By Byron King, for Kentucky Downs
FRANKLIN, Ky. (Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019) — Mike Maker, the winningest trainer in Kentucky Downs history, experienced a frustrating first two days of the current Kentucky Downs meet, going winless with his first 19 starters and feeling unlucky with seven of his horses running second.
Saturday during the highlight day of racing during the RUNHAPPY meet at Kentucky Downs, that frustration was put aside when Zulu Alpha rolled to an authoritative 3 1/4-length victory for the trainer in the Grade 3, $1 million Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup. The score gave Maker his fourth victory in the race after Da Big Hoss won it twice for him in 2015-’16, followed by Oscar Nominated in 2017.
Maker did not even have to sweat the result. Zulu Alpha, under Jose Ortiz, quickly drew away from his rivals in the lane after stalking the leaders from fifth, leaving runner-up and 2018 winner Arklow, third-place Campaign and the rest of his foes far behind.
Even so, the trainer did not feel any sense of relief until the race’s conclusion, which gave him his second winner of the day after Swanage broke him out of his losing streak by taking the third race.
“Our horses have been running good, and it’s only a second victory,” he said. “But second pays well here when your horses run well in deep, competitive fields.”
Read the full article on https://www.kentuckydowns.com/racing/news/zulu-alpha-gives-maker-calumet-farm-ky-turf-cup