05/23/2007 12:00AM

Meadow Vespers rallies

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Meadow Vespers spoiled the 2007 debut of the reigning Michigan horse of the year, Weatherstorm, when he rallied to beat Dorthys Champ by a neck in an optional claiming race Tuesday evening at Great Lakes Downs. Weatherstorm, who raced in stalking position early, pounced but then hung in the final yards and was three lengths back in third. Rockem Sockem, a past horse of the year and stablemate of Weatherstorm, finished fifth.

Meadow Vespers, the older champion of 2006, is owned by John Mack and trained by Richard Rettele, the leading trainer at the meet. Mary Doser, the leading rider, was aboard Meadow Vespers, a 5-year-old son of Meadow Prayer.

Doser won the title in 1999, the inaugural meet at this western Michigan oval. She has 11 wins through eight days of racing, two more than Mike Allen, and is closing in on 1,500 wins, needing only nine more tallies for that milestone.