sire Stakes a week away, most of the division honors are still very much up for grabs. This Saturday will give the horses on the bubble a chance for a statement win to pad their resume.

With that in mind, let us take a look at each of the divisions and see who is in the driver’s seat heading into the Sire Stakes, who has some work to do, and who is grasping at straws.

In my forecasting of the divisions and their awards, I operated under the assumption that the Pinnacle awards are based solely on performance at the Detroit racetrack, while the MTOBA awards took into consideration the entire campaign of Michigan-breds in and out-of-state. If I am wrong in my assumptions don’t hesitate to correct me.

While reading these projections, keep in mind this analysis is strictly the opinion of this blogger. The views, rankings and projections do not necessarily represent those of the people actually deciding the year-end awards. These predictions are based on the horses’ projected paths through the end of the Pinnacle meet. If one of these horses goes crazy and takes down a graded race in Kentucky or something along those lines, these predictions will obviously change.

Now touch gloves and fight clean…

Two-Year-Old Male: With only one of the three stakes races for juvenile males complete, Prince of Paulie is the clubhouse leader by virtue of his win in the Sep. 12 Patrick Wood Stakes. Finishing first in either the Sire Stakes or the Michigan Futurity ought to be enough for the Meadow Prayer gelding to lock the award down with both groups. The horse with best chance of moving up should Prince of Paulie falter could be the runner-up in the Patrick Wood, Power of Titus. A win in the Sire Stakes would go a long way in grabbing the voters’ attention, especially if Prince of Paulie finishes off the board. The two-year-old season is just getting started in Michigan, so much is left to shake out.

Two-Year-Old Female: Similar to their male counterparts, Hustle Now holds the top spot in both jurisdictions on the strength of her victory in the Sep. 12 Sickle’s Image Stakes, the division’s only blacktype race to date. One more stakes win would give her two out of three, which ought to be enough. Second place finisher Top Touch showed a lot of grit during her stretch battle with Hustle Now in the Sickle’s Image. However she will be hard-pressed to shake her rival from her post because Top Touch is not eligible for the Sire Stakes. Her sire, Touch Gold, stands in Kentucky. A win in the Michigan Juvenile Fillies and some help might get the job done, though. All things considered, it is much too soon to declare solid favorites in this division. The picture for both juvenile classes will be much clearer after the Sire Stakes.

Three-Year-Old Male: Meadow Wise has shown up to every dance and has yet to turn in a clunker. A finish in the top two next Saturday will put him in the driver’s seat for year-end honors. Juggle and Perfect Start both have stakes wins to their credit, but would need a win in their next race (and for Juggle, probably some help) to overthrow Meadow Wise in either poll. Perfect Start’s out-of-state sire will likely keep him out of the discussion for the Pinnacle honors because he can not compete in the Sire Stakes. However, the Jump Start colt could have a date elsewhere on Sire Stakes day, as he is nominated for the Oct. 3 Ohio Derby (G2) at Thistledown. Regardless of what Meadow Wise does at Pinnacle, a graded stakes win might be enough to persuade MTOBA’s voters.

Three-Year-Old Female: This division has been a game of musical chairs between Moon Charmer, Hakuna Matata, and Baba Booyah. Each has finished in the top three in the last two sophomore filly stakes races and the orders have been shuffled each time, once even further by a disqualification. Heading into the Sire Stakes though, Moon Charmer holds the upper hand based on her win against older company, including 2008 Horse of the Year Valley Loot, in the Sep. 12 Farer Belle Lee Handicap. That win will need to leave a lasting impression, because the Indian Charlie filly will not be eligible for the Sire Stakes. Her two rivals need to win the Sire Stakes by a serious margin to offset a win against older company. A second place finish or worse by Hakuna Matata or Baba Booyah will likely dash their hopes for the sophomore filly honors.

