Tag Archives: Prince of Paulie

Meadow Magic rallies in three-year-old males Sire Stakes

Meadow Magic became the first horse to win multiple stakes races during Pinnacle Race Course’s 2010 meet in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sire Stakes for three-year-old colts and geldings.

The Meadow Prayer gelding broke from the outside gate and ran in fourth behind leader Secrets Only as the field made its first pass by the finish line. Secrets Only ran well off the rail heading into the first turn with a length advantage over Prince Of Paulie. The leader continued to stay off the rail and added an additional half length to his lead heading into the backstretch. Prince of Paulie continued to chase the leader across the straightaway, two lengths ahead of Meadow Magic in third. Secrets Only entered the final turn two lengths in front.

The margins remained unchanged at the top of the stretch, but the pack began to reel in the leader as they passed the eighth pole. Meadow Magic assumed the lead on the outside with Prince Of Paulie coming along between the leader and a fading Secrets Only. Under steady urging from jockey Tommy Molina, Meadow Magic crossed the finish line for a 3 1/2 length victory. A late-moving Power Of Titus edged out Prince Of Paulie by a head for the runner-up spot.

Meadow Magic crossed the wire in the mile and one sixteenth race in 1:48.92 over a fast dirt surface. He was the field’s second choice at 1.50-to-0ne.

A Michigan-bred from the farm of Marilyn McMaster, Meadow Magic was sent to the post by trainer James Jackson for owners Laura Jackson and Red Riding Hood Stables LLC. The Sire Stakes was his fourth win from eleven starts and his second stakes score. With the win, his career earnings now total $85,860.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

7 – Meadow Magic (Tommy Molina) 5.00 / 2.40 / 2.80
1 – Power Of Titus (Octavio Bernal) 2.40 / 2.10
5 – Prince Of Paulie (Ronald Allen, Jr.) 2.80

One Mile and One Sixteenth
Time: 1:48.92

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2010 Sire Stakes Preview: Sophomores

Star Sheba headlines Sophomore Fillies Sire Stakes

With no repeat stakes winners in 2010, Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sire Stakes for three year-old fillies at Pinnacle Race Course will go a long way in deciding who earns the division’s title.

This section of the Sire Stakes drew ten three-year-old Michigan-sired fillies to run 1 1/16 miles. Eventual champion Hakuna Matata was the winner of last year’s running.

Regret Stakes winner Star Sheba will start from the outside post in Saturday’s race. The Elusive Hour filly won the July 10 race by 3/4 lengths in a gate-to-wire effort at Pinnacle. She also finished third in the Sept. 11 Michigan Oaks. Star Sheba enters the Sire Stakes off a runner-up finish in a Sept. 20 allowance race at Mountaineer. Tommy Molina will ride Star Sheba for owner Elkhorn Oaks, Inc. and trainer James Jackson.

Cute Creation cashed in at a big price in the Michigan Oaks after a front-running victory. The daughter of Creative pulled away in the stretch to win by 4 3/4 lengths at odds of 13.90-to-one in her most recent start. Owned by Say Bay Racing, LLC and trained by Gary Terrien, Cute Creation will be ridden by Jorge Collazo, Jr.

Charlies Fire has come to life since moving to Pinncale. The Fire Blitz filly has gone two-for-two in a maiden special weight and allowance races at the Detroit-area track by a combined 8 1/2 lengths. Prior to that, Charlies Fire turned in a fourth place finish in a maiden claiming race at Presque Isle Downs. Federico Mata will be in the irons for owner Lisa Campbell

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Charlies Fire / F Mata / P L White / 5-2
2. Hustle Now / O Bernal / L R Uelmen / 7-2
3. Equality’s Angel / J J Delgado / S M Spiess / 20-1
4. Cute Creation / J E Collazo, Jr. / G E Terrien / 6-1
5. Run with Rachel / R Barrios / L Penner / 10-1
6. De La Crem / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 12-1
7. Fully Exposed / A O Stanley / J R Jackson / 15-1
8. Skys Red Roxy / W P Rini / D Cluley / 20-1
9. Ironically Equal / A A Marin / S M Adkins / 20-1
10. Star Sheba / T Molina / J R Jackson / 3-1

Power Of Titus returns to division in soph males Sire Stakes

Michigan’s three-year-old males will compete in their division of Michigan’s marquee race in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sire Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

Seven Michigan-sired colts and geldings are scheduled to entered the gates in the 1 1/16-mile race. Romeo Again found the winner’s circle in the 2009 edition of the Sire Stakes.

