Mike Maker, Race Horse Trainer

 

 

 


JUMP TO 2009 ARCHIVE :: JUMP TO 2010 ARCHIVE :: JUMP TO 2011 ARCHIVE

-----------------------------------------------------------   2011 ---------------------------------------------------------------

12/28/11 - Nice day after Christmas present for Mike and owner William Butler as ALl MUHTASIB took the off the turf Buddy Diliberto Memorial H at the Fair Grounds by more than 3 lengths and LOTTA LOVIN won the Gowell S. at Turfway Park despite breaking through the gate before the start.

12/17/11 - TAPANNA, a full brother to BC Juvenile winner HANSEN, won an allowance race at Turfway Park for owner/breeder Kendall E Hansen

12/10/11 - LA GRAN BAILADORA takes the MY CHARMER S. at Turfway
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12/3/11 - Mike showed up second or third in all three races.
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12/1/11- Maker a Triple Threat in Claiming Crown Jewel
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11/28/11 - Mike co-leading trainer at the Churchill Downs fall meet with 15 wins.

11/15/11 - MATHEWSBURG, recent winner of the G3- Speightstown Kentucky Cup Sprint, came back to run second in the Sophomore Sprint S at Mountaineer. He is owned by F. Thomas and Matt Conway and has now earned $141,125. He was floated wide at the turn and closed with energy to be second.

11/5/11 - HANSEN wins the the $2,000,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile G1 - WIRE TO WIRE! READ MORE

11/5/11 - While Mike was at Churchill winning the BC Juvenile for Dr. Hansen, he also had SW LA GRAN BAILAORA picking up a second in the Maple Leaf S  at Woodbine for owner/breeder Tracy Farmer, and Harmonizer running second in the Mountaineer Mile S  for owner William Butler. Harmonizer pushed earnings over $200,000 and LA GRAN BAILAORA is just shy of $300,000.

11/3/11 - Mike felt it was in the best interest of the horse to scratch Gung Ho from the Juvenile Turf . Gung Ho is experiencing body soreness.

11/2/11 - Mike about STATELY VICTOR: “The owners are St. Louis Cardinals fans. Everyone saw the odds they overcame to win the World Series, not to mention the fact that we won the Blue Grass [Stakes (G1)] with this horse at 40-to-1. They know anything can happen when you swing for the fences.”

10/31/11 - Mike has 6 horses in the Breeders' Cup. Three horses are entered for the Ramseys, GUNGO HO in the $1,000,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf G1, DEAN'S KITTEN in the Emirates Airline $3,000,000 Breeders' Cup Turf G1 and finally HEADACHE in the $5,000,000 Breeders' Cup Classic. G1. STATELY VICTOR will also race in the Emirates Airline $3,000,000 Breeders' Cup Turf G1 for F. Thomas Conway & Jack Conway. HANSEN is entered in the $2,000,000 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile G1 for Kendall Hansen, M.D. & Sky Chai Racing. BARISHNIKOV is entered in the, $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon G2. He is owned by Smith, M Jeffrey A. Columbro & Connie Apostelos.

10/9/11 - LA GRAN BAILAORA a gutsy third in the G1- Juddmonte Spinster S 

10/8/11 - HEADACHE anything but in the Hawthorne Gold Cup G2 VIEW STORY >>

10/1/11 - Other trainers are going to keep Mike in the barn on the weekends. This time he had a G2 SW, a G1 stakes placed horse, an additional stakes placed horse and 2 extra winners VIEW STORY >>

9/27/11 - Hansen Brings Buzz Back to Turfway Park VIEW STORY >>

9/24/11 - Mike had a day dreams are made of! He had 6 wins, with 4 of them SWs for 4 different clients! He gave 2 of the clients 2 wins each!
VIEW STORY >>

7/29/11 - Black type weekend for Mike, a win and two stakes placings VIEW STORY >>

12/10/11 - LA GRAN BAILADORA takes the MY CHARMER S. at Turfway

La Gran Bailadora won the GIII Kentucky Cup Distaff S.this fall running on the Turfway all weather surface. She was a close third in the GI Juddmonte Spinster S. on Keeneland's Polytrack the next month. She was most recently second by 3/4 of a length in the Maple Leaf S. on the Woodbine all-weather surface and was the chalk in the MY CHARMER. The Polytrack specialist settled in midpack and then swung wide entering the stretch and drew clear late.

Lifetime 22-6-4-4, $319,206.

12/3/11 -CLAIMING CROWN RESULTS

It was not quite as he had hoped but Mike's name was still stamped all over the Claiming Crown races at the Fair Grounds. Al Muhtasib ran second in the Claiming Crown Jewel S for owner William Butler and pushed his earnings over $200,000.

In the Claiming Crown Emerald S, Baryshnikov ran second and he added enough to his earnings to go over the $350,000 mark. He is owned by Jeffrey A Columbro & Co.

And finally in the Claiming Crown Jewel S Isthmus also ran second and has now earned $100,21711 for owner William Butler.

12/1/11 - Maker a Triple Threat in Claiming Crown Jewel

Trainer Mike Maker has half the field in this year's $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel, the featured event of five stakes to be held for the first time Dec. 3 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in Louisiana.

The series, which puts racing's blue-collar workers in the spotlight, has been held at Canterbury Park for 10 of the Claiming Crown's 12 previous editions. 

