Mike Maker

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...

[ Read More ]
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...

[ Read More ]
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...

[ Read More ]
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...

[ Read More ]
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...

[ Read More ]
Maker Wins Preakness Weekend Trainer Bonus

Mike Maker edged defending champion Brad Cox and two-time winner Steve Asmussen to claim the top prize in the Maryland Jockey Club's $100,000 Sentient Jet Trainer Bonus offered to horsemen for their participation in stakes races over Preakness weekend, Oct. 1-3, at Pimlico Race Course. Maker led the way with 43 points, three more than Cox and Asmussen, to earn a $50,000 bonus. Maker registered wins with 2-year-old colt Catman (Kitten's Joy) in the Laurel Futurity S. and 3-year-old filly Evil Lyn (Wicked Strong) in the S. He also ran...

[ Read More ]
Runhappy Meet at Kentucky Downs Generates Record Handle

The Runhappy meet at Kentucky Downs, which concluded Wednesday, Sept. 16, saw record betting handle across the six days of live racing that totaled $59,828,44 for a total of 62 races (average per race $964,975), including $9,487,705 on the final day. The previous record of $41,239,699 (average $824,794) was set in 2019. Even with a modest reduction in prize money owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and a two-month absence of revenue from historical racing machines, a record total of $12,337,000 was paid out over the course of the meet, bettering...

[ Read More ]
Lookin At Lucky's Fancy Liquor Makes the Grade in American Turf

Fancy Liquor--who had employed a front-running or pressing style in each of his five prior starts--benefitted from a heady ride by red-hot Florent Geroux to pick up the pieces after a hot pace materialized. Unhurried early from his outside draw, the dark bay sat fifth in the early going as a trio of rivals zipped away to duel through hot splits of :23.04, :46.48 and 1:11.23. Favored Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute) shook free of his pace foes heading for home, but he was softened up for the stretch drive,...

[ Read More ]
Declaration of War Colt Graduates in Rained-Off With Anticipation

Three Diamonds Farm's Fire At Will (Declaration of War) came from off the pace to win his main track debut in an off-turf renewal of the GIII With Anticipation S. at Saratoga Wednesday. Sent off the 3-1 second choice behind the Wesley Ward-trained Blame the Booze (Blame), Fire At Will was allowed to ease back to last of four, well behind the favorite, who carved out opening splits of :22.60 and :45.61 on the sloppy and sealed track. Kicking into another gear passing the five-sixteenths marker, the colt gained the...

[ Read More ]
Maker Holds Strong Hand in Sword Dancer

When it comes to Grade Is on the turf in New York, it is typically Chad Brown who has three or four strong entries. However, in Saturday's GI Sword Dancer S. at Saratoga--a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Turf--Brown is surprisingly absent and it is Mike Maker saddling a strong trio. Cross Border (English Channel) appeared to come up up a neck short of likely race favorite Sadler's Joy (Kitten's Joy), who won the 2017 renewal of this race, in this venue's GII Bowling Green...

[ Read More ]
This Side Up: Whitmore Seeks Fresh Honors For Class of 2013

The seven-year itch, in the current racing herd, represents the best kind of mid-life crisis: reinventing yourself as a champion. An Eclipse Award would certainly be a credible aspiration for Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) should he derail the Volatile (Violence) express in the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. at Saratoga Saturday. Next weekend, another flourishing 7-year-old, Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike), will seek to consolidate his ascent to the top of his own division in the GI Whitney S. Over the past two weeks, meanwhile, their contemporaries Zulu Alpha (Street Cry {Ire})...

[ Read More ]
Another Maker Claim Makes the Grade in UN

Mike Maker's incredible success with turning claimers into graded winners on the turf is well documented, but that didn't stop Aquaphobia from getting lost on the board and upending Saturday's GI United Nations S. at 10-1 off a 9-2 morning line. Taken for $62,500 out of a fourth-place run at Gulfstream Jan. 26 for Drawing Away Stable and Robert Falcone, Jr., the bay immediately began repaying his new connections' investment when he bested future stablemate and fellow UN competitor Muggsamatic (Any Given Saturday) in a Gulfstream starter stakes race Feb....

[ Read More ]