Older Male: Meadow Vespers controls his own destiny in this division. A fifth straight Sire Stakes win, or maybe even a strong second or third, will clinch the older male title in both jurisdictions. His closest rivals, All I Can Get and Fiery Lake, will not be in the gates for next Saturday’s race and have not shown enough this year to pass the defending champion, which works even further to Meadow Vespers’ advantage. If Meadow Vespers should come up empty in the Sire Stakes, a dominant victory (at least five lengths and visually impressive) could vault perennial runners-up Hot Chili or Demagoguery into the discussion, but they would both face an uphill battle.

Older Female: Valley Loot has had a pretty good year by most standards, with a stakes win at Mountaineer and a third place finish in a $100,000 race at Presque Isle Downs. She just hasn’t done much winning at Pinnacle. Still, a first place finish on Saturday would clinch the MTOBA award and give her the inside track in the Pinnacle race. Having the name recognition as the defending Horse of the year doesn’t hurt either. Yawm Estoora is the only horse on the grounds to have won two stakes races at Pinnacle this year, but her disappointing performance in the Farer Belle Lee and ineligibility in the Sire Stakes leaves her closing argument lacking. Her resume may be strong enough to win the Pinnacle award though, especially if Valley Loot runs poorly or skips the Sire Stakes for greener pastures.

Horse of the Year: If Meadow Wise wins his Sire Stakes race, he’ll hold all the cards for Horse of the Year in both polls. No one else will have run as consistently and successfully at Pinnacle throughout the meet. If he has an off day, the door is open for Meadow Vespers and Valley Loot, assuming they win their division’s races. Meadow Vespers would likely hold the advantage in the Pinnacle poll because he already has a stakes win at the track under his belt. Valley Loot’s complete body of work in 2009 would probably give her an advantage in the MTOBA awards. The wild card in this equation is Perfect Start. Michigan does not get too many graded stakes winners, so if he pulls the upset in the Ohio Derby, all bets are off, at least for the MTOBA award.

Those are my thoughts. Who do you think sits at the head of the class going into the Sire Stakes? Who has some work left to do? I invite your discussion on Michigan’s six divisions and Horse of the Year honors.

Look for previews of the Sire Stakes races throughout the upcoming week.

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Juvenile favorites hold, veterans upset in Michigan Breeders Championships

Hustle Now hustles in the stretch to win Sickle’s Image Stakes


Hustle Now (7) pulls away from Top Touch (1) to prevail in the Sickle’s Image Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

Hustle Now took charge at the top of the stretch and held off the begrudging early leader to take Saturday’s $50,000 Sickle’s Image Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The two-year-old Creative filly watched from third on the outside hip of Q Ginger Snap as Top Touch shot to the lead from the inside post. Top Touch held a 1 1/4 length advantage after the first quarter mile as Hustle Now moved into contention. That advantage was whittled down to a half length as the lead duo entered the turn. Hustle Now continued to close the gap on the outside and entered the stretch with a head in front.

Top Touch refused to waver after being passed and continued to pressure the leader throughout the stretch, but she could not regain her advantage. Hustle Now began to separate from her rival in the final furlong and crossed the finish 1 1/4 lengths in front under a right hand whip by Angel Stanley. Creative Lite turned in a ground saving third place effort 5 1/2 lengths behind Top Touch.

Hustle Now completed the six furlong race in 1:14.13 over a fast surface. She was the second choice at two-to-one behind post time favorite Top Touch.

Homebred in Michigan by Sheffield Farms, Hustle Now is conditioned by Larry Uelmen. Hustle Now improved her career record to two wins from three starts. The Farer Belle Lee was Hustle Now’s first stakes victory. Her career earnings now total $40,208.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

7 – Hustle Now (Angel Stanley) 6.00 / 3.40 / 3.60
1 – Top Touch (Federico Mata) 3.80 / 3.40
2  – Creative Lite (Alexis Ortiz) 5.20

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:14.13


Your winner, Hustle Now; Angel Stanley, up.

Recaps of rest of Saturday’s stakes action from Pinnacle Race Course can be found behind the jump. Just click the link below to see more.