Maker has enjoyed much success in the Claiming Crown, winning seven races in the past four years. He captured last year's Jewel with Headache for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

In this year's renewal, which attracted a total of six contestants, Maker has entered William Butler's entry of Al Muhtasib and Isthmus, as well as Harmonizer.

The 1 1/8-mile race, scheduled as the ninth on the program with a 3:55 p.m. CST expected start time, is open to horses that have raced for a claiming price of $35,000 or less since 2010.

Maker claimed Al Muhtasib out of a $35,000 optional allowance race Nov. 6 at Hawthorne, a race the 4-year-old Distorted Humor   colt won by 2 1/4 lengths. Al Muhtasib, also claimed for $50,000 at Saratoga this summer, will be making his first start for his new connections.

He has won three of five races this year and will shoulder co-top weight of 124 pounds. Julien Leparoux has the mount.

The other half of the Butler entry, Isthmus, is a 3-year-old son of Flower Alley   coming off a third-place effort against an optional claiming field going 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs Nov. 13. He won another optional claimer at Hoosier Park by three lengths in September and has captured three of nine starts in 2011. Rosie Napravnik has the call.

Harmonizer, owned by Hugh Zurkuhlen, ran third in the Nov. 5 Mountaineer Mile in West Virginia. The 5-year-old gelding by Volponi has won twice from seven tries this year. He drew the rail with local rider Corey Lanerie aboard.

It Happened Again, trained by Steve Asmussen for Maggi Moss, is the most accomplished member of the field with seven lifetime wins in 26 starts and earnings of $346,578. But the 5-year-old Proud Citizen   gelding, winner of Oaklawn Park's Razorback Handicap (gr. III) in March, has not been out since a 10th-place showing in the Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III) June 25 at Prairie Meadows. Shane Sellers has the riding assignment.

Sovereign Stable's Rein King figures to set the pace. Invading from New York for trainer John Terranova II, the 4-year-old Roman Ruler   gelding has a pair of front-running victories this year. In his most recent appearance, Rein King ran third as the favorite in a first-level allowance at Belmont Park Oct. 15.

Tutti Buona Gente, gate-to-wire winner of a starter allowance at Hooiser Oct. 23, could also show speed for trainer Michelle Lovell. Agave Racing Stable's 5-year-old son of Aldebaran pressed the issue in his most recent start before fading to fifth in the same optional claiming race at Churchill Downs in which Isthmus finished third Nov. 13.

Here is the lineup for the other Claiming Crown events on the card:

-- The Iron Horse (race 4), $50,000, for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles that have started for a claiming price of $7,500;
-- The Express (race 5), $50,000, for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs ($7,500);
-- The Glass Slipper (race 7), $75,000, for 3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, at six furlongs ($16,000);
-- The Emerald (race 8), $100,000, for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on the turf ($25,000).

There were 39 horese entered for the five races. The $75,000 Rapid Transit, for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs on the dirt, was dropped from the lineup this year due to an insufficient number of entries.

$150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel (Race 9, 3:55 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Harmonizer (KY), C J Lanerie, 124, M J Maker
2. a-Al Muhtasib (KY), J R Leparoux, 124, M J Maker
3. a-Isthmus (KY), R Napravnik, 122, M J Maker
4. Rein King (FL), J Graham, 120, J P Terranova II
5. Tutti Buona Gente (KY), S Bridgmohan, 118, M Lovell
6. It Happened Again (KY), S J Sellers, 124, S M Asmussen
a- coupled entry

11/5/11 - HANSEN takes the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I)

Courtesy of the Blood Horse

Hansen, a local horse coming off of pair of dominating wins at Turfway Park, desperately held off heavy favorite Union Rags by a head to win a thriller in the $1,818,000 Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.

Sent off at 7-1, Hansen went wire-to-wire under Ramon Dominguez to remain undefeated in three starts. He is a homebred for Dr. Kendall Hansen and is also co-owned by Harvey Diamond. The gray/roan son of Tapit —Stormy Sunday, by Sir Cat, is trained by Mike Maker, who is based in Louisville.

“He’s a natural," Maker said. "Obviously his performance speaks for itself. That’s the way he wants to run and we weren’t going to change a thing. It’s just that natural ability. Obviously he’s got a lot of speed and he’s always shown it. He’s also got a lot of fight; a bunch of good characteristics.

"We pointed to the Breeders’ Cup before he ever ran. I only told that to the owners, and they’re as crazy as I am.”

Hansen won his first two starts by a combined 25 1/2 lengths at Turfway, but was considered a longshot to defeat Union Rags, the Michael Matz-trained colt who was unbeaten in three decisive starts, including the prestigious Champagne Stakes (gr. I) Oct.8 at Belmont Park. Union Rags was sent off at 11-10.

Hansen broke sharply from post 5 under Dominguez and set a reasonable pace in the 1 1/16-mile event. He set fractions of :23.26, :47.39, and 1:12.24 on a fast main track that did not favor pacesetters all day. Speightscity tracked him early on, as did Fort Loudon and Creative Cause. Meanwhile, Union Rags and Javier Castellano, breaking from post 10, were wide throughout and made their bid at the leader on the turn.

Hansen was only a half-length ahead of Union Rags at the eighth pole, but dug in gamely. Union Rags drifted wide in upper stretch, losing costly ground that would prove to be the difference. He kept charging at the leader but the wire came just in time for Hansen to pull the upset.

