07/10/2016 2:21PM

Moving Style takes third Michigan Breeders Governor's Cup


Moving Style won his third Michigan Breeders Governor’s Cup Handicap at Hazel Park on Saturday, and affirmed his long-standing command over Michigan’s older male division.

Michigan’s defending horse of the year topped a field of eight in the $20,000 six-furlong race for older state-bred males in the division’s first stakes test of the meet.

Moving Style sat relaxed on the outside while Runnin Fun took his expected spot on the lead early, battling Prayers Crescendo to an opening quarter in 24.72 seconds.

The two put two lengths between themselves and third-place Bounce Back heading into the backstretch, while Moving Style advanced after going several paths wide through the first turn.

Jockey Angel Stanley and Moving Style quickly reeled in the early leaders down the straightaway, and easily disposed of them from three-wide, setting a half-mile time of 49.05 seconds.

Stanley urged his mount with a right-handed whip through the turn as closer Boo Dutton tried to stage a rally on the outside, but he repelled his challenger and drew off in the stretch to win by four lengths. Boo Dutton continued on to finish second, 5 1/2 lengths ahead of Prayer’s Crescendo, who held on by a neck against fellow pacesetter Runnin Fun.

Moving Style stopped the clock in 1:14.59, making it the second-fastest of his three wins in the stakes race. He was the field’s overwhelming favorite, paying $3.20 to win.

Saturday’s race was Moving Style’s fifth stakes win and his 15th overall victory in 43 career starts, improving his earnings to $272,270. He has raced three times at Hazel Park, all wins in the Michigan Breeders Governor’s Cup Handicap.

Shane Spiess trains Moving Style for his father, Merril Spiess.

The younger Spiess conditioned Moving Style from 2012 to 2014, highlighted by a win in the 2012 juvenile males division of the Michigan Sire Stakes, but he was claimed in his 2014 debut by Romar LLC and trainer Wayne Mogge, who sent him to Hazel Park later that year for his first win in the stakes race.

The gelding was claimed twice at Tampa Bay Downs in early 2015 before returning to the Spiess shedrow that summer.

Moving Style, a 7-year-old son of Meadow Prayer, was bred in Michigan by Marcia and James Arnold.