After jumping up to tackle the older males, Power Of Titus will once again face his fellow three-year-olds in Saturday’s race. The Secret Romeo gelding finished third in his last start, only a half length behind the winner, in the Oct. 2 Frontier Handicap against Michigan’s older males. In his most recent start against sophomores, Power Of Titus drove to the wire to win the Sept. 4 Mackinac Handicap. Owned and trained by Del Waite, Power of Titus will be ridden by Octavio Bernal.

Dowling Stakes winner Meadow Magic is also entered in the Sire Stakes. The Meadow Prayer gelding won that race by four lengths, and probably could have added more distance if not for drifting out near the outside rail down the stretch. He enters Saturday’s race off a second place finish in the Mackinac. James Jackson will saddle Meadow Magic for owners Laura Jackson and Red Riding Hood Stables, LLC. Tommy Molina will get the riding assignment in Saturday’s race.

Prince Of Paulie will try to make a six-day turnaround to win his first race of the year after winning Michigan’s two-year-old male of the year. The gelded son of Meadow Prayer finished fourth in an October 10 allowance race at Pinnacle prior to Saturday’s race after starts in Pinnacle’s three divisional stakes races. Ronald Allen, Jr. picks up the mount for owner John Mack and Richard Rettele.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Power Of Titus / O Bernal / D D Waite / 2-1
2. Watchin The Vix / F Mata / R M Gorham / 10-1
3. Call The Natives / W Rini / M A Barron / 12-1
4. Generalyitsamemory / R Barrios / D Cluley / 15-1
5. Prince Of Paulie / R D Allen, Jr. / R J Rettele / 5-1
6. Secrets Only / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 8-1
7. Meadow Magic / T Molina / J R Jackson / 8-5

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Meadow Magic draws off erratically in Dowling Stakes

After several races spent on the cusp of a breakthrough stakes win, Meadow Magic finally earned his first marquee score in Saturday’s $20,000 Dowling Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The three-year-old Meadow Prayer colt broke on the rail as Generalyitsamemory took the early lead by a length over Hour By Hour. Mission Achieved also applied pressure to the lead duo as they made their way through the first turn. Generalyitsamemory held a length’s advantage after a quarter mile as his trailers began to bunch together and move closer to the front. Meadow Magic climbed up the rail across the backstretch and improved from eighth place to breathing down the leader’s neck on the inside while the other half of the entry, Hour By Hour, kept up the pressure on the outside.

The two parts of the entry and Generalyitsamemory dueled throughout the final turn. Hour By Hour held a slight advantage coming out of the bend, but Meadow Magic quickly moved ahead of his rivals by multiple lengths. Once clear, Meadow Magic veered out sharply down the stretch, and was well past the center of the track despite attempts to correct his course by jockey Ricardo Barrios. However, taking the long way did not deter Meadow Magic from his goal, as he crossed the wire to win by four lengths. Power Of Titus finished second after a six wide rally from last place. Prince of Paulie finished an even third.

Meadow Magic completed the one mile race in 1:41.53 over a fast dirt surface. He was the co-post time favorite with the other half of his entry, Hour By Hour, at odds of 0.40-to-one.

Meadow Magic was bred in Michigan by Marilyn McMaster. James Jackson is the winning conditioner for owners Laura Jackson and Red Riding Hood Stables LLC. With the victory in the Dowling, Meadow Magic improved his career record to three wins from eight starts for earnings of $42,160.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

1 – Meadow Magic (Ricardo Barrios) 2.80 / 2.40 / 2.20
5 – Power Of Titus (Alexis Ortiz) 5.00 / 2.60
3 – Prince Of Paulie (Jose Delgado) 3.20

One Mile
Time: 1:41.53

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Prince of Paulie, Hour By Hour square off in Lansing Stakes

Following a 2009 meet where the state’s two-year-old males took turns beating each other in stakes contests, Michigan was left with co-champions in its juvenile colts and geldings division.