"Going into the first turn, he was a little aggressive," Dominguez said of the winner. "That made me a little concerned. When we got to the backside, he switched to his right (lead) and he came back to me and relaxed beautiful. I got pressed pretty early, around the three-eighths pole, but he continued coming for me."

The final time was 1:44.14.

Hansen paid $16.20, $6.60, and $4.60. Union Rags settled for second, a length in front of Creative Cause. Dullahan was fourth in a field of 13.

Matz lamented the wide trip for Union Rags.

"I didn’t get a good draw," he said of the 10-post. "I guess that’s racing. What are you going to do? It’s one of those things. I wish I had an answer for you. It’s disappointing, that’s for sure, but I guess that’s horse racing.”

Hansen, who earned $1,080,000 for the victory, broke his maiden by 12 1/4 lengths Sept. 11 on the Turfway Polytrack and came back two weeks later to win the Kentucky Cup Juvenile by 13 1/4 more lengths.

10/9/11 - La Gran Bailadora a gutsy third in the G1- Juddmonte Spinster S 

La Gran Bailadora, a homebred racing for Tracy Farmer, came from last way wide and running like a train, to get up for a willing third in the Juddmonte Spinster S  G1. She has pushed her earnings over the 1/4 million mark.

10/8/11 - HEADACHE anything but in the Hawthorne Gold Cup G2

Third at mid-stretch, former claimer Headache closed steadily to edge Where's Sterling by a half-length in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) in Illinois Oct. 8 .

Urged home by Paco Lopez for trainer Michael Maker and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Headache scored at 5-1 while running the 1 1/4-mile distance in a tepid 2:04.68 over a fast main track.

Headache was reserved toward the rear of the 10-horse field while saving some ground to the far turn and advanced between foes under patient handling. Reaching contention near mid-stretch, he was three across with Where's Sterling and Cease at the16th pole and finished best under strong handling.

"I had a little trouble around the five-eighths,'' Lopez said. ``I had to wait a little. I also saw a couple of horses waiting on the inside. But once we got clear around 4 1/2 furlongs out, I went after it. I saw (Where's Sterling) and (Giant Oak) coming along with Cease, but I was able to hold them off.''

Winner of the Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III) by 2 1/2 lengths at Prairie Meadows June 25, Headache had not been out since running fifth in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 6. The 5-year-old Tapit   gelding out of the Woodman mare Pamric won for the third time in seven starts in 2011.

The Ramseys claimed Headache for $25,000 at Belmont Park in September 2009. The gray/roan was bred in Kentucky by Dr. J.K. and Linda Griggs.

Where's Sterling, who gained the lead in upper stretch for E.T. Baird, proved stubborn while holding on for the place spot by a head over Cease and Miguel Mena. Rule, the slight 5-2 favorite, came up empty in the lane and finished seventh. Giant Oak, a dual grade I winner this year who was also sent off at 5-2, rallied mildly for fifth as the 119-pound high weight.

"They went so slow early,'' jockey Jesus Castanon said of his trip aboard Giant Oak. ``I got pushed pretty good on the first turn and that got my horse upset. He wanted to go after them. I got him settled down on the backside and then he went fine. He made a move but they went away from him.''

Headache posted his eighth lifetime win in 26 starts. He earned $300,000 for the victory and has now banked $768,398. He captured the Claiming Crown Jewel at Canterbury Park in July 2010.

 

10/1/11 - A stakes win, a G1 stakes placing another stakes placing and 2 additional wins

Juanita Never Threatened in Indiana Oaks
Courtesy of the Blood Horse

William and Graydon Patterson’s Juanita, claimed for $25,000 in March, made her first stakes victory count when she led the whole way to take the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (gr. II) at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino Oct. 1 (VIDEO) .

Juanita, one of five 3-year-old fillies in the 1 1/16-mile Oaks, was sent to the front by jockey Julien Leparoux from the start, maintained an open lead in hand, and drew away in the stretch to win by 4 3/4 lengths. Withgreatpleasure rallied from last to finish second, with Daisy Devine third.

Fractions on a fast track were :24.40 for the opening quarter-mile, :48.80 for the half-mile, and 1:13.40 for six furlongs. Juanita, who paid $12.60 to win as the third choice, finished up in 1:45.20.

Heavily favored A Z Warrior, in from California for her third start of the year, was under urging on the far turn and never threatened, finishing fourth. The filly won the grade I Frizette Stakes as a 2-year-old.

Leparoux also won the $500,000 Indiana Derby (gr. II) for 3-year-olds a race later with Stonestreet Stables’ Wilburn.

Trainer Mike Maker claimed Juniata for the Pattersons at Gulfstream Park. She then won a starter allowance event at Churchill Downs and an allowance race on the grass at Indiana Downs before finishing fourth in the Dauphin Miss Stakes on soft turf at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in late July.

Maker then trained the filly up to Oaks with steady works at the Churchill Downs Training Center. Juanita, by Mineshaft out of the Smart Strike mare Wishful Splendor, now has five wins in 11 career starts.

