Mike Maker

Save the Trees Aims Higher in Dwyer

The outside-drawn gelding whose change-of-plans entry made it a foursome in Saturday's GIII Dwyer S. at Aqueduct has quite a bit going for him despite being ranked as the longest shot at 4-1 on the morning line. The cleverly and elegantly named Save the Trees (by Preservationist out of the Forestry mare Canopy Lane) sports a 2-for-2 record, an adversity-overcoming, off-the-pace style, and a $335,000 auction price that was third-highest at Keeneland's Apr. 26 Horses of Racing Age (HORA) sale conducted after the final race of the spring meet. That's...

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Lukas Not Worried About Seize the Grey's Belmont Post Position

One thing Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas was not going to do was fret over the post position assigned to Seize the Grey (Arrogate) for Saturday's GI Belmont S. at Saratoga Race Course. Seize the Grey got the rail for the 1 1/4-mile Belmont. It's a post most dread, but Lukas, who has won 15 Triple Crown races--including four Belmonts--isn't going to lose any sleep over it. "You have no control over it," Lukas said, sitting a few feet away from Seize the Grey's stall at his barn...

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Belmont, Woody Stephens Remain Options for The Wine Steward

The Wine Steward (Vino Rosso), most recently seen finishing second in the May 11 GIII Peter Pan S., is being considered for either the 10-furlong GI Belmont S. or the seven-furlong GI Woody Stephens S., both at Saratoga June 8. "It depends on the trip, but I think he can get it [the distance]-- he's bred to get it and should be able to," David Staudacher, who co-owns the colt with Paradise Farms Corp., said regarding the 10-furlong Belmont distance. "I think he likes the track up there, so we'll...

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Nolan Ramsey Saddles First Winner Friday at Gulfstream Park

Nolan Ramsey, the longtime assistant to Mike Maker who went out on his own in April, saddled his first winner as a trainer Friday at Gulfstream Park when the 3-year-old Marshamarshamarsha (Demarchelier {GB}) won a $16,000 claimer by 1 3/4 lengths. Owned by his grandfather Ken Ramsey, the filly picked up her second career win with the effort after coming three-wide into the lane. The trainer has assembled a 30-strong stable in Hallandale, and has plans to train a small string in the mid-Atlantic. "It's special. It's the first one....

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Audible's My Mane Squeeze Upsets Eight Belles

LOUISVILLE, KY -- Often seen jumping up and winning a race on a big day a square price, trainer Mike Maker did just that, taking the GII Eight Belles S. with William Butler and WinStar Farm's My Mane Squeeze (Audible). Sent off at odds of 6-1, My Mane Squeeze broke well and was a two-wide fifth as longshot Asternia (Astern {Aus}) cut out an opening quarter in :22.46. Urged forward by Luis Saez, she responded quickly and in a flash was on even terms with the pacesetter leaving the quarter...

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Claiming Crown: Just Getting a Horse There Can Be a Victory

Edited Press Release Many of the trainers and owners running horses in Saturday's eight Claiming Crown races already won a critical competition before the starting gate even opens at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots: They got the horse at the claim box. With shrinking foal crops and enhanced purses in areas such as Kentucky, New York and Arkansas, there has never been more demand for a competitive claiming horse, the backbone of American racing. The Claiming Crown was created 25 years ago by the National Horsemen's Benevolent &...

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Fields Set for Next Saturday's $1-Million Claiming Crown at Fair Grounds

A total of 90 horses spread over eight races were entered Saturday for next Saturday's 25th Claiming Crown, to be held for the first time since 2011 at New Orleans' Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Trainer Mike Maker--whose all-time record 21 Claiming Crown victories include two last year at Churchill Downs--and Robertino Diodoro lead the way with seven entries apiece. For Maker, that includes four in the 12-horse $150,000 Claiming Crown Emerald at 1 1/16 miles on turf, headed by GI United Nations winner Therapist (Freud). Diodoro's trio in...

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Making Waves: Pura Vida On The Double

   In this series, the TDN takes a look at notable successes of European-based sires in North America. This week's column is highlighted by the victories of Buffoon and Kick A Rhyme for trainer Mike Maker and Pura Vida Investments during the past week.   Lope De Vega Colt Strikes At Keeneland Buffoon (Fr) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) put it all together at second asking at Keeneland for Pura Vida Investments and trainer Mike Maker on Saturday (video). Bred by Ecurie des Monceaux and Rifa Mustang Europe, Ltd., the €175,000...

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Rescheduled Breeders' Cup 'Win and You're In' Races Take To BAQ Turf

After significant rainfall cancelled the entire Friday and Saturday Belmont at the Big A cards, a pair of Breeders' Cup 'Win and You're In' Challenge races were moved from Sunday to Wednesday in order to allow everyone to dry out. The GII Miss Grillo S., a pathway to the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, brings together a cast of 12. Only Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott's Gala Brand (Violence) has graded experience. The chestnut filly delivered in her second start when she faced males and won the GIII...

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Gaffalione, Walsh And Ramsey Take Home Kentucky Downs Titles As Meet Closes

Edited Press Release Tyler Gaffalione capped off his third Kentucky Downs riding title in style, winning three races on Wednesday's closing-day card to finish with 12 victories for the FanDuel Meet, five more than 2021 riding champion and second-finisher Joel Rosario. Brendan Walsh earned his second training title, and first outright, at the track with eight wins, three more than Kentucky Downs' all-time win leader Mike Maker, who had a meet-high 10 seconds and nine thirds. Ken Ramsey, the winningest owner in Kentucky Downs history as well as Kentucky, won...

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The Week in Review: When Derby, Preakness, Belmont Winners Meet at Spa, History Says Someone Else Will Steal Travers

As Tuesday's entry time looms, the GI Travers S. is shaping up as a rare showdown of the three winners of this season's Triple Crown races. That's happened only five times since 1978, and on no occasion during the last 45 years when the winners of those spring Classics all graced the starting gate for Saratoga's "Midsummer Derby" has any one of them emerged victorious. That's a fairly daunting stat considering how the match-up of the GI Kentucky Derby, GI Preakness S. and GI Belmont S. winners is essentially what...

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U.N. Top Three Target Kentucky Downs Features

Therapist (Freud), winner of last weekend's GI United Nations at Monmouth, will be pointed for Kentucky Downs' $1.7 million, GII FanDuel Kentucky Turf Cup Sept. 9, according to trainer Mike Maker. Maker confirmed that stablemate Red Knight (Pure Prize), the UN third-place finisher who won the Kentucky Turf Cup last year, will also target the 12-furlong race. The 9-year-old won the June 10 GI Man o' War S. The Turf Cup is a 'Win and You're In' for the Breeders' Cup Turf, held at Del Mar this November. "[Therapist] finished...

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