(November 19, 2008) – Trainer Mike Maker established a Churchill Downs Fall Meet record for victories Wednesday afternoon when One Eyed Joker won the eighth race for Maker’s 21st triumph of the season.
Maker, 39, broke the record with his 54th starter of the 26-day meet that runs through Nov. 29. The previous record was established in 2003 when Dale Romans saddled 20 winners from 78 starters during the 27-day meet.
Maker, a former assistant to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas who opened his own stable in 2003, never has won a Churchill Downs training title. After 18 days of the current meet, Maker owns a nine-victory advantage over his closest pursuer, Ken McPeek.
One Eyed Joker, a 2 ½-length winner over Stratostar, gave owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey their 17th victory of the meet, extending their Fall Meet record total.
One race later, Herman Van Den Broeck’s Hapitano pulled away to a 2 ¾-length victory over Stungbythestorm to win the featured $44,100 Make a Wish Foundation Purse.
Ridden by Jesus Castanon and trained by Ron Pellegrini, Hapitano covered the mile on a fast main track in 1:35.08 in turning back 10 foes.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Hap returned $18.40, $7.80 and $5. Stungbythestorm, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, returned $9.40 and $6.20 and A.U. Miner, who was a nose back in third under Robby Albarado, paid $6.60 to show.
Albarado won four races on the 10-race card to narrow the gap, 40-31, between he and leading rider Julien Leparoux. Leparoux had a riding double.
- END -