Track announcer Matt Hook’s champion, Hour By Hour, and the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s title holder, Prince of Paulie, will try to break the stalemate among a field of 11 in Saturday’s $50,000 Lansing Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

The six furlong race for Michigan-bred three-year-olds is notable in Pinnacle’s history for being the track’s inaugural race on its opening day in 2008. That installment was won in an upset victory by Equally Good.

Prince of Paulie was the only horse in his crop to hit the board in all three of Pinnacle’s stakes races for two-year-old males in 2009. The Meadow Prayer gelding won the Sept. 12 Patrick Wood Stakes, then finished third in the Oct. 3 Michigan Sire Stakes and second by a neck in the Oct. 17 Michigan Futurity. He enters the Lansing off a fourth place finish in a May 22 allowance race at Thistledown. Prince of Paulie is owned by John Mack and will be saddled by Richard Rettele. Regular rider J.J. Delgado retains the assignment.

Hour By Hour will make his 2010 debut in the Lansing. Last year’s campaign was highlighted by a three-length victory in the juvenile males division of the Sire Stakes. The Elusive Hour colt ended his 2009 run with an unplaced finish in the Michigan Futurity. Federico Mata will have the mount aboard Hour By Hour for owners Valerie Irvine and Laura Jackson. Hour By Hour is trained by James Jackson.

Also entered is Arts And Leisure, who makes his debut at Pinnacle and in stakes company. The Equality gelding has won three of five career starts at Presque Isle Downs, Thistledown and Tampa Bay Downs. His most recent victory came in a June 3 claiming event at Presque Isle, where Arts And Leisure was checked, but came back to score by a head. Arts And Leisure will run for owners Gene and Phyllis Gilmore and trainer Gerald Bennett. A rider had not been named for Arts And Leisure at the time the morning line odds were set.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Meadow Magic / T Molina / J R Jackson / 4-1
2. Wiley Potts / A A Marin / R M Gorham / 15-1
3. Music Conductor / J R Martinez, Jr. / R J Rettele / 20-1
4. Why Not Nauiti / G W Mayhew / B I McBride / 20-1
5. Secrets Only / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 8-1
6. Ready To Tango / R Barrios / L R Uelmen / 5-1
7. Dream Victory / J Cruz / J R Jackson / 10-1
8. Power Of Titus / D Rodriguez / D D Waite / 8-1
9. Prince of Paulie / J J Delgado / R J Rettele / 7-2
10. Arts And Leisure / No Rider / G S Bennett / 12-1
11. Hour By Hour / F Mata / J R Jackson / 6-1

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Michigan Juvenile Championships Preview

Division title up for grabs in Michigan Futurity

Hour By Hour can clinch his division's title with a victory in the Michigan Futurity at Pinnacle Race Course.

Hour By Hour can clinch his division's title with a victory in the Michigan Futurity at Pinnacle Race Course.

After Hour By Hour and Prince of Paulie swapped finishing positions in their two previous meetings, Michigan’s two-year-old male division was thrown into a stalemate.

The pair will face off against a full field of 12 in the one mile rubber match to decide the crop’s top runner in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Futurity at Pinnacle Race Course.

Hour By Hour got the best of his rival during their most recent meeting in the Oct. 3 Michigan Sires Juvenile at Pinnacle. The Elusive Hour colt took his usual front-running path to the finish in that race to prevail by three lengths. Hour By Hour is owned Valerie Irvine and Laura Jackson and is trained by James Jackson. Federico Mata will retain the mount following his win in the Sire Stakes.

Prince of Paulie staked his claim to the two-year-old male title in the Sept. 12 Patrick Wood Stakes at Pinnacle. The Meadow Prayer gelding followed up with a third place finish in the Sire Stakes, his most recent start. J.J. Delgado will ride Prince of Paulie for owner John Mack and trainer Richard Rettele.