Juanita was bred in Kentucky by Padua Stables.
Lifetime: 11 5 1 2 $224,746



MGSW DEAN'S KITTEN ran hard to be 2nd in the Joe Hirsh Classic Invitational Turf Classic G1 at Belmont. The Ramsey Hombred, charged late and was wearing down the winner at the wire but was denied by a nose.
Lifetime: 23 4-4-4 $802,950


Mr. Prankster, c. 2, It's No Joke - Cremedelacramer by Avenue of Flags ran 2nd Fitz Dixon, Jr. Memorial Juvenile S. at Presque Isle Downs. He is co-owned by Thomas Conway and Mike Maker. Mr. Prankster pushed the pace, briefly gained the lead and could not hold off the winner late.
Lifetime 3-1-2-0 $58,000

9/27/11 - Hansen Brings Buzz Back to Turfway Park

Sourtesy of the Blood-Horse
By Tom LaMarra

Eventual champions have gotten their start at Turfway Park over the years. And though the return of the WinStar Kentucky Cup Day of Champions generated a buzz Sept. 24, a performance on the racetrack that afternoon generated a bigger buzz.

How good is the 2-year-old colt Hansen? His connections hope to find out in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.

“He’s the horse of a lifetime,” owner Kendall Hansen said after Hansen won the $100,000 Bluegrass Cat Kentucky Cup Juvenile at one mile by 13 1/4 lengths. “It’s a dream. I’m about ready to cry.”

The Kentucky homebred by Tapit had won his career debut Sept. 9 at Turfway at 5 1/2 furlongs by 12 1/4 lengths. Hansen and trainer Mike Maker had discussed waiting for the Oct. 9 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland, but opted for the Kentucky Cup race.

Hansen earned a BRIS Speed Figure of 94 in each of his two starts.

Hansen will train up to the Breeders’ Cup, but with no graded stakes earnings, he may need some help getting in. Maker said the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on dirt is the objective.

Kendall Hansen, a Northern Kentucky pain management doctor, has had an interesting year with the horses. He gave away Hansen’s dam, Stormy Sunday, to a “good home” to be used as a pleasure horse, but had second thoughts when Hansen began training.

Also, Hansen’s full brother, the 3-year-old colt Taphanna, broke his maiden at Turfway Sept. 24 earlier on the program.

“I saw how good a horse (Hansen) was and got the mare back last week for $10,000 and a watch,” Hansen said. “I’ve only bred a few horses, and all of them are out of her.”

Stormy Sunday, by Sir Cat, won her career debut at Turfway in February 2005 and was claimed by Hansen out of the maiden claimer for $5,000. She had two wins and a third in three more starts before being retired.

Hansen said he has a yearling by Corinthian out of Stormy Sunday. “I couldn’t afford Tapit after the first two,” he said with a laugh. “I got a little tight on money.”

Tapit, by Pulpit , stands at Gainesway Farm near Lexington. His 2011 fee was $80,000.

Hansen became a horse owner about 30 years ago and said he made a living betting horses at Turfway. He had a larger stable at one time but lost many of his horses in a 1990s barn fire at Ellis Park that wiped out the stable of Art Zeis.

“This business has its ups and downs,” Hansen said.

Hansen the horse has Hansen the man thinking big. Hansen said he expects there to be interest in the grey/roan colt, and that he would consider selling percentages.

“I have bills like everyone else,” Hansen said. “But this horse is just having fun right now. In his stall he’s like a puppy dog. After his first race he wasn’t even breathing. I think he has some gears he hasn’t shown yet.”

Victor Lebron, who has ridden Hansen both times, called him his potential "Derby horse." The jockey said the colt is "push-button" on the racetrack.

In the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Hansen was on cruise control. He reopened his lead on the far turn and was only mildly urged by Lebron in mid-stretch.

Kentucky Cup returned this year after a one-year hiatus brought about by financial difficulties. Its return was aided by sponsorship of WinStar Farm, which geared various promotions around the day.

“We really didn’t know what would happen,” Turfway president Bob Elliston said. “The quality of racing was super and the handle was good. WinStar joined us as partners to make it happen.

“As for the Juvenile, some top 2-year-olds have done pretty well here and gone onto bigger things, like Vindication, Point Given , and Editor's Note. I was reminded of that watching Hansen draw off by 13 lengths. It was nice to see; Doc Hansen has been a customer of ours for many years.”

WinStar president Elliott Walden said the central Kentucky farm and training facility viewed the Kentucky Cup sponsorship as a good fit. WinStar believed the event needed to return to the calendar, he said.

“We’re obviously very heavily invested in Kentucky and Kentucky racing,” Walden said, “and we want to see it thrive as a breeding state and a racing state. Turfway did a great job, and this is something we can build upon.

“We want to think of some other ideas to make it even bigger and better

9/24/11 - Mike had the Saturday of his dreams with 6 winners and 4 of them stakes winners

Mike had the Saturday of his dreams with 6 winners and 4 of them stakes winners, two of those graded and for 4 different owners. He won allowance races for two of the owners, giving them an additional win each. One of the additional winners was Tapanna, a 3 year old full brother to HANSEN.

In a span just over a half-hour, trainer Mike Maker and jockey Victor Lebron teamed up to win a pair of Kentucky Cup races with flare and it kept on going after that with a win by La Gran Bailadora in the $100,000 Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3)!

Courtesy of the Blood-Horse

Dr. Kendall Hansen’s homebred HANSEN was the first to make it to the Turfway Park winner’s circle Sept. 24, romping by 13 1/4 eye-opening lengths in the $100,000 Bluegrass Cat Kentucky Cup Juvenile while likely earning himself a chance in the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on Nov. 5.

