Mike Maker

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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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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