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Baba Booyah, Perfect Start prevail in Michigan Sophomore Championships

Baba Booyah leads at all points in Michigan Oaks

Baba Booyah was never headed on her way to a half-length victory in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Oaks at Pinnacle Race Course.

The three-year-old Daylight Savings filly moved quickly to the rail and set an easy pace in the early goings, as City Tour chased from a length behind. The field stayed closely bunched across the backstretch with little change in positions as the opening half mile was set at :50.95.

Baba Booyah began to pick up the pace heading into the final turn, as did stablemate Moon Charmer, who quickly overtook City Tour for the second position. Moon Charmer, the post time favorite, began to pressure Baba Booyah through the turn, but she was turned away by the leader, who still held a length’s advantage heading into the stretch. The challenger continued to stage bids throughout the stretch and was repelled with each attempt. As the finish drew near, Moon Charmer began to gain significant ground on Baba Booyah, but could not beat the wire, as Baba Booyah held on for a 1/2 length victory under jockey Jeffrey Skerrett. A late-running Hakuna Matata finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Moon Charmer for third.

Baba Booyah completed the 1 1/16 mile race in 1:49.45 over a fast surface. She left the gates as the third choice at odds of 2.30-to-one.

Baba Booyah is trained by Bob Gorham for owner Marion Gorham. She was bred in Michigan by Todd and Carol Weddon. The Oaks victory was Baba Booyah’s third win from ten starts, as well as her first stakes triumph. The win increased Baba Booyah’s career earnings to $63,590.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

5 – Baba Booyah (Jeffrey Skerrett) 6.60 / 3.20 / 2.20
4 – Moon Charmer (Federico Mata) 2.10 / 2.20
3 – Hakuna Matata (Angel Stanley) 2.10

1 1/16 Miles
Time:  1:49.45

Your winner, Baba Booyah (photo from a previous race).

Perfect Start overcomes troubled trip in Mackinac Handicap

During a conversation with Perfect Start’s owner Charlie Williams, he said the three-year-old Jump Start colt had the potential to be the best horse to run under his name.

Perfect Start took a major step toward fulfilling that prophecy with a pace-stalking victory in Saturday’s $50,000 Mackinac Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Perfect Start stuck to the outside hip of early pacesetter Juggle as the field made its first pass under the wire and into the clubhouse turn, where he then moved inside to the rail. After trying to get around Juggle on the inside failed to produce results, jockey Alexis Ortiz moved Perfect Start sharply to the outside of his rival as the two battled across the backstretch.

As this was happening, Juggle began to accelerate heading into the final turn and quickly found himself used up on the lead. Perfect Start capitalized and overtook the leader in the turn. Post time favorite Meadow Wise also began to approach the front on the inside after a ground saving start. A length separated Perfect Start and Meadow Wise at the top of the stretch, as the challenger was urged to gain ground on the leader . However, Perfect Start continued to power ahead of his rival under a right hand whip and prevailed by 1 1/4 lengths. Romeo Again led the second wave of horses and finished four lengths behind Meadow Wise for third place. Early leader Juggle faded to last.

The 1 1/16 mile race was completed in 1:47:87 over a fast surface. Perfect Start raced at final odds of 5.10-to-one.

Perfect Start is homebred in Michigan by Charlie Williams and trained by Sandra Adkins. With the victory in the Mackinac, Perfect Start improved his lifetime record to three wins in six starts and notched his first stakes win in the process. His career earnings now total $49,570.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

2 – Perfect Start (Alexis Ortiz) 12.20 / 5.00 / 4.20
8 – Meadow Wise (Angel Stanley) 3.20 / 2.60
6 – Romeo Again (Federico Mata) 3.60

1 1/16 Miles
Time: 1:47.87

Your winner, Perfect Start (photo from a previous race).

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Michigan Sophomore Championships Preview

Ann Arbor trio gets rematch in Michigan Oaks

Hakuna Matata leads a field of five to the gates in Saturday's Michigan Oaks at Pinnacle Race Course.

Hakuna Matata leads a field of five to the gates in Saturday's Michigan Oaks at Pinnacle Race Course.

