Tag Archives: Stakes Races

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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Closing day stakes action at Mount Pleasant Meadows

Uno Corona seeks first stakes win in Budweiser Futurity

Fearless Fred was one of two horses to set the fastest time in the trials for Sunday's Oil Capital Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Fearless Fred was one of two horses to set the fastest time in the trials for Sunday's Oil Capital Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The last day of the meet offers Michigan’s top juveniles one last chance to prove themselves in Sunday’s $20,000 Budweiser Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Each horse in the full field of 10 entries will be trying for his or her first stakes breakthrough in the 400-yard event.

One of two horses to post the fastest qualifying time in the Budweiser Futurity Trials was Uno Corona, at 20.39 seconds. The Corona For Me filly has had a globetrotting juvenile campaign, with starts at Manor Downs, The Red Mile, Hoosier Park and Mount Pleasant. The Oil Capital Derby will the first time she has made multiple starts at one track, after winning her trial by 1 1/2 lengths on Sep. 13. Oscar Delgado retains the mount for owner Ignacio Soto and trainer Rolando Almanza.

Fearless Fred also stopped the clocks in his trial with the fastest time of 20.39 seconds. The Fredricksburg gelding won his Sep. 13 trial by two lengths. Carol Rettele trains Fearless Fred for owner Walter Harrison. Richard Rettele will have the mount.

The winner of the third trial, Fishin For A Lady is also entered in Sunday’s final. The Fishin Kisses gelding crossed the wire in 20:53 seconds in his Sep. 13 trial, a length and a half ahead of the runner-up. Fishin for a Lady is owned by R and R Racing Stable LLC and trained by Tony Cunningham. Rafael Fernandez picks up the mount for the Oil Capital Derby.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Alley Rose 123 / M Holmes / J Hall / 7-1
1A. Eight Below 123 / L Gates / J Hall / 7-1
2. Fishin For A Lady / R V Fernandez / A F Cunningham / 4-1
3. Snaptooit / R Rettele / C Rettele / 10-1
4. Fearless Fred / R Rettele / C Rettele / 2-1
5. Which Wich 501 / N Fritz / A F Cunningham / 8-1
6. Go Little Val / C Garrison / S D Garrison / 12-1
7. Uno Corona / O Delgado / R Almanza / 7-5
8. Playin Favorites / G W Mayhew / C Rettele / 6-1
9. Later Version / N Alcala / C Rettele / 20-1

More stakes previews from getaway day at Mount Pleasant Meadows can be found behind the jump. Just click the link below.

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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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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

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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

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

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Blacktype Bonanza at Mount Pleasant Meadows: Part Two

Pachet will look to continue her stakes success with regular rider Tasha Fritz in Sunday's ARC Midwest Maturity Stakes.

Pachet will look to continue her stakes success in Sunday's ARC Midwest Maturity Distaff Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Fritz trio highlights ARC Midwest Maturity Distaff Stakes

In last year’s Michigan Juvenile, the race’s top three finishers wore the colors of owner Tom Fritz and trainer Mario Fritz.

The duo will try to accomplish the same feat with two of the three horses that pulled it off last year in Sunday’s $11,000 Arabian Racing Cup Midwest Maturity Distaff Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The Fritz platoon is led by Michigan Juvenile winner Pachet. The four-year-old Haffir El Rimal filly enters the six furlong race off a third place finish in an August 2 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Tasha Fritz will get the assignment.

Whos My Daddy has had a productive year at Mount Pleasant Meadows, having hit the board in all but one of her seven starts at the central Michigan track this year. The five-year-old Haffir El Rimal filly comes off a fifth place finish in an August 2 allowance race at Mount Pleasant following two straight victories. Whos My Daddy is owned and trained by Julie Post. Jimmy Williams will be in the saddle.