Because Hour By Hour and Prince of Paulie both favor front-running styles, the two could find each other battling for the lead in the race’s early goings. If that happens, a horse who has shown some tactical speed could take advantage of the situation. Power of Titus moved up from well back to finish a length behind Prince of Paulie in the Patrick Wood and could benefit from the added distance. The Secret Romeo colt took a step back in the Sire Stakes, with a fifth place finish in his most recent start. He is owned and trained by Del Waite. Mike Roll will pick up the mount aboard Power of Titus.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Hour By Hour / F Mata / J R Jackson / 5-2
2. A Love Away / No Rider / R D Allen, Sr. / 30-1
3. Sahmmy Falls / G Laurente / S M Spiess / 20-1
4. Geta Ticket / A O Stanley / D Kueffner / 6-1
5. Terko Service / W A Barnett / R D Allen, Sr. / 30-1
6. Dream Victory / A A Marin / J R Jackson / 5-1
7. Ready To Tango / A Ortiz / L R Uelmen / 15-1
8. Power of Titus / M Roll / D D Waite / 10-1
9. Sunny Stripe / No Rider / R M Gorham / 20-1
10. Meadow Magic / J Skerrett / J R Jackson / 9-2
11. Prince of Paulie / J J Delgado / R J Rettele / 4-1
12. Wild Alex / J M Camejo / A Macias / 30-1

Stakes runners-up square off in Michigan Juvenile Fillies

Top Touch will shoot for her first stakes score in the Michigan Juvenile Fillies at Pinnacle Race Course.

Top Touch will shoot for her first stakes score in the Michigan Juvenile Fillies at Pinnacle Race Course.

With likely division champion Hustle Now taking a well-deserved break, the two horses who finished behind her in this year’s stakes races will take center stage in Saturday’s one mile $50,000 Michigan Juvenile Fillies at Pinnacle Race Course.

Top Touch never got a chance to redeem herself for her second place finish in Sept. 12 Sickle’s Image Stakes because she was not eligible for the Sire Stakes. In the Sickle’s Image, the Touch Gold filly battled down the stretch with Hustle Now and begrudgingly gave way as the wire approached. Top Touch is owned by Charlie Williams and trained by Sandra Adkins. Alexis Ortiz will be in the irons.

De La Crem was a mild surprise in the Oct. 3 Sire Stakes, with a runner-up finish at odds of 15.20-to-one. The Island Storm filly moved up from the middle of the pack to come within a length and a half of Hustle Now, but the leader’s closing kick was too much for the field to handle. Bob Gorham trains De La Crem for Mast Thoroughbreds LLC. Regular rider Jeffrey Skerrett will have the assignment.

Also entered is the only filly to have started in both her division’s stakes races this year, Fortune in Gold. The Secret Romeo filly comes off a late-gaining third place finish in the Sire Stakes. J.J. Delgado will ride Fortune in Gold for owner Steve Prain and trainer Dave Kueffner.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Electric Venus / A O Stanley / R R Russell / 8-1
2. Fortune in Gold / J J Delgado / D Kueffner / 4-1
3. Maximimi / F Mata / R M Gorham / 12-1
4. Itsabouttimeiz / A A Marin / D D Waite / 20-1
5. Top Touch / A Ortiz / S M Adkins / 7-5
6. De La Crem / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 2-1

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Sire Stakes Preview: Juveniles

Prince of Paulie goes for consecutive stakes wins in Juvenile Colts & Geldings division

Prince of Paulie heads up a field of **** in the juvenile males division of the Sire Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

Prince of Paulie heads up a field of ten in the juvenile males division of the Sire Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

After his victory in the Sep. 12 Patrick Wood Stakes, Prince of Paulie established himself as the leader of Michigan’s juvenile male division.

On Saturday, Prince of Paulie will face a new set of challengers to his title in the $50,000 Michigan Sire Stakes, a six furlong race for two-year-old colts and geldings at Pinnacle Race Course.