One race later Tom and Matt Conway’s Matthewsburg, sent off at 9-1, overtook the leaders in upper stretch and drew clear for a 2 1/4-length upset in the $100,000 Speightstown Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) ).

The consecutive stakes wins earned Maker and Lebron their fourth victories on the Turfway card, as they also scored optional claimer and maiden special weight races earlier in the day.

Hansen, a son of Tapit , was the most impressive winner on the day. One race after breaking his maiden by 12 1/4 lengths at Turfway, the gray/roan colt annihilated seven challengers in the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Cup Juvenile, leading from gate to wire and covering the distance on Polytrack in 1:45.83 as the 1-2 choice.

Hansen, out of the Sir Cat mare Stormy Sunday, certainly has the looks of a star. “He's one of the best horses I've ever ridden,” Lebron said. Maker said Hansen will be pointed toward BC Juvenile and will not run again beforehand at Keeneland in the Breeders' Futurity (gr. I).

“He's the horse of a lifetime,” owner-breeder Hansen said. “He has done everything he has been asked. After his first race, he wasn't even breathing.”

In the Kentucky Cup Sprint for 3-year-olds going six furlongs on the main track, Matthewsburg overcame a slow start and a wide trip to earn his first graded win. Eighth in a field of 11 after a quarter-mile, the son of Ghostzapper made his winning move on the turn, took over from Philippe and Will's Wildcat approaching the eighth-pole, and sped away in the stretch.

Matthewsburg, bred in Kentucky by Adena Springs and out of the A.P. Indy mare Romantic Comedy, covered the distance in 1:10.28. He improved to 3-1-0 from 10 starts and upped his earnings to $123,609.

. "I had a perfect trip," Lebron said. "I rode this horse in his maiden and at Penn National, where he ran second, so I know him pretty well. He drew off and won pretty easy. He tries to get out a little bit so I let him do what he wants and not take too much of a hold."

Matthewsburg was purchased by Tom Conway for $95,000 at the Adena Springs sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Just a little later in the day, La Gran Bailadora came from far off the pace on the final turn to capture the $100,000 Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III) ), giving trainer Mike Maker three consecutive stakes wins on the Turfway Park program.

Maker had five victories on the card. He won the Bluegrass Cat Kentucky Cup Juvenile with 1-2 choice Hansen by more than 13 lengths two races prior to the Distaff, and came back to saddle Matthewsburg for a 9-1 upset in the Speightstown Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III).

La Gran Bailadora, a homebred racing for Tracy Farmer, earned her fourth victory on Turfway's Polytrack in six tries. She won the one-mile Likely Exchange Stakes over the track in February and missed by a head in the Wintergreen Stakes a month later. The Kentucky Cup Distaff was the first graded stakes win for the 4-year-old daughter of Afleet Alex --Affirmed Dancer, by Affirmed.

"I just think Polytrack is her best surface," Maker said. "She hasn’t really cared for the turf. I tried her on the dirt and she didn’t care for it. I’ll try to keep her Polytrack racing.

With Corey Lanerie aboard, La Gran Bailadora ran the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.90 while defeating Bella Medaglia by one length.

La Gran Bailadora, who broke from the rail, raced in last -- about seven to eight lengths behind the leaders -- before launching her bid rounding the final bend. She would circle the field to collar Bella Medaglia, who had opened up a commanding lead at mid-stretch, in the final sixteenth of a mile. La Gran Bailadora edged away in the final strides under firm handling from Lanerie.

"You always go in confidence when you ride for Mike," Lanerie said. "Just proud to be part of the team. I was last early, just kind of got her out on the turn and she was best today. Once we got to the three-eighths pole, I knew I had them. When I got to the filly on the lead I was a little concerned because she put up a fight, but my horse got by her and pulled away."

La Gran Bailadora earned $60,760 for her fifth lifetime win in 19 starts, boosting her career bankroll to $205,699. She had not raced since a sixth-place finish in the Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Arlington Park turf July 9. She had lost five in a row since her earlier stakes win at Turfway.

Maker said he would consider the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) over nine furlongs at Keeneland Oct. 9 for La Gran Bailadora's next start. Keeneland's main track is also comprised of Polytrack.


And meanwhile north of the border!

Ramsey Homebred, DERBY KITTEN, c, 3, by Kitten’s Joy - Blush, by Menifee won the ONTARIO DERBY at Woodbine.
Lifetime GSW, 14-3-3-3, $304,749.

Courtesy of the TDN

Derby Kitten is at his best on a synthetic surface. The bay made his first three sophomore starts on the lawn, beating $75,000 maiden claimers at Gulfstream in January before running second in an overnight stakes Feb. 5, then heading north to fill out the exacta in the Alligator Alley S. at Tampa Apr. 2. Trying the plastic for the first time as a 9-1 shot in the GII Coolmore Lexington S. at Keeneland Apr. 23, he came running late to win by 1 1/2 lengths. The Ramsey homebred was never in the hunt in the May 7 GI Kentucky Derby, but rebounded when returned to the turf, finishing third in the May 30 Lone Star Derby and July 9 GII American Derby at Arlington. He was last seen finishing seventh after a slow start in the Aug. 13 GI Secretariat S.

