Secret Romeo Returns in Michigan Sire Series

(from Great Lakes Downs Report)
The Michigan Sire Stakes, a showcase of the progeny of Michigan sires, highlights the Great Lakes Downs meeting Saturday night.

Champions Secret Romeo and Sefas Rose are just two of the past Sire Stakes winners looking for a repeat this year. Secret Romeo is the reigning Michigan horse of the year.

Each race is worth an estimated $120,000. The series starts with the 2-year-old fillies in the third race. The young misses will race at six furlongs, as will the juvenile colts and geldings, who make up the seventh race on the card.

Sophomores contest their divisions at a mile and a sixteenth. The fillies are in the fourth race, followed by the male 3-year-olds in the fifth.

The sixth race features the older distaffers, those 4 years old and up. They will race a mile and an eighth, as will the older males in the eighth and final Sire Stakes.

Tony Catenacci's Secret Romeo will be the choice here, despite not winning a local stakes this year. He did win the Arnault Memorial Handicap at Mountaineer in August and an allowance race earlier at this meet. Leading trainer Gerald Bennett trains Secret Romeo, as well as Goldinrunner and Timely Factor. Joe Judice will be in the irons on Secret Romeo.

Goldinrunner won the Michigan Breeders' Governor's Cup Handicap in July, beating most of this field. Luis Martinez will ride Goldinrunner.

All runners will carry 123 pounds.

PP. Horse, Rider, ML Odds
1. Tanks Lil Brother, Colin Skinner, 10/1
2. Secret Romeo, Joe Judice, 2/1
3. Timely Factor, Luis Martinez, Jr., 12/1
4. American Deputy, Freddie Mata, 3/1
5. Xclusive Imp, Jason Eads, 15/1
6. Goldinrunner, Luis Martinez, 4/1
7. Lite Up, Felipe Santos, 8/1
8. That Gift, Mary Doser , 6/1

Sefas Rose is looking for a three-peat, having won the older distaff division the past two seasons. The champ, owned by Sefa's Farm, was listed at 4/1 on the morning line as the fourth choice.

The Rosendo Parra-owned entry of Sweetwater Promise and Born to Dance was made the 8/5 morning line choice. Born to Dance won the Larkspur Handicap here in June, as well as a handicap at Mountaineer Park in August. Judice will ride Sweetwater Promise and Jason Eads will ship in with Born to Dance, the 2001 Michigan horse of the year.

1. Sweetwater Promise, Joe Judice, 8/5
1a. Born to Dance, Jason Eads, 8/5
2. Empress Livia, Luis Martinez,Jr, 10/1
3. Tank Grrrl, Luis Martinez, 5/2
4. Emmies Esperanza, Felipe Santos, 6/1
5. Circle the Globe, Mary Doser , 5/1
6. Ruff Arrival, Lori Coburn, 12/1
7. Little Rosa Lynn, Robert Munoz, 20/1
8. Sefas Rose, Freddie Mata, 4/1

Leading trainer Gerald Bennett trains three of the seven entrants in this race, including Monetary Star, who won the juvenile division last year. Michael Palushaj's Monetary Gift colt was installed as the 3/5 morning line favorite after winning his last two starts, the Mackinac Handicap and the Dowling Stakes, where he upset Akatsakat. Joe Judice will ride Monetary Star.

Bennett also trains Bounty Bill and Bar U Anio, who will race coupled. Thomas Vanderhyde owns Bounty Bill while his daughter, Sarah, owns Bar U Anio. Also coupled are Blue Cobalt, trained by Bennett's son Dale, and Red Wand, from the barn of Pedro Martinez. Redbob Farms, Inc. and Dacmit, Inc. own the latter pair of geldings.

1. Red Wand, Luis Martinez, 10/1
1a. Blue Cobalt, Tommy Molina, 10/1
2. Bar U Anio, Freddie Mata, 8/1
2b. Bounty Bill, Octavio Bernal, 8/1
3. Damon T, Mary Doser, 3/1
4. Hadley Hill, Felipe Santos, 12/1
5. Monetary Star, Joe Judice, 3/5

At 5/2, the morning line choice is Great Choice. Though short on experience, she is undefeated, having won her only start back on Sept. 27. The Monetary Gift-Del's Choice miss is owned by Delphine Miller and trained by her husband, Detroit Lions great Bob Miller. Miller played on championship teams in the 1950s.

The entry of Redbob Farms, Inc.'s Time Lock and Clever Moon was made the second choice at 3/1. Pedro Martinez trains the pair. Clever Moon was third in the recent Michigan Oaks to the talented Cantouchis and Magna Cum Laude, who are not eligible to the Sire Stakes.

1. Time Lock, Luis Martinez, 3/1
1a. Clever Moon, Felipe Santos, 3/1
2. Timeliano, Jason Eads, 6/1
3. Dancin for Gold, Mary Doser, 10/1
4. Great Choice, Freddie Mata, 5/2
5. Glamorize, Joe Judice, 4/1
6. That's a Match, Colin Skinner, 20/1
7. Sailing Sal, Luis Martinez Jr., 20/1
8. Ranchipur, Tommy Molina, 12/1
9. Twisted Amour, Octavio Bernal, 8/1

Henry Mast's Rockem Sockem and Hot Shot Spirit are the 6/5 morning line favorites in the juvenile division. Rockem Sockem, was second to another stablemate, Heza Mountain Man, in the Little Ones Stakes, but reversed that decision in the Patrick Wood Stakes, triumphing by a nose. Heza Mountain Man is not eligible for the Sire Stakes.
Bob Gorham trains the duo for Mast and has engaged Tommy Molina for a return ride aboard Rockem Sockem. Freddie Mata will ride Hot Shot Spirit.

1. Rockem Sockem, Tommy Molina, 6/5
1a. Hot Shot Spirit, Freddie Mata, 6/5
2. Cool Competitor, Joe Judice, 3/1
3. Coin Maker, Luis Martinez, Jr., 12/1
4. Mt. Pauliano, Octavio Bernal, 8/1
5. Exclusivenjoyment, Mary Doser, 6/1
6. Diablo de Viernes, Felipe Santos, 4/1

Gorham also has the early choice in the juvenile fillies, the pair of Textbook Tillie and Send 'Em Pakin, both owned by Gorham's sister, Marion. Textbook Tillie finished fourth but was placed third in the recent Sickle's Image stakes. The three fillies that finished in front of her that day are not in the Sire Stakes. Freddie Mata will ride.

Diana Skinner's Brushher is one-for-one after she broke her maiden at first asking on Sept. 8. Her husband, Colin, will be the rider.

1. Textbook Tillie, Freddie Mata, 5/2
1a. Send 'Em Pakin, Tommy Molina, 5/2
2. Surprise Walker, Scott Surrency, 3/1
3. Brushher, Colin Skinner, 4/1
4. Deb's Favoite Gift, Joe Judice, 10/1
5. Great Game, Luis Martinez, Jr., 8/1
6. Salute to Paulie, Jason Eads, 15/1
7. Paparazzi Miss, Mary Doser, 6/1
8. Justart, Robert Munoz, 6/1
9. Native Zeal, Luis Martinez, 15/1