Prince of Paulie set the bar for the state’s two-year-old males with his one length victory in the Patrick Wood, his most recent start. The Meadow Prayer gelding has won two of his three career starts, all at Pinnacle. J.J. Delgado will ride Prince of Paulie for owner J Mack Enterprise Inc. and trainer Richard Rettele.

The late moving runner-up in the Patrick Wood, Power of Titus, will return for another shot at Prince of Paulie in the Sire Stakes. The Secret Romeo colt took the rail from seven lengths back to finish a length behind the winner in his most recent start. Power of Titus is owned and trained by Del Waite and will be ridden by Alexis Ortiz.

The entrant with the most stakes experience is Kid Kearny Gabe. The West Virginia-bred by The Deputy (Ire) finished second in the Aug. 1 Mountaineer Juvenile at Mountaineer. He enters the Sire Stakes off a sixth place finish in the Aug. 22 Henry P. Mercer Memorial Stakes at Charles Town Races and Slots. Kid Kearny Gabe is owned by Joseph Testa and trained by Ollie Figgins III. Regular rider Joel Hiraldo will have the mount on Saturday.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Quick Carnage / J Skerrett / J R Jackson / 12-1
2. Meadow Magic / T D Houghton / J R Jackson / 10-1
3. Power of Titus / A Ortiz / D D Waite / 6-1
4. Prince of Paulie / J J Delgado / R J Rettele / 2-1
5. Blazin Factor / R L Knott / R P Inman / 12-1
6. Kid Kearny Gabe / J Hiraldo / O L Figgins III / 3-1
7. Electric Island / G Laurente / R M Gorham / 20-1
8. Hour By Hour / F Mata / J R Jackson / 8-1
9. Bentley Red / A O Stanley / D Cluley / 20-1
10. Kid Klare / A A Marin / D R Barron / 20-1

Hustle Now headlines Juvenile Fillies division

Hustle Now brings the field's only stakes win into the Juvenile Fillies' Sire Stakes.

Hustle Now brings the field's lone stakes win into the Juvenile Fillies' Sire Stakes.

Michigan’s two-year-old fillies division began to sort itself out when Hustle Now outdueled Top Touch in the Sep. 12 Sickle’s Image Stakes.

The division will take another step toward deciding its top runners in Saturday’s $50,000 Michigan Sire Stakes for two-year-old fillies at Pinnacle Race Course.

Hustle Now enters the six furlong Sire Stakes off her 1 1/4 length victory in the Sickle’s Image. The Creative filly brings a two race winning streak into the Sire Stakes, as well as its only stakes victory. Angel Stanley will have the mount aboard Hustle Now for owner Sheffield Farms an trainer Larry Uelmen.

Creative Lite finished third in the Sickle’s Image, well behind the race’s top two finishers. The Creative filly is still a maiden, but hitting the board in the Sickle’s Image gives Creative Lite the second most successful stakes resume in the field. Creative Lite is owned by Sharon Valley Thoroughbreds and trained by James Jackson. Alexis Oritz will be in the saddle.

Also entered is maiden winner De La Crem. The Island Storm filly enters the race off a Sep. 8 maiden special weight victory at Pinnacle after multiple seconds and thirds against the upper echelon of the division. De La Crem is trained by Bob Gorham for owner Mast Throughbreds LLC. Jeffrey Skerrett will have the assignment for Saturday’s race.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Blitz It Again / No Rider / R D Allen, Sr. / 30-1
2. Hustle Now / A O Stanley / L R Uelmen / 8-5
3. Q Ginger Snap / T D Houghton / S M Adkins / 6-1
4. Fortune In Gold / J J Delgado / D Kueffner / 10-1
5. Q Elegant Storm / W Barnett / J T White / 9-2
6. De La Crem / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 4-1
7. Tramore Bay / G Laurente / J R Jackson / 30-1
8. Rulers Elusive / A A Marin / J R Jackson / 15-1
9. Creative Lite / A Ortiz / J R Jackson / 8-1
10. Shes A Blitz / F Mata / R D Allen, Sr. / 20-1

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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

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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

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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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Michigan Breeders’ Championships Preview: Juveniles

Pinnacle Race Course hosts a big day of racing this Saturday, featuring four stakes races for the juvenile and older male and female divisions. This post will examine the days two-year-old contests, while the next one will break down the more experienced competitors.

