05/14/2013 2:58PM

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.


DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
Calling Maker white hot is an understatement. I am at a loss to explain how a trainer can dominate Keeneland in the manner Maker did. The trainer colony is so deep to win 23 starts in a compressed meet was impressive. It also raises questionsi especially in this era. I often see trainer's stratospheric results explained by proper or even aggressive horse placement . However, I look thru the DRF daily and frankly I see MANY more move ups than aggressive drops. I see many claims and 10-20 BSF point improvements with several class hikes. Several become stakes types (King David won a grade 1). As a bettor I admit to trying to beat the guy way too many times at KEE. The board was so juicy if you went to option B or C instead of Maker/Ramsay. I got a number of headaches trying to beat Maker. One thing that really grabbed my attention was the margin of victory with many of his winners. KEE's track surface does not lend itself to blowout wins however many of the Maker winners were by open lengths even after they were ease up late. Most made sweeping moves on the far turn and by the 1/8th pole the race was for the minor awards. Winning is one thing but crushing is another. I hope what we witnessed was good honest horsemanship. Only time will tell but after 40 years of following races forgive me if I have some reservations.
jttf More than 1 year ago
so the ramseys have an awesome keeneland meet. joel rosario had an awesome keeneland meet. maker has an awesome meet. so which one deserves the most credit ? i will go with the vet.
chairmanwong0 More than 1 year ago
Makers got the best juice now. Personally I dont care if he runs them juiced or not. As long Ias I cash.
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
Show me a trainer with high win percentages and I'll show you a trainer who's not running his horses at the level they should be. Guys like Maker and Amoss have high win percentage because they run their horses at the lowest possible level to get wins. Their graded stakes percentage isn't nearly as high.
Brian Russell More than 1 year ago
OK, I've got an open mind. Out of all these hundreds of horses you claim he is running too cheap, name me 2 or 3 that someone has claimed off him and moved way up. I'm waiting.............and still will be when this story is removed.
Mike Barker More than 1 year ago
lol and find me someone whos claimed off him and they came back and won, you cant
Bryan E More than 1 year ago
yeah. i think the truth lies behind your statement more than Brian's. Although they are both true.
Mike More than 1 year ago
I think many years from now this will be viewed as a Sammy Sosa-Mark Mcquire "Era"
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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Albert More than 1 year ago
You're right...this isn't about steroids....if it was, they wouldn't move up so fast for him because steroids take a while to take effect....most likely it's about blood doping....most likely he's got something new that's undetectable....this is as dirty as they come. What bothers me more than anything is the complicity of people who write ridiculous articles praising the talent of these guys.