Nicole Holst charge Ddouble Ddiamond is also entered in Sunday’s race. The four-year-old Jolly By Golly filly has finished no worse than second in three career starts, including two wins. Owned by Diana Jackson, Ddouble Ddiamond enters the race off a victory in July 19 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Regular rider Nate Alcala retains the mount.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Shezablessing / R V Fernandez / M Fritz / 2-1
1A. Pachet / N Fritz / M Fritz / 2-1
1X. Sursee / G W Mayhew / M Fritz / 2-1
2. Aunty Missle / M Holmes / R LeDuc / 20-1
2B. Merry Mee / D Newton / R LeDuc / 20-1
3. Fly Without Wings / O Delgado / L A Roberts / 8-1
4. French Fling / L Gates / T Briggs / 6-1
5. Ddouble Ddiamond / N Alcala / N Holst / 4-1
6. Whos My Daddy / J D Williams / J Post / 7-5

Bush Hog will look to firmly establish himself as Michigan's top Arabian in Sunday's ********* at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Bush Hog will try to firmly establish himself as Michigan's top Arabian in Sunday's ARC Midwest Maturity Open Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Bush Hog looks to continue dominance in ARC Midwest Maturity Open Stakes

Since being brought to Mount Pleasant Meadows from Arapahoe Park earlier this year, the Michigan track’s Arabian platoon has gotten plenty used to seeing Bush Hog’s backside.

Bush Hog will again be the one to beat this Sunday in the $11,000 Arabian Racing Cup Midwest Maturity Open Stakes at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The six-year-old Line Dancer horse has won all but one of his six starts at Mount Pleasant this year, and his lone hiccup was a second place effort. He enters Sunday’s race off consecutive double digit-length victories, most recently on Aug. 2 in a 11 3/4 length romp over an allowance field. Bush Hog will retain the services of Regular rider Nate Alcala for the race. He is owned by Lapco Arabians and trained by Nicole Holst.

Trainer Mario Fritz and owner Tom Fritz will send a three-horse entry to the gates, highlighted by Zanthus Fury. The four-year-old Haffir El Rimal gelding has won three of five starts in 2009 and finished no worse than third. He enters the Midwest Maturity off a 3/4 length victory in an Aug. 2 allowance race at Mount Pleasant. Tasha Fritz will be in the irons for Sunday’s race.

The only horse to defeat Bush Hog at Mount Pleasant Meadows, the Mario Fritz-trained Three Above, will try to repeat the task this Sunday. The six-year-old Ala Croixnoire horse accomplished the feat on May 31 in a 9 1/4 length victory. He comes into Sunday having dropped three straight to Bush Hog, most recently turning in an unplaced finish on Aug. 2. Tom Fritz owns Three Above, who will be ridden by Rafael Fernandez.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Vagas / G W Mayhew / M Fritz / 2-1
1A. Zanthus Fury / N Fritz / M Fritz / 2-1
1X. Three Above / R V Fernandez / M Fritz / 2-1
2. Sey Wiking Streak / J D Williams / T Briggs / 6-1
3. Need For Speed / L Gates / N Holst / 10-1
4. Bush Hog / N Alcala / N Holst / 3-5
5. Executioner / M Holmes / D Higbee / 4-1

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Blacktype Bonanza at Mount Pleasant Meadows: Part One

I Do One Two Three leads a talented field of juveniles in Sunday's Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

I Do One Two Three leads a talented field of colorful juveniles in Sunday's Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Four stakes races from different breeds highlight Sunday’s race card at Mount Pleasant Meadows. This post will focus on the two Paint and Quarter Horse races, while the next will preview the two Arabian stakes on the card.

I Do One Two Three headlines Michigan Paint Horse Futurity

After a second place finish in the July 26 GLQHA Stallion Service Sale Futurity, I Do One Two Three will try for his first stakes win against his spotted counterparts in Sunday’s $18,000 GLQHA Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

I Do One Two Three has had a productive tenure at Mount Pleasant after spending the spring at Retama Park. The two-year-old Judys Lineage gelding took the runner-up spot by a half length in the Stallion Service Sale Futurity after registering the fastest time during the race’s trials. Oscar Delgado will ride I Do One Two Three for owner T Bill Stables and trainer Jay Hall.

Owned and trained by Dave Gates (and co-owned by his wife, Shirley), See Me In Your Dreams enters the Michigan Paint Horse Futurity off two straight victories. The Awesome Chrome filly’s most recent win came in an Aug. 2 speed index race at Mount Pleasant, where she prevailed by 1 1/2  lengths. Lee Gates will be aboard See Me In Your Dreams this Sunday.

