09/27/2012 3:09PM

Presque Isle: Meet closes with a three-stakes card


A trio of $100,000 stakes highlight the closing night card at Presque Isle Downs on Saturday evening. The finale of the 100-program meet includes a pair of 2-year-old races, the Presque Isle Debutante for fillies and the Fitz Dixon Memorial for males, along with the H.B.P.A. Stakes for older fillies and mares.

Muppet Man will be turning back in distance for the 6 1/2-furlong Fitz Dixon, which will be run over Presque Isle’s Tapeta surface. Trained by Jim Divito, Muppet Man won in gate-to-wire fashion at first asking July 1 at Arlington Park going 4 1/2 furlongs. In his next Polytrack start Aug. 4, Muppet Man came from just off a fast pace to win the $66,000 Meadowlake by nearly five lengths while going seven furlongs. In his most recent out Sept. 8, the son of Corinthian finished second, beaten three lengths, after setting the pace to upper stretch in the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity going one mile.

Jeffrey Sanchez retains the mount.

Dan the Tin Man has the two best Beyer Speed Figures in the field of 10 colts and geldings and will be looking for his second lifetime win. The Ricky Griffith trainee won his maiden over Polytrack July 8 at Woodbine, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 81, the highest in the field. After finishing last in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on Aug. 8, Dan the Tin Man finished third in the $168,000 Swynford going seven furlongs at Woodbine, earning a Beyer of 78, the second highest in the field. The son of Songandaprayer will have his blinkers removed for the Dixon.

Christopher Griffith will ride for the first time.

◗ Funfair will try to remain perfect in her third start when facing eight other fillies in the six-furlong Presque Isle Debutante. Trained by Christophe Clement, Funfair won at first asking July 12 at Belmont Park going six furlongs on turf. In her most recent out Aug. 12 at Monmouth, the daughter of More Than Ready won the $60,000 Colleen going five furlongs on turf, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 78, the highest in the field. The meet’s leading rider, Pablo Morales, will ride for the first time.

◗ Hooh Why will be looking for her second win in eight attempts at Presque Isle when she heads a full field of older fillies and mares in the H.B.P.A. going a mile and 70 yards. The millionaire mare has not won since May in Tampa, but has finished well against some tough fields.

On May 26 Hooh Why finished second in the Grade 3 Arlington Matron. On June 27 she finished third, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, in the $106,000 Girls Club of Shelby County at Indiana Downs on the grass. On July 22 Hooh Why finished second in the Grade 3 Ontario Matron at Woodbine, beaten a length. In her most recent out Aug. 11, she finished a late-charging fourth in the $100,000 Illinois Owners at Arlington, also on the turf.

Although Hooh Why has only one win in seven attempts at Presque Isle, she has earned $839,000 of her $1,083,733 on synthetic surfaces. Ronnie Allen Jr. will ride.

◗ Although Pablo Morales has the riding title locked up with 129 wins going into Thursday night’s card, the trainers’ race was a little more tight. Joe Martin had 40 wins going into Thursday with Tim Hamm and Jamie Ness tied for second with 33.