07/29/2010 5:25PM

Hour by Hour stretches in Dowling


Hour by Hour, hero of the Lansing Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course last month, faces eight 3-year-old statebred colts and geldings in the $20,000 Dowling Stakes. The one-mile race honors James Dowling, whose efforts led to the development of Thoroughbred horse racing in Michigan nearly 80 years ago. Post time is 5:46 p.m. Eastern.
Coupled with Meadow Magic, an allowance winner at the meet, Hour by Hour is trained by James Jackson and owned by Jackson’s wife Laura and breeder Valerie Irvine. The Elusive Hour colt, who also won the Michigan Sire Stakes as a juvenile, took the lead in the Lansing Stakes and held sway over his nine opponents, five of whom return for the Dowling. Federico Mata, who rode him in both the Sire Stakes and the Lansing, will handle the reins Saturday, breaking Hour by Hour from post 7. All starters will carry 122 pounds.
Meadow Magic chased his stablemate in the Lansing, finishing third by nearly five lengths. Ricardo Barrios will ride Meadow Magic from post 2. In their only efforts at a mile, Meadow Magic led to the stretch before giving way in last season’s Michigan Futurity, while Hour by Hour gave way after a half-mile. The pair have been made the 9-5 morning-line choice.
Secrets Only, who finished between the Jackson pair in the Lansing, beaten less than three lengths, is one of two from leading trainer Robert Gorham’s barn. The other, Watchin the Vix, won his maiden for $50,000 on July 4. Both are owned by Henry Mast. Jeffrey Skerrett will ride Secrets Only, while Watchin the Vix gets the services of leading rider Tommy Molina.