Content to sit near the back of the pack early, Derby Kitten launched his bid while wide around the final bend. He kept on coming down the lane, collaring Hippolytus in the waning yards for a narrow score."His only race on Poly was pretty impressive when he won the Lexington,” said winning jockey Mike Smith. "He actually probably laid closer [that day] than he ever had, and I was hoping he would do the same today and he did. Warming up, he was a bit hot, on the warm side, so we just walked him and jogged him lightly. Once the doors opened, he put me right in the race, and it was just a matter of finding a place to go.”

9/10/10 - Black type weekend for Mike

At Louisiana Downs in the $150,000 SUNDAY SILENCE S. for 2yo going a mile on the turf, GUNG HO dug in and won. He is a colt by Kitten's Joy out of Glory Dancer, by Honour and Glory and is a homebred for Kenneth L & Sarah K Ramsey ,

Gung Ho, was third over the Indiana turf course in July and entered here off a maiden at Presque Isle on Aug. 3. He was mid pack through a half mile in :47.85 and then angled out for racing room and came flying late to nail the pacesetterat the wire the line.
Lifetime: 3-2-0-1 $117,064

Also at Louisiana Downs, SW LONESOME STREET , c, 4, Broken Vow - Street Cat, by Storm Cat ran second in the UNBRIDLED S. going 1 1/16m on the turf. He is also owned by Kenneth L & Sarah K Ramsey but an auction purchase having been bred by Jon Kelly & Sarah Kelly. Earlier in the summer he won the J Kenneth Self Shelby County Boys  S at Indiana Downs.

Lifetime: 21 4-5-3 $250,085

Back in Kentucky, Riviera Chic f, 4, Medaglia d'Oro - Hurricane Warning, by Thunder Gulch ran third in the KENTUCKY CUP LADIES TURF S. at Kentucky Downs going a mile on the turf. She has earned her first black type for her owner Joseph P Lacombe and her breeder Albert Bell & Phun LLC.

Lifetime: 17 3-2-4 $81,653

7/29/11 - Artemus Kitten second in the $100,000 Dauphin Miss at Penn National

Ramsey homebred Artemus Kitten, f, 3, Kitten' Joy - Chianti Red, by Woodman ran a strong second in the Dauphin S, relaxing early off the pace and coming wide to be a willing second on soft turf. She had been forced off the turf by rain in her last three starts.

HEADACHE snatches the G3 Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows

HEADACHE (g, 5, Tapit - Pamric, by Woodman) came running down the lane in the G3 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker H. getting on top in the last 70 yards and opening up to beat the favorite by over two lengths. The winner made it two in a row after taking an optional claimer at Churchill Downs May 21 by an impressive 7 1/2 lengths. HEADACHE is owned by Ken & Sarah Ramsey and was claimed for them by Mike for $25,000. Last year he won the Claiming Crown for them, this year a G3 SW.
Lifetime : 24-7-5-5. $445,898

 6/12/11 - BUSTER ROSE takes the SNACK S at Indiana Downs

BUSTER ROSE, g, 3, Pioneering- Sister Rose by Service Stripe won the SNACK S at Indiana Downs for his owner breeder Michael W Ball going 6 furlongs in 1:09 and change.
Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0, $79,071

5/30/11 - Mike was busy in Texas

DEAN'S KITTEN, c, 4, Kitten's Joy - Summer Theatre, by Ide took the DALLAS TURF CUP S. at Lone Star for his owner/breeders Kenneth L & Sarah K Ramsey (KY).
Lifetime Record: GSW, Lifetime: 20-4-3-2, $591,275.

Dean's Kitten won last year's GII Lane's End S. The chestnut moved back to the turf and was favored to win. Dean's Kitten broke on top from the rail and set a moderate pace before zipping away from the field to win easily in a clear cut victory.

Also at Lone Star, DERBY KITTEN, c, 3, Kitten's Joy - Blush, by Menifee ran third in the Lone Star Derby again for the Ramseys. Recently he won the COOLMORE LEXINGTON S.

 5/28/11 - SW LA GRAN BAILADORA gets graded black type

SW LA GRAN BAILADORA by Afleet Alex - Affirmed Dancer by Affirned ran second in the ARLINGTON MATRON S.-GII for owner/breeder Tracy Farmer. She was inside and had to swing 5 wide into the stretch but was up for second. She has earned just under $150,000.

5/21/11 - SW BARYSHNIKOV second in the DIXIE S.-G2 on the Preakness undercard

SW BARYSHNIKOV, h, 5, Empire Maker - Ski Dancer , by Baldski set the pace and lead at every call until the deep stretch when he gave way grudgingly. He pushed his earnings over $250K. He is owned by Jeffrey A Columbro and Connie Apostelos and was bred by Summer Wind Farm,

On the same day, HEADACHE, g, 5, Tapit - Pamric, by Woodman won an allowance race at Churchill Downs pushing his earnings over $250,000. He is owned by the Ramseys, but was bred by Dr J K & Linda Griggs.
Lifetime: 23-6-5-5, $265,897

4/23/11 DERBY KITTEN takes the COOLMORE LEXINGTON S.- G3 - DEANS KITTEN 2nd in the Ben Ali G3

Mike Maker trainer Ramsey homebred DERBY KITTEN, c, 3, by Kitten's Joy - Blush, by Menifee came from the clouds to take the COOLMORE LEXINGTON S.- G3 at Keeneland. Preakness next?