After a disputed finish shuffled the positions of the top three finishers in the Ann Arbor Stakes, the same trio will try to settle the score in Saturday’s 1 1/16 mile, $50,000 Michigan Oaks at Pinnacle Race Course.

The situation stems from the stretch drive of the Aug. 1 stakes race, where Moon Charmer repeatedly bothered stablemate Baba Booyah as they dueled for the lead. Baba Booyah was eventually forced to check and faded to third behind a late-surging Hakuna Matata.

The beneficiary of the change in positions was Hakuna Matata. The Meadow Prayer filly closed from well behind to cross the line second in the Ann Arbor, her last start, and was elevated to first following the stewards’ ruling. Angel Stanley will ride Hakuna Matata for owner White Lake Farms, Inc. and trainer Larry Uelmen.

An overly physical stretch drive sent Baba Booyah spiraling from a potential stakes victory to a fading third place finish. After the race, she was moved up to second. Baba Booyah enters the Michigan Oaks off a 3/4 length victory in an Aug. 14 allowance race at Pinnacle. The Daylight Savings filly is trained by Bob Gorham for his sister, Marion Gorham. Jeffrey Skerrett will have the assignment.

The offending party in the Ann Arbor, Moon Charmer, is also entered in Saturay’s race. The Indian Charlie filly was taken down to third in her last stakes effort, also her most recent start, after finishing 1 1/4 lengths ahead of her next closest rival. Moon Charmer is owned by Mast Thoroughbreds LLC and trained by Bob Gorham. She will be ridden by Federico Mata.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. City Tour / J J Delgado / S M Spiess / 20-1
2. Flint / A A Marin / J R Jackson / 20-1
3. Hakuna Matata / A O Stanley / L R Uelmen / 8-5
4. Moon Charmer / F Mata / R M Gorham / 5-2
5.  Baba Booyah / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 6-5

Gorham sends out three in Mackinac Handicap

Juggle is one of three horses entered by trainer Robert Gorham and owner Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC.

Juggle is one of the three horses entered by trainer Bob Gorham and owner Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC in Saturday's Mackinac Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

So far, Michigan’s three-year-old male division has literally been a two-horse race.

In the division’s two stakes races in 2009, stablemates Meadow Wise and Juggle have locked horns when the race was on the line. The pair figure to do the same in Saturday’s $50,000 Mackinac Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Meadow Wise holds a two-to-one advantage over Juggle in the head-to-head matchup, and is only a nose in the June 13 Lansing Stakes away from having the sweep. In their most recent meeting, the July 25 Dowling Stakes, Meadow Wise prevailed by 1 1/4 lengths. The Meadow Prayer gelding enters Saturday’s 1 1/16 mile race off a win by a nostril’s margin in an Aug. 7 allowance race at Pinnacle. Bob Gorham trains Meadow Wise for Mast Thoroughbreds LLC.

After leading the Dowling for all but the final strides, Juggle will look to even the series against his stablemate. The Elusive Hour colt gave way near the wire and was passed by a late-moving Romeo Again for the second place spot. He will be ridden by Jeffrey Skerrett in the Mackinac.

Juggle is owned and trained by the same connections as Meadow Wise, but they will compete as separate entries. The Mast/Gorham connection will also send out Reasontobefoolish, who enters off a victory in a $5,000 claiming event.

The horse who nipped Juggle at the wire for the runner-up spot in the Dowling, Romeo Again, is also entered in Saturday’s race. The Secret Romeo gelding stalked the lead pack and got up to take second by a head. He enters the Mackinac off a fifth place finish in an Aug. 7 allowance race at Presque Isle Downs. Romeo Again is owned by Lisa Campbell and II B’s Thoroughbreds. Ronnie Allen, Sr. trains Romeo Again, and will give jockey Federico Mata the leg up in Saturday’s race.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Juggle / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 6-1
2. Perfect Start / A Ortiz / S M Adkins / 7-2
3. Run Up The Score / J J Delgado / J R Jackson / 15-1
4. Reasontobefoolish / G Laurente / R M Gorham / 20-1
5. Jangle / A A Marin / D R Barron / 20-1
6. Romeo Again / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 5-1
7. Scrimpy / R Barrios / J R Jackson / 8-1
8. Meadow Wise / A O Stanley / R M Gorham / 6-5


Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races

Hakuna Matata wins by DQ, Senorita Tres by a neck

Hakuna Matata wins Ann Arbor Stakes by DQ

Hakuna Matata took advantage of an overly physical stretch drive to win Saturday’s $20,000 Ann Arbor Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course by disqualification.

The three-year-old Meadow Prayer filly bided her time in seventh place throughout most of the race before staging a rally deep in the stretch. Despite the late move by jockey Angel Stalney, it was not enough to get past post time co-favorite Moon Charmer, who completed the one mile race with a time of 1:42.14.

However, the order of finish was altered when Moon Charmer was taken down to third after repeatedly bothering the race’s leader in the stretch, Baba Booyah.

After taking the lead through the first turn, Susie’s Prayer battled The Girl Rolls through the backstretch with the three entries from trainer Robert Gorham’s barn all sitting in stalking position. Baba Booyah moved up to challenge The Girl Rolls approaching the final turn and overtook the leader shortly afterward. After distancing herself from the field through the turn, Baba Booyah was challenged by Moon Charmer as the two turned for home. With 1/16 of a mile to go, Moon Charmer began lugging in toward Baba Booyah, whose rider eventually checked, leaving her rival free to win the race by 1 1/4 lengths. With her momentum already going in the wrong direction, Baba Booyah was unable to hold off Hakuna Matata, who rallied seven-wide to finish second by a nose. 

After the race, a Stewards’ Inquiry put Moon Charmer behind Baba Booyah for third, which elevated Hakuna Matata to the top spot.

Hakuna Matata is trained by Larry Uelmen for White Lake Farms, Inc.. The Ann Arbor was Hakuna Matata’s second win in eight career starts, and was also her first stakes triumph. With the win, her career earnings increased to $50,866.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

3 – Hakuna Matata (Angel Stanley) 12.60 / 5.40 / 4.00
6 – Baba Booyah (Ricardo Barrios) 5.60 / 4.20
1A – Moon Charmer (DQ 1st to 3rd) (Godofredo Laurente) 3.80

One Mile
Time: 1:42.14

Your winner, Hakuna Matata; Angel Stanley, up (Photo from a previous race).

Senorita Tres hangs on in Midwest Maturity

Senorita Tres (4) holds off Rio Rojo Jess (1A) to take the Midwest Maturity Challenge Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The “right horse for the course” theory held up once again when Senorita Tres notched another big win in Sunday’s $21,000 Midwest Maturity Challenge Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The four-year-old Tres Seis filly avoided a small commotion from her neighbors coming out of the gate and put a nose at the front of the pack in the early goings. She maintained a small advantage heading into the main stretch and gained separation in the middle stage of the race. Senorita Tres then held off a strong late charge by Rio Rojo Jess to prevail by a neck in the 350 yard race under jockey Richard Rettele. The winning time for the race was :17.696 seconds, eclipsing the horse’s own mark for the year’s fastest time at that distance. 

Rio Rojo Jess finished 3/4 lengths ahead of Hez Fastforthecash for the runner-up position. Rio Rojo Jess ran second to Senorita Tres in a similar fashion during their last faceoff in the July 5 Don Boyd Memorial Handicap.

Senorita Tres is owned by Walter Harrison and trained by Carol Rettele. The Midwest Maturity was Senorita Tres’ 17th win in 22 starts, increasing her lifetime earnings to $131,932.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

4 – Senorita Tres (Richard Rettele) 3.00 / 3.00 / 2.10
1A – Rio Rojo Jess (Nate Alcala) 2.40 / 2.20
2 Hez Fastforthecash (Jimmy Williams) 2.40

350 Yards
Time: 17.696 Seconds 

Your winner, Senorita Tres; Richard Rettele, up.

