09/02/2009 11:00PM

Gorham loaded in stakes


Michigan-bred 3-year-olds take center stage in the $50,000 Michigan Oaks and $50,000 Mackinac Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course. Both races are at 1 1/16 miles. The Oaks is the sixth race on the 2:30 p.m. card and is followed by the Mackinac.

Moon Charmer, Hakuna Matata, and Baba Booyah, the first three finishers in the Aug. 1 Ann Arbor Stakes, return for the Oaks. Moon Charmer finished first that day but was disqualified and placed third after bothering stablemate Baba Booyah in the stretch. Hakuna Matata was declared the winner.

Both Moon Charmer and Baba Booyah are sent out by leading trainer Robert Gorham but will race uncoupled. Baba Booyah has been made the morning-line favorite in the five-horse field. Top rider Jeffrey Skerrett retains the mount on Baba Booyah, who won an allowance race Aug. 14 for owner Marion Gorham. Moon Charmer, who won the Michigan Juvenile Fillies last year for owner Henry Mast, will be ridden by Freddie Mata.

Flint and City Tour round out the Oaks field.

* Dowling Stakes winner Meadow Wise is one of three runners from the Gorham/Mast barn in the eight-horse Mackinac field. With regular rider Angel Stanley aboard, Meadow Wise had a troubled allowance win Aug. 7 in his only start since the July 25 Dowling. He will have to tote high weight of 123 pounds in the Mackinac, spotting five to 13 pounds to his opposition. Gorham also has entered Lansing Stakes winner Juggle and Reasontobefoolish, who will race as separate betting interests.

Perfect Start drew off late after a prolonged duel in his last start on Aug. 8. Perfect Start is trained by Sandy Adkins and gets a new rider in Alexis Ortiz.