10/06/2004 11:00PM

Six Sire Stakes on tap cutline


MUSKGEGON, Mich. - On Saturday night, Great Lakes Downs will host the 20th running of the Michigan Sire Stakes, the richest card of the year on the Michigan racing calendar. The Sire Stakes, run in six divisions, are for the progeny of Michigan stallions and offers estimated purses of $120,000 per race.

Five of the races drew full 10-horse fields. The series starts with the third race on the card, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

Foolininthemeadow will get the fun started when she tries to keep her perfect record intact in the 2-year-old filly division. A Meadow Prayer filly, Foolininthemeadow has done nothing wrong in three starts for trainer Karl Waters. After easily winning her maiden, she had an easy time in the Temptress Stakes, then was ridden out to victory in the Sickle's Image Stakes.

Mary Doser, who has been aboard Foolininthemeadow for both of her stakes wins, will ride again Saturday.

Rockem Sockem's return to the races in the 3-year-old male division has been eagerly awaited by the Great Lakes Downs regulars. Rockem Sockem, a Ulises gelding, was the hottest runner on the grounds and winning by double-digit margins before being sidelined by surgery for an entrapped epiglottis. Veterinarian and trainer Bob Gorham, who will saddle a dozen horses on the card, said his 2003 Michigan juvenile champion is ready for this race.

Rockem Sockem has won 4 of 5 stakes races this year, including a victory against older runners. Though a winner in the Aug. 14 Dowling Stakes, the margin of victory was only a half-length. An examination the next day revealed the breathing problem. Leading rider Terry Houghton will be aboard Rockem Sockem.

Secret Romeo, the most successful runner in this track's six-season history, is back for his fifth Sire Stakes appearance. A winner in 2002 as a 4-year-old, Secret Romeo was second in last year's race for older colts and geldings.

One of four entries on the card from the barn of leading trainer Gerald Bennett, Secret Romeo has but one win this year, an allowance victory over Rockem Sockem. Bennett has kept Secret Romeo on the road most of the season with stakes appearances throughout the Midwest. He was upset here on Sept. 4 by Catch the Dew in the Frontier Handicap. Houghton will ride.

Demagoguery heads the juvenile male division. Trained by Bennett, Demagoguery has been third in both 2-year-old stakes here this season. Neither winner is in the Sire Stakes, leaving the event anyone's race. It's a Ego Thing and Zumi were impressive winning their debuts.

In the 3-year-old filly race, Send 'em Pakin will try to win her second Sire Stakes for trainer Gorham. Deb's Favoite Gift, second to end 'em Pakin last year, was second in the Ann Arbor Stakes on Aug. 13 and should be the favorite Saturday in the absence of stakes winners Gold Ginny and Cats Copy.

Dancin for Gold is the pick of the older fillies and mares in a field of six. She won her last start, the Farer Belle Lee Handicap here on Sept. 3. On July 16 she was third to Clever Moon in the Moonbeam Handicap. Mary Doser rides Dancin for Gold for her husband, trainer Scott Sowle.

Clever Moon, the 2003 2-year-old Sire Stakes winner, was claimed by trainer Gorham at Arlington Park on the Fourth of July. She will run as an entry with Pebbett.