Also entered is maiden winner Paint Me a Bono. The Bono Jazz gelding is a perfect one-for-one, following a late-running victory by a head in a June 14 maiden race at Mount Pleasant. Richard Rettele will retain the mount for owner and trainer Renee Wilson.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Willies First Love / No Rider / D N Gates / 6-1
1A. See Me In Your Dreams / L Gates / D N Gates / 6-1
2. Mondo Man / N Fritz / R Wilson / 2-1
2B. Paint Me A Bono / R Rettele / R Wilson / 2-1
3. Special Valerina / M Holmes / D J Evans / 8-1
4. Real Fast Man / J D Williams / J Geer / 10-1
5. I Do One Two Three / O Delgado / J Hall / 3-5
6. Maksimum Spice / R V Fernandez / N Funnell / 20-1

Im The Saint will be the lone male sent from the gates in Sunday's Stallion Service Sale Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Im The Saint will be the lone male sent from the gates in Sunday's Stallion Service Sale Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Im The Saint seeks first stakes win of 2009 in Stallion Service Sale Derby

When looking at the field for Sunday’s $15,000 GLQHA Stallion Service Sale Derby at Mount Pleasant Meadows, Im The Saint stands out.

The Saint Shining gelding is the only male scheduled to enter the gates in Sunday’s race. Perhaps more importantly, Im The Saint is the field’s lone stakes winner, with a win in last year’s Stallion Service Sale Futurity at Mount Pleasant.

Im The Saint enters Sunday’s race off a third place finish in a trial race for the Stallion Service Auction Derby at Hoosier Park. He is trained by Ron Raper for owner Debra Redmond. Harold Collins will have the assignment.

Also entered is Carol Rettele trainee Anniversary Annie. The First Wrangler filly comes off a fourth place effort in an Aug. 2 speed index race at Mount Pleasant. Anniversary Annie is owned by Mark Mercer and will be ridden by Richard Rettele.

Joni B Special highlights a three horse entry owned by R and R Racing Stable LLC. The Special Effort filly makes her first start in Michigan this year after finishing second by a neck in a July 18 allowance race at The Red Mile. She is trained by Tony Cunningham and Oscar Delgado will be aboard.

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds

1. Eyesa Planetary / No Rider / A F Cunningham / 4-1
1A. Mama Cole / No Rider / D N Gates / 4-1
1X. Joni B Special / O Delgado / A F Cunningham / 4-1
2. Anniversary Annie / R Rettele / C Rettele / 2-1
3. Im The Saint / H Collins / R Raper / 7-5
4. Merritts Rebel Moon / L Gates / S Belden / 6-1

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Notes from Lexington

Hey gang. I’m in Lexington, Kentucky right now and will be at River Downs on Thursday before making the long drive back to Michigan, so I don’t have the free time to recap my weekend at Ellis Park just yet.

Until things calm down, be sure to check out the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance’s rededicated new site.

Aside from featuring bloggers from all different aspects of the industry who are way better at this than I am, the TBA’s new site offers…

132 Blogs (TBA and otherwise).
123 Twitter feeds from TBA-ers and other members of the racing industry. 
– 38 Horse racing news feeds (Blood Horse, Thoroughbred Times, NTRA, Internet pubs, etc.).
Loads of Youtube videos.
A Free Past Performance search engine (My personal favorite part of the TBA site. Cheapskates unite!)
The “Karma Corner” – A page for donating to various horse-related charities.

The site is full of good material, so be sure to give it a look and see what’s new (just be sure to come back here when you’re done. I get lonely). With such a wide variety of views, it shouldn’t be hard to find something you’ll love.

If you haven’t already headed over to the TBA website, here is some Michigan-centric reading material to tide you over until I get home…

– My future Alma Mater’s student paper, Central Michigan Life, put out a story about Mount Pleasant Meadows in today’s paper. I was pleasantly surprised to see the story got most of its facts right and was written competently. Good on them, even if they never let me write anything about the track during my time at CM Life (Not that I’m bitter or anything…). I wish I could have been there myself to help them out. 

– The Daily Racing Form posted a story about Pinnacle Race Course’s restructured stakes schedule following negotiations to restore race dates slashed earlier this year. The meet will now run until Oct. 19 and four of the track’s 16 state-bred stakes races will have smaller purses.

The article did not specify which races would get chopped down, but they will go from $50,000 to $20,000. Purses for the six Sire Stakes races are estimated at $50,000 each. Though the Sire Stakes purses were already estimated at that level at the beginning of the meet, the story notes it will be a significant drop from previous years.

If I catch word of which stakes are getting slimmed down, you’ll see it here.

