Gabe The Babe captured his ninth consecutive win and became a two-time Michigan Sire Stakes champion with a 1:58.1 score during Tuesday afternoon's Michigan Sire Stakes program at Northville Downs.
Over $200,000 in purses were contested on the non-wagering program.
In the $25,950 event for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, Gabe The Babe and driver Charles Taylor worked clear of Nights Watch (Kim Pluta) through a :29.3 first quarter and made all the pace en route to his ninth seasonal win. The son of Manhardt rated comfortable middle fractions of 1:00 and 1:29 before parrying a late bid from Night's Watch by three-quarters of a length to win in 1:58.1. Watt A Hardt (Jason Thompson) finished third.
After beginning his sophomore season with a second-place finish to Rodeo Rider at Big Rapids, Gabe The Babe quickly returned to his winning ways and reeled off a nine-race winning streak which began on July 18 at Charlotte (Mich.). His sire stakes victory gives him 17 wins in 21 career starts and $89,177 in earnings for owner-breeder Oscar Sievert and trainer Jeff Rowley.
A season-long rivalry was settled in the $25,450 sophomore filly pace, in which Meggie May I rode the pocket before striking in mid-stretch to collar pacesetter and arch rival Man Dontforget Me (Art McIlmurray) in 1:56.1, the fastest mile of the afternoon. Vicious Circle (Pluta), the 2019 divisional champion, finished third after pushing the pace through the far turn and flattening late.
Ryan Ver Hage drove Meggie May I to her fifth seasonal victory for trainer Allen Tomlinson and owners Jeff and Brianna Novak. Three of the Western Thorn filly's four second-place finishes this season were to Man Dontforget Me on the Michigan stakes circuit, and the other was a narrow defeat to Vicious Circle in a 1:52.1 mile at Harrah's Hoosier Park.
The $25,700 final for three-year-old trotting fillies saw Classic Rewind sustain progress through the final three-eighths of a 2:01.4 mile to just collar 2019 Sire Stakes winner Come On Loretta (Tim Roach) by a neck in 2:01.4. Art McIlmurray drove the daughter of Southwind Russet to her sixth consecutive win for E C S Racing LLC and trainer Kevin St. Charles.
Another of Southwind Russet's progeny upended a 2019 Michigan champion in the three-year-old colt and gelding trot, which carried a $25,450 purse. O Migty Thor and driver Skip DeMull controlled the pace throughout before drawing away from last year's divisional winner Suzygottanewheart (Carl Putnam, Jr.) by four lengths in 2:02.4. Ken Ott owns and trains the six-time winner.
Trainer-driver Tim Roach swept the finals for Michigan-sired two-year-old fillies, taking the $24,781 pace with Chriss Thorn (2:04), whom he owns in partnership with Kyle Larner, and the $25,281 trot with It Was Alla Dream (1:58.1), whom he owns with Willa Rousseau.
The $25,031 final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings went to Here Comes Hot Rod (2:08.4) and trainer-driver Kim Pluta, while Ver Hage and Rowley teamed up to take the $25,821 final for rookie pacing colts and geldings with Flashthecash (2:06).
(Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association)