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Mrs. Murphy’s third start completely overshadows Regret Stakes, Michigan-Bred Derby

Rare is the day when a maiden claimer takes top billing over a stakes race. This is one of those days. Mrs. Murphy leaves the paddock with Angel Stanley aboard.

Rare is the day when a maiden claimer takes top billing over a stakes race. This is one of those days. Mrs. Murphy leaves the paddock with Angel Stanley aboard.

At the beginning of the day, the plan was to post a preview of Saturday’s Regret Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

Then I checked the entries.

Mrs. Murphy is scheduled to make her third start this Saturday in a $12,500 maiden claiming event going 5 1/2 furlongs. The purse is $6,600.

I don’t care if they resurrect Man O’ War to run in a match race against Secretariat; Murph gets the duke.

Mrs. Murphy looks to improve from her last race on June 9, where she faded to last after challenging for the lead for four furlongs. Murph will face three foes from her last start, who finished second, third and fourth in that race. 

To be honest, I am not sure what to expect out of this race. Her trainer said she likely learned a lot from her last start and she is becoming more focused and better conditioned, so those are signs that suggest improvement (let me be optimistic, damn it).

Understandably, Murph’s odds are the second longest on the board at 12-1. Considering Mrs. Murphy’s finishes in her first two races, I can not imagine what the 15-1 Ariel’s Ryder did to deserve longer odds. I assume I will find out when I get a look at the program.

It should come as no surprise that I will be there to see the race in person. Expect some kind of recap in the days following the race and, of course, lots of pictures.

Also somewhere down Saturday’s card is the first stakes event for Michigan’s three-year-old fillies division, the $50,000 Regret Stakes.

Can Moon Charmer find the winner's circle again this Saturday? Federico Mata poses aboard the winner following the Michigan Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

Can Moon Charmer find the winner's circle again this Saturday? Federico Mata poses aboard the winner following the Michigan Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The six-furlong Regret features an eleven-horse field, which may very well be the most competitors the track sent to the gates all year.

The field’s lone stakes winner, the Robert Gorham-trained Moon Charmer, will look to reclaim her blacktype success after finishing in the middle of the pack in races at Indiana Downs and Hawthorne Race Course this spring. Owned by Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC, the Indian Charlie filly upset the field, including stablemate and eventual Michigan Two-Year-Old Filly of the Year Skyline Star, in the Michigan Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Pinnacle last November. Jeffrey Skerrett will be in the irons aboard Moon Charmer.

Also entered is maiden winner Silent Tears, who comes in off a week’s rest from her maiden victory. The Gold Case filly scored a front-running win in the Maiden Special Weight event as the 0.80-to-1 favorite, winning by 4 1/2 lengths. She is owned by Felicia Campbell and II B’s Thoroughbred, and is trained by Ronald Allen, Sr.. Federico Mata gets the assignment.

The morning line favorite, Baba Booyah, enters the race off a second place allowance effort on June 9. The Daylight Savings filly was soundly beaten in two Allowance Optional Claiming tries at Hawthorne this March, but broke her maiden in her first start at Pinnacle. Ricardo Barrios retains the mount for owner Marion Gorham and trainer Robert Gorham. 

Here is a full list of entries for Saturday’s Regret Stakes…

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Oh Fiddlestix / G. Laurente / J. R. Jackson / 15-1
2. Flint / J. J. Delgado / J.R. Jackson / 20-1
3. Hakuna Matata / A. O. Stanley / L. R. Uelmen / 8-1
4. Peak of the Storm / R. L. Knott / L. Penner / 7-2
5. In the Frame / L. J. Frazzitta, Jr. / L. R. Uelmen / 20-1
6. The Girl Rolls / O. Bernal / J. R. Jackson / 15-1
7. Moon Charmer / J. Skerrett / R. M. Gorham / 5-1
8. Silent Tears / F. Mata / R. D. Allen, Sr. / 9-2
9. Ittybittymeadow / I. R. Gonzalez / R. M. Gorham / 6-1
10. Creative Secret / M. B. Chen / J. C. Rupert / 12-1
11. Baba Booyah / R. Barrios / R. M. Gorham / 3-1

Also on the stakes schedule for the weekend is Sunday’s $12,500 Michigan-Bred Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows. The 350-yard race is the first final of the year for Michigan’s three-year-old Quarter Horses.