Record: 9-2-3-1, $172,333.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Derby Kitten, a homebred son of their turf champion, rallied from last to capture this $200,000 affair. He had 1 3/4 lengths on Prime Cut (Bernstein) at the wire, with pacesetter Casper's Touch (Touch Gold) sticking around to complete the trifecta. Derby Kitten stopped the clock in 1:42.03. Sent off at 9-1, the bay colt was making his first start on a synthetic surface. “We circled the field but we saved ground on the second turn,” Leparoux said.

“We had a good trip. I had a lot of horse and I knew I was going to get there.” After the race, Ken Ramsey said he would talk to Maker about Derby Kitten’s next race, but said the Preakness is under consideration. Derby Kitten improved to 2-3-1 from nine starts and has now earned $172,333.

On the same day DEAN'S KITTEN ran a good second in the G3 Ben Ali H.

4/17/11 - Two wins at Keeneland today

SW BARYSHNIKOV, h, 5, Empire Maker - Ski Dancer , by Baldski lived up to his name and leapt to the wire to win an allowance race on the turf at Keeneland. He pushed his earnings over $200,000. He is owned by effrey A Columbro & Connie Apostelos and was bred by Summer Wind Farm. Earlier this year, he won the Tejano Run S.
Lifetime:33-7-5-5, $206,343.

On the same day, in a MSW, DERBY OBSESSION, c, 3, Ten Centuries - Golden Swallow, by Affirmed came 6 wide and got up at the wire to snatch the win. He had expended a lot of energy in the paddock and behind the gate, but was patient behind horses where it counted and made a very determined run to the wire when asked. He is owned by Kenneth L & Sarah K Ramsey and was Palides InvestmentsNV Inc (KY).
Lifetime: 3-1-0-1, $34,455

TWINSPIRED second by a nose in the Blue Grass S. G1

TWINSPIRED, winner of the Webn Stakes for his owners, Daniel Johnson's Alpha Stable, Harvey Diamond's Skychai Racing, and Sand Dollar Stable, looked as though he had the Blue Grass won when he was nipped by a nose at the wire. He gave a very gutsy and determined performance. . Mike selected TWINSPIRED, by Harlan's Holiday for his owners from the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic two-year-olds in training sale. He will be Derby bound if his earnings allow him in the gate.

4/2/11 - Two more stakes placings

Kenneth L. Ramsey & Sarah K. Ramsey homebred stakes placed Derby Kitten . c. 3, Kitten’s Joy - Blush, by Menifee ran annexed another stakes placing, running second in the Alligator Alley S at Gulfstream.

At Turfway Park, SW LA GRAN BAILADORA by Afleet Alex ran second in the A Fairway Fun S for owner/breeder Tracy Farmer. Her earnings now stand at $120,489.

 

3/26/11 - Mike set up camp in the Turfway Park Winner's Circle this weekend

SW TWINSPIRED, c. 3, Harlan’s Holiday - Historical Drive, by El Prado (Ire). ran third in the VINERY RACING SPIRAL S. (G3). Recently he won the Webn stakes. He is owned by Alpha Stables, Skychai Racing LLC and Sand Dollar Stable LLC; and was bred by John Jain, Lawrence Opas & Frank Sinatra
(Ky.).
Lifetime: 7 2 0 1: $114,830

GHOST IS CLEAR, c. 3, Ghostzapper - Tamweel, by Gulch earned black type in the Hansel S. for owner Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC and breeders Twin Creeks Farm, Tom & Nancy Clark,Taylor Made Farm Inc., et al (Ky.)
Lifetime: 6-2-1-0, $64,891.

Ghost Is Clear made quite an impression in his 3-yearold debut at the Fair Grounds, breaking his maiden by a widening 7 1/4 lengths Jan. 27. Allowed to drift back through the field to settle third last down the backstretch, Ghost Is Clear commenced his rally on the turn. He was four wide into the stretch, but closed relentlessly and was along in the final four strides for a first stakes badge.

The Thoroughbred Times Today tabbed CALIPARI’S KITTEN as a Notable Maiden Winner. He is a homebred by Kitten' s Joy out of Miss Bergdorf, by Old Trieste. Calipari’s Kitten settled just behind the pace before making his challenge nearing the stretch to take a two-length lead. He maintained a clear advantage to the finish line under regular jockey Alan Garcia.

CRIMSON KATE, f, 3, First Samurai - Red Lifesaver by Victory Gallop broker her maiden first out, She was , sent off as the 2-1 favorite, pulled her way to the front after the opening quarter and kept right on going en route to a four-length triumph. She is owned by Thomas Conway and was bred by -Martin J Wygod & R Eric Waldman (KY)
Lifetime : 1-1-0-0, $12,000.

The same owner trainer combination also scored with MATTHEWSBURG, . c. 3, Ghostzapper - Romantic Comedy, by A.P. Indy winning off by by 6 1/4 lengths.

3/19/11 - A one two for Mike in the Tejano Run

BARYSHNIKOV, h, 5, Empire Maker - Ski Dancer (Baldski) won the TEJANO RUN at Turfway Park with dispatch and pushed his earnings over $166,000. He is owned by Jeffrey A Columbro and Connie Apostelos and was bred by Summer Wind Farm. Right on his heels was his stable made, G2 SW DEAN'S KITTEN a homebred for Kenneth L Ramsey & Sarah K Ramsey. DEAN'S KITTEN is by : Kitten's Joy out of Summer Theatre (Ide. He has now earned )$471,275.