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Weekend Stakes Recap

Juggle hangs on to win Lansing Stakes

Juggle made an early statement in Michigan’s three-year-old colts and geldings division, holding off stablemate Meadow Wise to win by a nose in Saturday’s $50,000 Lansing Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course. The Elusive Hour colt dueled with post-time favorite Perfect Start for a half mile and pulled clear entering the stretch. Juggle then held off a late charge from Meadow Wise to win the race in 1:13.17 under jockey Jeffrey Skerrett. Longshot Red Bow Tie finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Meadow Wise for third. Perfect Start faded to fourth.

 Juggle, bred by E.D. Hubel and J.E. Hubel, increased his career earnings to $59,231. The winning exacta was owned by Mast Thoroughbreds LLC and trained by Robert Gorham. The Lansing Stakes was Juggle’s third win from five starts. He is two-for-two in 2009, winning an allowance race on Pinnacle’s opening day, June 5.

For a chart of the race, click here.

5 – Juggle (Jeffret Skerrett) 7.20/4.00/3.40
1 – Meadow Wise (Angel Stanley) 12.00/11.80
3 – Red Bow Tie (Ivan Gonzalez) 9.20

Six Furlongs
Time: 1:13.17 

Photobucket
Your winner, Juggle (photo taken from a previous race, though it is nice he kept the same number).
 

Dials Corona for Me powers clear in GLQHA MI-Bred Futurity

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Dials Corona for Me (2b) holds off Happenedindamoonlite (6) to take the final (and yes, I blew the shot. I’m awful at getting quarter horse finishes with large fields).

Dials Corona For Me managed to avoid much of the commotion coming out of the gates to take Sunday’s $26,170 Great Lakes Quarter Horse Association Michigan-Bred Futurity by a half length at Mount Pleasant Meadows. The homebred two-year-old Corona for Me filly put a nose ahead of a tight pack coming into the stretch and pulled away as the wire drew near under jockey Oscar Delgado. Dials Corona for Me was joined in her late separation from the pack by Happenedindamoonlite, who finished 3/4 lengths ahead of Cc Cartel to take second in the 300-yard race.

Owned and trained by Tony Cunningham, Dials Corona for Me increased her career earnings to $12,317 with the win. The race was the filly’s first victory in three starts, following two third-place finishes earlier this year.

For a chart of the race, click here.

2b – Dials Corona for Me (Oscar Delgado) 6.00/3.20/2.60
6 – Happenedindamoonlite (Harold Collins) 5.40/2.60 
1c – Cc Cartel (Mike Holmes) 4.00

300 Yards
Time:  15.818 seconds

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Your winner, Dials Corona for Me; Oscar Delgado, up.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Speaking Michigan-breds in stakes races, 2008 Michigan Thoroughbred of the Year Valley Loot is entered the $75,000 Golden Sylvia Stakes at Mountaineer on Tuesday. Federico Mata gets the assignment (after riding several races at Pinnacle, nonetheless) aboard the second longest morning line choice at 8-1. Fellow 2008 Sire Stakes winner Bipolar Express is also entered in an allowance optional claimer earlier in the card.

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Perfect Start seeks first blacktype victory in Lansing Stakes

Can Perfect Start keep his mojo going in the Lansing Stakes? Jockey T.D. Houghton takes the cold out on the track before his first start.

Can Perfect Start keep his mojo going in the Lansing Stakes? Jockey T.D. Houghton takes the colt out on the track before his first start.

Following a convincing 5 1/2-length victory in his first start last Saturday, Perfect Start will look to parlay his success into a stakes win one week later in Saturday’s $50,000 Lansing Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course. The six furlong race is the first major test for Michigan-bred three-year-old colts and geldings at the Detroit racetrack.

Perfect Start is one of six horses in the field of seven coming off about a week’s rest after starts on opening weekend.

Owned by Charlie Williams and trained by Sandra Adkins, Perfect Start broke his maiden in his first start with a front-running effort at five furlongs. Based on his four straight bullet works at Pinnacle, announcer Matt Hook called the Jump Start colt a budding superstar in the post parade before his maiden win. T.D. Houghton will return from Mountaineer to take the assignment.

