09/07/2011 2:52PM

Louisiana Downs: Maker takes aim at third Sunday Silence win


BOSSIER CITY, La. – It’s Super Derby Week, keep your eyes peeled for Mike Maker. His presence on the Super Derby undercard is as reliable a sign of autumn as tailgate parties and the start of football season.

Maker’s annual trips to Louisiana Downs began in 2007 when he won the Sunday Silence Stakes with Cherokee Triangle.

The race, named after the 1989 Super Derby winner and Horse of the Year, is for 2-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf and is one of five stakes that have supported the Grade 2 Super Derby in recent years.

Maker won the Sunday Silence again in 2009 with William’s Kitten, who parlayed his victory into a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. In 2010, Maker looked to again be on his way to the winner’s circle in the Sunday Silence but El Grayling was unable to hold a midstretch lead and finished fifth, beaten a half-length. All was not lost though as Maker’s other representative on the Super Derby program, Accept, finished third in the Happy Ticket Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, also run over the turf.

Maker’s entrant in this year’s edition of the $150,000 Sunday Silence is Gung Ho, a lightly raced son of Kitten’s Joy who was bred and is campaigned by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey. Gung Ho comes off a five-furlong maiden score at Presque Isle Downs in his second career start.

“I’ve got a lot of Kitten’s Joy’s offspring so we like to spread them around,” Maker said from his Churchill Downs Training Center base when asked about his support of one of the region’s top turf stakes for 2-year-olds.

“This colt has continued to train well and the added distance should only help,” he added. “Ramon Dominguez is going to ride for us, which should also be a benefit.”

Gung Ho’s task will not be an easy one, as he will face stakes winners Indian Assault, Tequila Factor, and Top Cat Boogie.

◗ Maker is also shipping in Lonesome Street for the $100,000 Unbridled Stakes. The mile and sixteenth affair for 3-year-olds and upward on turf is named for the 1990 Kentucky Derby winner, who finished second to fellow Carl Nafzger trainee Home At Last in Super Derby 11 in 1990.

Lonesome Street comes into the Unbridled off a fourth-place finish in a $100,000 optional claiming race at Saratoga in late July. Prior to that start, the 4-year-old Broken Vow colt annexed the $100,000 J.K. Self Stakes at Indiana Downs on June 22.

“He always runs hard and we expect more of the same on Saturday,” Maker said.

Dominguez will also handle the riding chores on Lonesome Street, who will square off against nine foes, including Go Tiger Jack, winner of the Barksdale Stakes here last month.

◗ The $100,000 Happy Ticket also drew a field 10, including Soonerette, a winner over the Arlington turf earlier this year for trainer Donnie Von Hemel. She will also have Dominguez in the saddle.

Category Seven, a multiple-stakes-winning mare for trainer Kenneth Hargrave, heads the field in the $100,000 River Cities at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass while Tom Amoss could send out the favorite in the six-furlong, $50,000 Temperence Hill in the form of Tidal Volume.