3/6/11 - Three wins for Mike

DRAW IT (f, 3, Tapit-- Illustrated, by Deputy Minister) won an allowance race at Gulfstream. She well back in the early going, she angled widest into the drive and splashed down the middle of the track to take over in deep stretch and win going away by 1 1/4 lengths. She is a homebred for Mr & Mrs Robert David Randal (KY).
Lifetime: 2-1-1-0, $33,140.

Mike got another win for the Randals when POPS IS WILD won first out at Turfway Park.

Also at Turfway BREAKING PROMISES (f, 4, Broken Vow - Two Ninety Jones, by Sir Harry Lewis) broke her maiden first out. She was allowed to settle into stride and then ranged up seven wide into the lane and stormed to the lead in deep stretch on the way to a 1 1/4-length triumph. She is owned by O-Twin Creeks Farm and was bred by Matecumbe Stable (KY).
Lifetime : 1-1-0-0, $12,000.

  2/12/11 - ANOTHER GREAT WEEKEND FOR MIKE MAKER RACING

Mike had 3 winners, including a stakes winner and two stakes placed horse at tracks ranging from Aqueduct to Turfway to the Fair Grounds and further south to Gulfstream.

LA GRAN BAILADORA scored in the Likely Exchange S. at Turfway Park for owner/breeder Tracy Farmer. She pushed her earnings over $100,00 and added black type to her pedigree. In the same race Jonmil`s Edge ran third and also both pushed her earnings over $100,000 and added first time black type. She is a homebred for John and Mildred Boyce.

At the Fair Grounds G3 stakes placed Age of Humor ran third in the Pelleteri S. She is owned by Skychai Racing and Twin Creeks Racing.

G1 Breeders` Cup Dirt Mile winner FURTHEST LAND, was winless last year but has gotten 2011 started with a nice win at Gulfstream. He was claimed by Mike for Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey and is now pushing a million in earnings.

At Aqueduct, New York Bred Surfactant, broke his maiden with dispatch for owner Kendall E Hansen. He has had a win and two seconds in three starts.

2/5/11 - THE APTLY NAMED TWINSPIRES ON THE DERBY TRAIL

Mike had the winner and the second horse in the plus two other winners at Turfway Park for three different owners. TWINSPIRED took the Webn Stakes for his owners, Daniel Johnson's Alpha Stable, Harvey Diamond's Skychai Racing, and Sand Dollar Stable. The Harlan's Holiday colt put himself on the Derby Trail. Mike selected TWINSPIRED for his owners from the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic two-year-olds in training sale. Following him across the wire was the Bluegrass Cat colt, R Fast Cat for Scarlet Stables.

Mike won the WEBN stakes last year with KERA`S KITTEN.

Additional winners were St. Ivan for Dr. Susan Martin and General Stallings for F Thomas Conway. Both broke their maidens.

Courtesy of the Blood-Horse

Twinspired
proved a deserving favorite when he captured the $50,000 WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park by 4 1/4 lengths on the night of Feb. 5.

In a field of a dozen 3-year-olds, R Fast Cat finished second by a head over Taptowne. Final time in the one-mile test was 1:41.57 on the Polytrack.

The 3-2 favorite ridden by Jozbin Santana put away Taptowne with a furlong to go and drew off to win impressively. This was Twinspired's first stakes win for his owners, Daniel Johnson's Alpha Stable, Harvey Diamond's Skychai Racing, and Sand Dollar Stable. The son of Harlan's Holiday  --Historical Drive, by El Prado, is trained by Mike Maker.

The WEBN Stakes is the second of three local preps for the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (gr. III) at Turfway March 26, itself a prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

When asked whether Twinspired would return for the third prep, the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes in exactly a month, co-owner David Koenig of Sand Dollar Stable said: “He ran a big race, but we’ll defer those questions to Mike Maker. But how’s this: when we bought him, the plan was the Kentucky Derby, and we’re working backwards from there.”

Five wide on the first turn Santana said he had to adjust his game plan. “I was on the best horse and I was on the outside, just waiting until the three-eighths pole to let the horse run. But (Taptowne) came at me a little bit earlier so I had to move so I wouldn’t be stuck behind heels. But my horse responded really well.”

Twinspired, fifth early, cruised along about four lengths off the pace as Military Jewel ran the first quarter in :23.66 and the half in :47.67.  Past the halfway point of the mile race, Taptowne made the bold bid that forced Santana’s hand and took the lead, hitting the three-quarter mark at 1:13.42 with Twinspired a head behind. The two drew away from the field and raced together for a furlong, but at the eighth pole Santana asked Twinspired for more and the race was his. R Fast Cat, ridden by Greta Kuntzweiler at odds of 18-1, closed from last early to catch second choice Taptowne and Rodney Prescott in the last jump.

Twinspired, who boosted his earnings to $62,530 with the winning purse of $28,830, returned $5, $3.60 and $2.60 to show. After breaking his maiden at first asking by three lengths on Keeneland's Polytrack last October, the colt had lost three races in a row. The WEBN marked a return to a synthetic surface after two unplaced efforts on turf.

Twinspired was purchased for $140,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale last May. John Jain, Lawrence Opas, and Frank Sinatra bred the gray/roan colt in Kentucky