Mike Maker

Son of Midshipman 'Reserves' Spot in Sprint Starting Gate

Reformed claimer Special Reserve pressed, pounced and held on late to earn a guaranteed spot in the starting gate for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint Friday. Scooped up for $40,000 from Randy Morse and Doyle Williams out of an upset optional claiming tally at Oaklawn in February--good for what at the time was by far his best career Beyer Speed Figure of 92--the late-blooming 5-year-old won right back at that level (not in for the tag) in March before finishing second in the GIII Commonwealth S. over an additional furlong...

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Aloha West Steps Back Into Stakes Waters in Phoenix

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Aloha West (Hard Spun), a troubled fourth in his only previous stakes try, will try black-type competition again after a pair of well-graded Saratoga allowance victories in Friday's GII Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix S. at Keeneland, a Breeders' Cup Win and You're In qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint. Graduating despite a slow start and early, wide move in his belated debut Feb. 7 at Oaklawn, the 4-year-old was again troubled at the break and ran fifth in an allowance there Mar. 13 before just missing...

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Zulu Alpha Retired to Old Friends

Grade I winner Zulu Alpha (Street Cry {Ire}--Zori, by A.P. Indy) has been scratched out of Saturday's GII Calumet Turf Cup and Kentucky Downs and will be retired from racing. The 8-year-old will take up residence at Old Friends. "I'm going to scratch Zulu," Hui told the KY Downs notes team. "He's going to be retired to Old Friends. There's not a whole lot that's physically wrong with him. After consultation with Mike this weekend, he just believes he will not be competitive at this level." Claimed by Hui and...

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Maker Barn Sprints to Early Spa Lead

Mike Maker, with 42 training titles at Kentucky's five racetracks, is very much a contender this summer for the coveted prize at Saratoga Race Course. A remarkable stretch of nine wins from 25 starters last week pushed Maker to the top of the table with 14 wins in the first 14 days of the 40-day season. He had at least one winner in each of the five racing days of the week and his stable hit the board at a 72% rate. That run of success enabled Maker to finish...

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Asmussen Takes Preakness Bonus

Steve Asmussen claimed the top prize of $50,000 for the third time in five years in the Maryland Jockey Club's $100,000 trainer bonus offered to horsemen for their participation in stakes races over Preakness weekend, May 14-15, at Pimlico Race Course. The Hall of Famer edged defending champion Mike Maker. Asmussen started 11 horses in 10 stakes over the two days, finishing with 54 points. On May 15, he ran first and second with Mighty Mischief (Into Mischief) and Jaxon Traveler (Munnings) in the GIII Chick Lang S. and also...

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Army Wife Takes Black-Eyed Susan

Sent off at 9-2 following a troubled third last out in Aqueduct's GIII Gazelle S., Army Wife (Declaration of War) came from off the pace to collect her first graded victory in Friday's GII George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan S. at Pimlico. Lady Traveler (Quality Road) went to the front, leading Adventuring (Pioneerof the Nile) and 2-1 choice Beautiful Gift (Medaglia d'Oro) as Army Wife settled in a rail-skimming sixth early. Eagerly pulling herself into contention exiting the far turn, she checked slightly when trying to find room between the...

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Black-Eyed Susan Adventure

Godolphin's Adventuring (Pioneerof the Nile) rides a two-race win skein as she tries to add her first graded victory in Friday's GII George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan S. at Pimlico. Second choice on the morning line at 4-1, the homebred hit the board in her first two starts--both off-turf tests--at the Fair Grounds late last season. Well supported in her Feb. 16 reappearance at the New Orleans oval, the daughter of dual Grade I winning Questing (Hard Spun) came from just off the pace to romp by 6 1/2 lengths...

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Cross Border Faces Seven in Pan American

Three Diamonds Farm's Cross Border (English Channel), a late-closing third behind Colonel Liam (Liam's Map) in the Jan. 23 GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, will try to take advantage of that foe's absence and some extra real estate when he goes postward in the 1 1/2-mile GII Pan American S. at Gulfstream Park Saturday. "He ran another big race last time and was flattered the other day by Colonel Liam," trainer Mike Maker said. "We expect another strong effort from him." Colonel Liam returned from the Pegasus to win...

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Two Trainers Sue Ramseys for Nearly $2 Million in Unpaid Bills

Trainers Wesley Ward and Mike Maker have filed separate lawsuits against owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey over unpaid training bills. Ward is alleging that the Ramseys piled up unpaid bills totaling $974,790. Maker claims the Ramseys owe him $905,357. The story was first reported in Paulick Report. Ward's suit was filed last week in Jessamine Circuit Court. The Maker suit was filed a week earlier in Fayette Circuit Court. When reached Monday by the TDN, Ken Ramsey admitted that he owes both trainers a considerable amount of money. "The root...

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Fire At Will Likely to Return in Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth

Three Diamonds Farm's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Fire At Will (Declaration of War) breezed five furlongs at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning in preparation for a likely start in the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Feb. 27. He was timed in 1:01.71 (27/51) in his fifth breeze in anticipation of his 2021 debut. "He went super," trainer Michael Maker said. "I think we're going to the Fountain of Youth." After finishing sixth on turf in his Aug. 8 debut at Saratoga, Fire At Will broke his maiden in the...

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Declaration of War Colt Sets Tote Ablaze in Juvenile Turf

Three Diamonds Farm's Fire At Will (c, 2, Declaration of War--Flirt, by Kitten's Joy) sat the trip and powered clear in the stretch to post an eye-catching, 30-1 upset in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland. Favored Battleground (War Front), the first foal out of 2015 GI Breeders' Cup Turf victress Found (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), was second; pacesetter Outadore (Outwork) was third. Fire At Will, a last out upset wire-to-wire winner of Belmont's GII Pilgrim S. Oct. 3, sat a stalking trip on the inside in third as...

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Solid Field of Nine Set for Twilight Derby

A field of nine, topped by 5-2 morning-line favorite Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute), will line up for Sunday's GII Twilight Derby at Santa Anita. Smooth Like Strait, winner of Del Mar's GIII Cecil B. DeMille S. last December and GIII La Jolla H. in August, raced three deep on a hot pace and understandably tired to fourth as the favorite in the GII American Turf S. at Churchill Downs last time Sept. 5. The Cannon Thoroughbreds homebred worked five furlongs in 1:00 (5/37) for trainer Michael McCarthy at Santa...

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