Anniversary Annie will be one of three horses entered by the Rettele barn in Sunday's Michigan-Bred Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Richard Rettele is aboard in the photo, but Julie Veltman will get the assignment Sunday.

Anniversary Annie will be one of three horses entered by the Rettele barn in Sunday's Michigan-Bred Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Richard Rettele is aboard in the photo, but Julie Veltman will get the assignment Sunday.

The likely favorite will be Carol Rettele charge Hez Fastforthecash. The Heza Fast Man gelding won stakes races at Mount Pleasant and Beulah Park during his juvenile campaign. He proved his mettle against older competition earlier this year, finishing fourth in the May 24 Spring Sprint Stakes at Mount Pleasant, but only missing the top spot by a neck. Hez Fastforthecash is owned by Coronet Farm and will be ridden by Richard Rettele. 

Another entrant with stakes success is Im The Saint. Owned by Debra Redmond and trained by Renee Wilson, Im The Saint won last year’s GLQHA Stallion Service Sale Futurity. Nate Alcala will get the leg up on Sunday.

Also entered is allowance winner Anniversary Annie. The First Wrangler filly’s lone off-the-board finish was a fourth place effort against Im The Saint in the Stallion Service Sale Futurity. She is owned by Mark Mercer, trained by Carol Rettele, and will be ridden by Julie Veltman.

Here is the field for Sunday’s Michigan-Bred Derby…

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Mama Cole / No Rider / D. N. Gates / 8-1
1A. Sagas Quick Dash / O. Delgado / A. F. Cunningham / 8-1
2. Red Tail Fox / W. Ortiz / C. Rettele / 12-1
3. Justa Toolin / L. Gates / D. N. Gates / 6-1
4. Anniversary Annie / J. Veltman / C. Rettele / 4-1
5. Spinning Planet / M. Holmes / D. J. Evans / 20-1
6. Hez Fastforthecash / R. Rettele / C. Rettele / 3-5
7. Mood For The Dash / J. F. Delgado / A. F. Cunningham / 10-1
8. Im The Saint / N. Alcala / R. Wilson / 2-1


Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races, The Family Business

Mr. Conclusive remains undefeated on Michigan Juvenile Saturday

Two-year-old Flint shows a little fire in the paddock before the Juvenile Fillies Futurity.

Two-year-old Flint shows a little fire in the paddock before the Michigan Fillies Futurity.

The races for Michigan Horse of the Year in the two juvenile divisions took another step toward sorting themselves out on Saturday following the Michigan Futurities at Pinnacle Race Course.

Also on the card Saturday was a $20,000 allowance race, pitting several competitors from this year’s Sire Stakes against each other for one more start in their home state.

With such a big day of racing on the card, I decided to head down to Pinnacle for one last day at the races before Sunday’s final date of the meet. I left the grounds with about $50 more than I came in with, so I would consider the day a rousing success.

Saturday was also one of Pinnacle’s giveaway days, with the free item being a newspaper-sponsored poster of the racetrack’s jockeys. In the patio area, said jockeys were made available to sign the posters. From what I saw, they were far from swamped with autograph requests, but I am glad to see Pinnacle trying to get the fans connected with the people on the track. At the moment, none of the faces on the poster have enough drawing power to make the promotion attract many more fans than an average Saturday afternoon (the people at the door were left with stacks of leftover posters), but perhaps after a few years, after a few of the jockeys get some inches in the local newspapers (and NOT for fixing races, guilty or not), the general public may single out some fan favorites. Either way, It is good to see Pinnacle trying things to draw people in.

Alright, less yappin’ more recappin’…
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Filed under Pictures, Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races