Also entered is allowance winner Juggle. The Elusive Hour colt also won his season opener, a five furlong allowance contest on opening day, by 5 1/2 lengths. The Robert Gorham-trained Juggle, owned by Mast Thoroughbreds LLC, finished third or better in three starts in his juvenile campaign, including a 6 3/4 maiden win and a third-place effort in the Michigan Sire Stakes two-year-old males division. He will be ridden by Jeffrey Skerrett.

Returning from a busy winter and spring is James Jackson trainee Scrimpy. Owned by Millenium Farms, the Scrimshaw colt spent his time away from Pinnacle on the Kentucky circuit, breaking his maiden at Turfway Park on Dec. 31. He comes off a sixth-place finish in a $32,500 claiming race at Arlington Park. Scrimpy will have Men Chen in the saddle.

Here is the full list of entries for Saturday’s Lansing Stakes…

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Meadow Wise / A.O. Stanley / R. Gorham / 15-1
2. Perfect Start / T.D. Houghton / S. Adkins / 6-5  
3. Red Bow Tie / I.R. Gonzalez / R. Rettele / 10-1 
4. Elusive Furrari /R. Barrios / S. Adkins / 12-1
5. Juggle / J. Skerrett/ R. Gorham / 5-1
6. S S Victory / F. Mata / R. Gorham / 8-1
7. Scrimpy / M. B. Chen / J. Jackson / 3-1

PHOTO ACTION ALERT: It does not look like I will be able to make it to Pinnacle to see the race in person or get pictures. If anyone in attendance for the race would be kind enough to get a picture of the stretch drive and one of the winner and email them to me for the recap, I would be eternally grateful. Selected photos will be credited to the photographer (Don’t worry, I don’t play games with things like that) and if he or she has a personal website they would like me to link to, as long as it’s family friendly, I’ll be glad to do it. For an idea of what I am looking for click here or here. Thanks a bunch!

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Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races

Michigan Notebook: April 30, 2009

Lots of goings on in Michigan racing this week…

– From the Michigan HBPA:

HEARING SCHEDULED: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture hearing is scheduled for May 7th at 10:30am in room 426 of Capitol Bldg and will focus on horse racing. This committee is the conterpart to the Senate Committee that restored a large portion of Ag. Equine Funds the Governor took out of the 2009-10 Budget.

Please plan to attend, more the better, to show a large support group to restore the funding. If you cannot attend, please contact the Committee members* listed below. This is not a time to be inactive, we all know the industry is facing very serious challenges.

* I inserted the link to my post listing the contact information of the House Ag Appropriations Committee members. If you want to send along the form letters or write your own personal message, there is still time, but be quick abut it.

Also, the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association is organizing a “Horseman’s Rally” prior to the hearing. Interested parties should be at the State Capitol building on the corner of Capitol and Allegan in Lansing at 9 a.m. Here is the information from the MHHA website.

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If everything goes to plan, I intend to be at this hearing and will report back if anything significant comes from it. Also, be sure to keep an eye on my Twitter feed or check out the Claim Box on the right side of the page next Thursday for live updates.

– Pinnacle Race Course recently released its stakes schedule for the 2009 meet. For a pdf of the schedule, click here.

Here’s what I like and don’t like about what I see…

What I like is Pinnacle’s decision to package several of its stakes races together to give itself some marketable days of racing. If Pinnacle follows through and properly advertises these days and/or gives them killer promotions, it could lead to a nice boost in attendance and handle. One of the popular ideas to revive public interest in the racing product is to put out more “big race days.” With this, Pinnacle is taking a step in the right direction.

What I don’t like are the estimated purses for the Michigan Sire Stakes, the state’s marquee series of races for Michigan-sired horses. Two years ago, the Sire Stakes races were good for $120,000 a piece for each of the six divisions. This year, they’re slated to offer $50,000, blacktype races by the skin of their teeth and no bigger than any other race on the stakes calendar. 

Because the Sire Stakes purses are partially funded by the state, the final purses could fluctuate depending on how things go with the budget situation. Either way, the fact that purses this low are even in the discussion is an unsettling notion.

As I have noted several times in the past, the worst thing a new track can do is give people a reason to leave, be it fans or horsemen. Indiana’s purses are going to grow. Pennsylvania’s are already massive. It was already getting harder and harder to justify sticking around before the potential cut in the state’s biggest races. This could make it that much harder. While the dire status of the Sire Stakes purses is not entirely the fault of Pinnacle Race Course, it will be the track that suffers because of it.

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