Hustle Now leads Sickle’s Image Stakes field

Michigan’s two-year-old fillies will get their first chance to earn some blacktype in Saturday’s $50,000 Sickle’s Image Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course.

Five of the eight horses in the Sickle’s Image enter the six furlong race with a win under their belt. Among the winners, Hustle Now registered the highest Beyer Speed Figure in her maiden victory, earning a 47. The Creative Filly tallied the number in her most recent start, a five furlong Aug. 25 maiden special weight event at Pinnacle, where she prevailed by 3 1/2 lengths. Hustle Now is trained by Larry Uelmen for owner Sheffield Farms. Regular rider Angel Stanley will be in the irons.

Top Touch earned her first victory in a 4 1/2 furlong maiden special weight contest on July 28 at Pinnacle. The Touch Gold filly out-dueled her rivals in that effort and finished two lengths ahead at the wire. Top Touch is owned by Charlie Williams and trained by Sandra Adkins. Federico Mata will have the mount on Saturday.

Also entered is Fortune in Gold, whose maiden victory came in a five furlong Aug. 11 maiden special weight race at Pinnacle. In that race, Fortune in Gold led at every point of call on her way to a driving two length win. JJ Delgado will ride Fortune in Gold for owner Steve Prain and trainer Dave Kueffner.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Top Touch / F Mata / S M Adkins / 2-1
2. Creative Life / A Ortiz / J R Jackson / 6-1
3. Beija Fleur / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 8-1
4. Run With Rachel / A A Marin / R J Rettele / 15-1
5. Q Ginger Snap / R Barrios / S M Adkins / 10-1
6. Fortune in Gold / J J Delgado / D Kueffner / 4-1
7. Hustle Now / A O Stanley / L R Uelmen / 5-2
8. Q Elegant Storm / G Laurente / J T White / 20-1

Prince of Paulie headlines Patrick Wood Stakes

Though all but one of the ten horses entered in the $50,000 Patrick Wood Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course have found the winner’s circle, none have had the opportunity to take their game to the next level and earn a stakes victory. That will change this Saturday when a full field enters the gates for the six furlong contest.

Prince of Paulie enters the Patrick Wood coming off the widest margin of victory in the field. The Meadow Prayer gelding shot to the lead in a 4 1/2 furlong maiden special weight race at Pinnacle on Aug. 4 and extended to a driving 6 1/4 length triumph. JJ Delgado will ride Prince of Paulie for owner John Mack and trainer Richard Rettele.

Power of Titus broke his maiden in a convincing fashion as well, having taken a July 21 maiden special race at Pinnacle by 3 1/4 lengths. The Secret Romeo colt enters the race off a fifth place finish in an Aug. 25 allowance race at Mountaineer. Power of Titus is owned and trained by Del Waite and will be ridden by Rick Knott.

Hour By Hour is one of three horses in the field to enter the Patrick Wood off a single start, all of whom were winners. The Elusive Hour colt got his maiden win out of the way quickly in a June 23 special weight event, which he won by 3/4 lengths. Hour by Hour is trained by James Jackson for owner Valerie Irvine. Angel Stanley picks up the mount.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Sahmmy Falls / F Mata / S M Spiess / 15-1
2. Prince of Paulie / J J Delgado / R J Rettele / 7-2
3. Meadow Magic / A A Marin / J R Jackson / 8-1
4. Hour by Hour / A O Stanley / J R Jackson / 6-1
5. Bentley Red / G Lagunes / D Cluley / 12-1
6. Power of Titus / R L Knott / D D Waite / 3-1
7. Call the Natives / L Frazzitta, Jr. / M A Barron / 10-1
8.Sunny Stripe / J Skerrett / R M Gorham / 12-1
9. Ready to Tango / R Barrios / L R Uelmen / 9-2
10. Dream Victory / A Ortiz / J R Jackson / 15-1

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