A trio of Mike Maker-trained graded stakes winners, two owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, will face eight others when they line up April 1 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for the $300,000 Muniz Memorial Handicap (G2T).
With graded stakes-placed Roman Approval, Maker has a total of four entrants in the approximately 1 1/8-mile turf test and three will carry the highweight of 119 pounds.
Breaking from the rail under jockey Tyler Gaffalione is Maxis Stable's Enterprising. The 6-year-old gelding won the Feb. 25 Fair Grounds Handicap (G3T) last time out by three-quarters of a length over stablemate and fellow Muniz Handicap entrant Oscar Nominated. In his one other start this year, the Jan. 21 Sunshine Millions Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park, the son of Elusive Quality lost by a neck.
The Ramsey's Oscar Nominated has finished second in his last three starts, all at different tracks. A month before the Fair Grounds Handicap, the 4-year-old son of Kitten's Joy finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Bigger Picture in the 1 1/2-mile John B. Connally Turf Cup Stakes (G3T). And Dec. 31, he was 1 1/2 lengths behind Giant Run in the Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream. Last year, the ridgling had three stakes wins, including the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (G3) on synthetic. Florent Geroux will ride from post 10.
The third Maker graded stakes winner, Granny's Kitten, finished fifth by three lengths in the Fair Grounds Handicap after bobbling at the start and traveling wide on both turns. In the 5-year-old's other start this year, he got a neck in front to take the Jan. 21 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap (G3T) also at Fair Grounds. Shaun Bridgmohan will ride the Ramsey homebred.
The fourth Maker horse, 6-year-old Roman Approval, is also entered in the New Orleans Handicap (G2) one race earlier on the card.
Looking to take another shot at the Maker trainees is grade 3 winner One Mean Man. Most recently 1 3/4 lengths back in third in the Fair Grounds Handicap, the 4-year-old colt traveled three wide at the quarter pole and drifted out in the stretch.
A head behind One Mean Man in the Fair Grounds Handicap was Bullards Alley. The grade 3 winner looks to get back to winning form after finishing off the board in his last three starts.
Wimborne Farm's graded stakes winner Kasaqui enters off a narrow loss in the Tampa Bay Stakes (G3T) Feb. 11. Since being imported to the U.S. from his native Argentina halfway through 2016, he won the grade 3 Arlington Handicap and ran second in three other graded stakes.
Making his first stakes start is Gen Star Thoroughbreds and Ten Strike Racing's Special Ops. The 6-year-old gelding enters off back-to-back allowance scores at Fair Grounds.
Also entered are a few graded stakes-placed runners who are looking to break through: Blarp and Pumpkin Rumble, fourth and fifth respectively in the Colonel E. R. Bradley; and Sky Flight, who set the pace in the Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes Dec. 17 before tiring to last.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, April 01, 2017, Race 9
- About 1 1/8m
- 4 yo's & up
- 4:06 PM (local)
|1||1Enterprising (FL)||Tyler Gaffalione||119||Michael J. Maker||5/1|
|2||2Blarp (KY)||Miguel Mena||114||Thomas M. Amoss||8/1|
|3||3Sky Flight (KY)||Richard E. Eramia||114||Michelle Lovell||20/1|
|4||4Roman Approval (KY)||Rajiv Maragh||115||Michael J. Maker||8/1|
|5||5One Mean Man (KY)||James Graham||115||Bernard S. Flint||8/1|
|6||6Granny's Kitten (PA)||Shaun Bridgmohan||119||Michael J. Maker||6/1|
|7||7Pumpkin Rumble (PA)||Mitchell Murrill||114||Gary M. Scherer||20/1|
|8||8Kasaqui (ARG)||Robby Albarado||118||Ignacio Correas, IV||7/2|
|9||9Bullards Alley (KY)||Marcelino Pedroza||116||Tim Glyshaw||12/1|
|10||10Oscar Nominated (KY)||Florent Geroux||119||Michael J. Maker||4/1|
|11||11Special Ops (KY)||Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.||113||Brad H. Cox||15/1|