05/14/2013 1:58PM

Churchill Downs: Maker manages to remain white-hot wherever his horses run

Barbara D. Livingston
After posting sensational numbers at Keeneland, trainer Mike Maker has started out just as strong at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A lull was supposed to follow Mike Maker after he set a record that figures to stand for many years at Keeneland last month.

Scratch that.

Maker has continued on a tear, winning with 8 of his first 17 starters at the Churchill Downs spring meet while also winning 4 of 11 at Belmont Park. Those numbers follow the gaudy 25 for 76 he posted when setting a record for most wins by a trainer at a Keeneland meet.

The absurdity of the repetitiveness might well have been illustrated best Sunday at Churchill.

Maker won the eighth race, a turf route, with a filly who broke from the far outside post, Blues and Silvers. Rosie Napravnik was aboard the winner, who paid $4.80.

An hour later, Maker won the 10th race, a turf route, with a colt who broke from the far outside post, Moro Tap. Napravnik was aboard the winner, who paid $4.80.

Both horses won from off the pace, although Moro Tap came from considerably farther behind. And here’s another slight difference: Blues and Silvers is owned by his main clients, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, while Moro Tap is owned by a large partnership that includes Harvey Diamond, Jimmy Shircliff, Terry Raymond, and others.

“We’re just going to try to keep it up,” said Maker. “You lose conditions when you win, and some of the horses obviously have been running at a peak. So you expect at some point for things to cool off a little. So far that hasn’t happened. We’ll take it.”

Sweet Cassiopeia chases richer purse

Sweet Cassiopeia was scratched as the morning-line favorite from the Unbridled Sidney overnight stakes here Saturday to run instead this coming weekend in a richer race at Pimlico.

Sweet Cassiopeia, a winner of five in a row, is listed as the 5-2 program favorite for the $100,000 The Very One Stakes on the Friday card in Maryland.

The purse for the Unbridled Sidney was $64,418. Good Deed, making her grass debut, was an easy winner for trainer Steve Margolis.

Keertana lone stakes this weekend

The first post-Derby stakes of note at Churchill is set for May 25 with the $100,000 Louisville Handicap. That means the richest race here this weekend again will be an overnight stakes, the $65,000 Keertana, for female turf marathoners on Saturday.

Three allowances anchor an 11-race Friday twilight card (post 2:45 p.m. Eastern), topped by a $57,000, third-level sprint for 3-year-olds and upward.